Toffee Crab Apples

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Happy new year!

It’s definitely been a while since I’ve blogged. And so much has changed! I’ve moved cities (and kitchens) and am now based in Bristol. I’ve started a new job as a pastry chef and am still visiting River Cottage once a month for training, which I’m loving.
Working as a chef is hard. It’s busy and intense, but so, so much fun. It’s so exciting getting to know the kitchen and is a completely different working system to anything I’ve ever experienced before. But that also means I’m busy busy busy! So hence the lack of blogging. Now Christmas is over and work has calmed down a bit, hopefully I’ll be back to giving you a post a week.

It’s been lovely having a new city to explore, although I’ve not have time to see much of it yet. I have, however, managed to go on a serious greengrocer/coffee shop tour, and being down at River Cottage has really made me think about seasonal, local produce. After exploring Clifton last Saturday with my sous chef Danny, we discovered a beautiful little greengrocers with a huge selection of fruit and veg. We were particularly taken with these stunning crab apples and decided to buy them and have a little experiment. The colour was just so beautiful we really didn’t want to do too much to them, so decided to make toffee apples, and I ended up taking them into work to use as decoration for a beautiful apple and pecan cake with maple glaze. They looked so pretty and brought that lovely pop of colour to an otherwise quite beige cake. The caramel sets flat as well so it means they sit really well as a decoration. Check out my instagram (@kloelladeville) to see the cake- or would you like me to blog the recipe? Let me know int eh comments!

Since I’ve moved to Bristol I’ve been experimenting lots more with my photography. My flat has massive windows and after assisting on the second Meringue Girls cookbook with David Loftus over January (I know!!!!!) I’ve been totally inspired. Just watching David work was so interesting and I learned lots about shooting with natural light so I’ve turned my flat into a mini studio. I’ve just been photographing most of the meals I eat, and it’s really nice to have the practice.

Anyway, enough of my rambling and onto the recipe- but a word of warning first: the caramel is really dangerous. It is hot. Don’t touch it. Also, if it sticks to your pan, fill it with boiling water and stick it back on to boil, and it will get rid of it nicely. 
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Toffee Crab Apples

Makes about 15 apples
You will need:

4 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp water

First, prepare your crab apples. Cut from the ling twig, leaving a long stalk on each. This will make them easier to dip. Gently wash the apples, and wipe with a piece of kitchen paper to get rid of any excess dirt. LEave to dry completely – the caramel won’t stick if they’re at all wet.
Put the sugar into a saucepan in a flat layer, and add the water. Leave and do not stir or touch it on a medium heat. Leave it to bubble and turn into caramel. After about 4 minutes it will have turned to the colour of a copper penny and almost smell burnt. Take it off the heat.
Lay out a piece of baking paper, then CAREFULLY hold the tip of the stalk and dunk the apple into the caramel. Swirl around so it’s all covered, then lay onto the sheet of baking paper to set. Repeat till you’re done!

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