A classic buffet is the best option for throwing a party on bonfire night. A selection of cold meats and sandwiches will keep everyone happy, and you won’t have to spend the whole day preparing food that the kids will refuse to eat. If you are looking to set sparks flying with your food, have a look at some of our firework themed recipes that the kids can help make too!
Homemade bonfire toffee apples by Emma Lewis from BBC Good Food
- 8 Granny Smith apples
- 400g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- Place the apples in a large bowl and cover with boiling water (this is better to do in 2 batches). This will get rid of the apple’s waxy coating, making it easier for the caramel to stick. Dry the apples and discard the stalks. Push a wooden skewer/ lolly stick into the stalk end of each apple.
- Get a sheet of baking paper and place the apples on this, close to the stovetop. Tip the sugar into a pan with 100ml water and set over a medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved, then proceed to stir in the vinegar and golden syrup. Place a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil to 140C or ‘hard crack’ stage. If you do not have a thermometer, test the toffee by pouring a bit into a bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly and, when removed, be easy to break. If the toffee is still soft, continue to boil.
- Being sure to work quickly and carefully, dip and twist each apple in the hot toffee until fully covered, letting excess toffee drip away, then place back on baking sheet to harden. You may have to reheat the toffee if the temperature drop and it starts to feel thick and viscous. Leave toffee to cool before eating. These can be made up to 2 days in advance, and should be stored in a cool, dry place.
Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy from Sainsbury’s
- 8 frozen thick pork sausages
- 950g basics potatoes, peeled & chopped
- 2 red onions, peeled & finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 400g frozen green beans
- ½ beef stock cube
- 100ml milk
- 1 knob of butter
- Black pepper to season
- Grill the frozen sausages, following pack instructions.
- Meanwhile, simmer the potatoes in water for 15-20 minutes, until soft, then drain and mash with the milk.
- Meanwhile, fry the red onions in the knob of butter over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and 500ml stock, made using the beef stock cube, and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the frozen green beans in lightly boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and serve immediately with the sausages, mash and onion gravy.
Firework Cupcakes by Victoria Threader
For the Cupcakes:
- 110g butter, softened
- 110g caster sugar
- 110g plain flour
- 2tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the buttercream icing:
- 110g butter, room temperature
- 500g icing sugar
- tsp vanilla extract
- 60ml milk
- Dark blue food colour paste
- Gold star sprinkles
For the fireworks:
- 400g white chocolate
- Coloured sprinkles and edible gold glitter
You will also need:
- Parchment piping bag for the white chocolate
- Piping bag and plain tip for the icing
- Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas 4. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
- Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and fluffy.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl.
- Beat the eggs and vanilla and add to the bowl. Beat until just combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until golden, risen and firm to the touch.
- Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the fireworks:
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave on 30 second bursts on High until completely melted and smooth.
- Put the melted chocolate into a parchment piping bag and snip the end off with a sharp pair of scissors.
- Place a non-stick mat or sheet of baking parchment on your kitchen surface and pipe 12 firework shapes making sure you pipe a long stem with shorter ‘branches’ coming off it so each shape can stand up in the buttercream. Cover each shape with sprinkles and gold glitter immediately after piping it, while the chocolate is still soft. When you have finished all 12, pop them in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
Method for the buttercream:
- Add the butter, icing sugar, a dot of navy blue food colouring and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl, then beat for about 5 minutes with an electric whisk until smooth.
- Pour the milk in gradually if you need to loosen the mixture (you may not need all of the milk).
- Once the cakes have cooled completely, pipe the buttercream on the top of the cupcakes. To pipe a swirl like the one in the picture, attach a plain nozzle to a large piping bag. Place the bag in a tall glass (pint glasses work well). Pull the bag down around the glass and fill the bag 2/3 full by pushing the buttercream down into the bag as you fill.
- Twist the icing bag and grip between your thumb and index finger. Place the other hand at the bottom of the bag and use this to guide the tip. Applying pressure with your hand at the top of the bag, start at the outside edge piping round the edge of the paper in a spiral towards the centre, pushing the tip into the icing as you pipe. When you reach the top, pull up quickly to finish the swirl.
- After you have iced each cupcake, twist the bag again so the twist is always at the top of the buttercream.
- While buttercream is still wet sprinkle with the gold stars. When the ‘fireworks’ have set, push one in the centre of each cupcake.
Chunky Chorizo and Bean Stew from Sainsbury’s
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
- ½ x 225g spicy chorizo ring by Sainsbury’s, sliced
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 15g pack thyme, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- 410g tin chickpeas by Sainsbury’s, drained
- 420g tin mixed beans in mild chilli sauce by Sainsbury’s
- 390g carton Italian chopped tomatoes by Sainsbury’s
- 200ml chicken stock
- Heat a large lidded pan and add the chorizo. Fry for 2-3 minutes, until just crisp. Remove the chorizo from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil.
- Add the onion, garlic and chilli to the oil and cook gently for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the chopped thyme, the cooked chorizo, chickpeas and mixed beans to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and stock, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid and simmer for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the stew has thickened slightly. Ladle into mugs and serve.
Top tip: This also makes a great jacket potato filler. Just cook uncovered for a further 5 minutes to thicken the mixture. Try it on a baked sweet potato with a dollop of half-fat crème fraiche.
Firework Cookies by Nurture Store
- 7 oz plain flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoons mixed spice
- 3 oz butter
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 2 oz sugar
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 desert spoon of water
For the icing:
- Icing sugar
- Food colourings
- Hundreds and thousands
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 / 190 C and grease two baking trays with butter.
- Heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan, but don’t let them boil.
- Stir in the flour and spices.
- Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the water and add to the mixture.
- Knead it into a ball and then roll out on to a floured surface.
- You can make different shapes and use cookie cutters to make biscuits – try star shapes or plain circles as a basis for your firework cookies!
- Bake until golden (time will depend on how big your cookies are, but check after 10 minutes).
- Lay them on a cooling rack. Wait until the biscuits are completely cool before adding icing.
- Mix up a palette of icing paints –sift the icing sugar with a little water, and add the food colouring.
- Place a blob of icing in the middle and use a spoon to blast outwards to make a firework shape (accompanying sound effects recommended!) Alternatively, dribble lines of icing to make your design.
- Sprinkle hundreds and thousands on your biscuits before tucking in!
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