Toffee from The O'Sullivan Twins at St. Clare's

There is something very special about creating a recipe from one of your favourite childhood books. When I made jammy buns from Malory Towers I was so excited as finally, something I'd read about and wondered about for years was coming to life in my kitchen. The very treat enjoyed by Darrell, Sally and Alicia – the characters I'd grown up with. Oh, that was such a great day.

Perhaps it is little surprise, therefore, that I've found another childhood favourite. Another Enid Blyton story with yet another boarding school.

The O'Sullivan Twins, Pat and Isabel, did not want to go to St Clare's. They were cross and acted rather badly about it all. So badly, they become known as the Stuck-Up Twins or the High-and-Mighties. But the school soon licked them into shape, rubbed off their sharp corners and, before you knew it, Pat and Isabel adore the school and are popular and liked.

The Easter term arrives and with it, second former Tessie's birthday. She decides to have a midnight feast with just a few friends including the twins. The girls are all very excited at the thought of meeting up at midnight in the music room and stuffing themselves silly with a big fruit cake, a ginger cake, biscuits and wonderful, sweet, homemade toffee. Plus, of course, ginger beer and sausages. That's right. Sausages for a midnight feast.

This recipe for toffee is great as you don't need a sugar thermometer – just a heavy based pan and a few basic ingredients.

My toffee is dark with a slightly smoky taste. I think I got inspired by the sizzling sausages. If you want it lighter than just boil it for less time.

homemade toffee Homemade toffee inspired by The O'Sullivan Twins at St. Clare's by Enid Blyton


  • baking tray lined with greased baking parchment
  • medium sized, heavy-bottomed or non-stick pan
  • wooden spoon
  • jug with cold water.


  • 200g butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 60ml water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. In the pan, weigh out the butter, sugar, water, salt and vanilla
  2. Heat gently, stir, then once everything has melted turn it up and allow to boil. It will become frothy.
  3. Do not stir it once it is boiling as it may crystalize.
  4. Turn down the heat slightly and gently boil for between 5 - 10 minutes. The longer you cook it the darker it will be.
  5. This toffee will be extremely hot. DO NOT attempt to lick the spoon or touch it in any way.
  6. When you want to test if it is ready, put a teaspoon of it into the jug of cold water. If it stays together in a ball, it is done.
  7. Pour into the prepared tin and allow to cool.
  8. When cold, bash it up.
  9. Eat.

Easy Recipe for Homemade Toffee