Bonfire Night is best spent with friends, which is why you’ll need recipes that are as easy to make as they are enjoyable to eat – most likely outside in the cold and dark, and quite possibly the rain, too.
Economical and fantastic to bung in the oven, potatoes or sweet potatoes are just the ticket, and what to fill them with is up to you.
Below, I’ve opted for a thrifty lentil chilli, with feta cheese and chipotle sour cream, all loaded into fudgy, baked sweet potatoes.
Wrap in foil to heat through in the oven, or, if you prefer, the hot coals of the bonfire. The slaw to go with them is a simple preparation of all the best ingredients that autumn has to offer.
As for pudding, shop-bought toffee apples are sliced and baked into an apple cake for minimum effort and maximum wow.
Toffee-apple upside-down cake
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes
one 25cm cake
- 50g butter
- 75g light brown sugar
- 150g plain flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger or cinnamon
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100g caster sugar
- 3 toffee apples, cored and cut horizontally into circular slices, 1½cm thick
- 3 eggs
- 100ml sunflower oil
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Cut out a circle of baking paper and use this to line a 25cm cake tin, pressing it into the base and up the sides. The sides will be a bit crinkly but this is OK, the base just needs to hold melted butter.
- Put the butter and brown sugar in the tin and place in the oven for about five minutes to melt. Stir to combine.
- Sift the flour, ginger or cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and a quarter of a teaspoon of salt into a bowl, and mix in the caster sugar. Set aside.
- Arrange the most attractive slices of toffee apple in the buttery sugar in the tin, without overlapping (they will shrink a little when baking). Roughly chop any leftover apple slices, including any toffee shards, and set aside.
- Whisk the eggs and sunflower oil together then mix this into the dry ingredients, along with any chopped toffee apple. Pour the cake batter over the apple slices and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack for at least five minutes before turning the cake out on to a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, with cream, custard or ice cream.