Eating a toffee apple is such a thrill – biting into the crisp caramel shell and then finding the juicy fruit underneath. This drink is flavoured with caramelized sugar, and you should take the caramel as dark as you dare. Apfelkorn liqueur is a tasty German apple spirit which is very warming, but optional here.
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Preheat the oven to 140°C /fan 130 °C/275°F/Gas mark 1.
Leaving the skin on, cut the apple into thin slices using a sharp knife or a mandoline. Toss the slices in lemon juice to prevent them browning, then dust in a little ground cinnamon. Lay the slices out flat on the unlined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 1–11/2 hours, until dried but still slightly soft.
Place the sugar in a saucepan and heat gently over a low heat un
Add the milk to the remaining caramelized sugar in the pan. Do not worry if the sugar solidifies, as it will melt on heating. Simmer over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and add the apfelkorn liqueur, if using (do not return to the heat as it may curdle the milk). Pour the drink into 2 cups or heatproof glasses, top with whipped cream and drizzle with dulce de leche or caramel sauce. Place an apple slice on top of each one and serve at once.