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Anna Jones’ recipes for Bonfire Night

Anna Jones’ bonfire Night s’mores.
 Anna Jones’ Bonfire Night s’mores. Photograph: Issy Croker/The Guardian. Food and prop styling: Emily Ezekiel.

As kids, we’d trek down the road to the local fireworks display on Bonfire Night, the long walk made shorter knowing we’d be allowed a treat at the other end – a wispy cloud of candyfloss to share between us alongside cups of hot chocolate. My sweet tooth has mellowed since then and candyfloss no longer lights me up. Instead, we light sparklers and bake potatoes outside on the barbecue, piling them with smoky homemade boston beans. Then, as the fire dies down, we make s’mores and eat them with hot toddies. I let my sweet tooth run wild.

Bonfire s’mores

These are the stuff of dreams. The sweet marshmallow is tempered by a less sweet gingery biscuit with a pleasing snap and some good dark chocolate. I have made the biscuits vegan – they last better, and it means my brother and sister can eat them, too – but if you prefer, you could use an egg in place of the chia and water mixture. Other suggestions for sandwiching: a little dulce de leche spread with a sprinkle of toasted coconut.

Prep 10 min
Cook 35 min
Makes 10

For the ginger biscuits
1 tsp chia seeds
70g oats
70g coconut oil
2 tbsp ground ginger 
100g soft brown sugar
50ml maple syrup
170g white spelt or plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt 
2 pieces stem ginger, roughly chopped

For the filling
100g marshmallows (I use vegan ones)
100g dark chocolate 
100g skin-on almonds, toasted and finely chopped

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. In a jug or small bowl, mix the chia with three tablespoons of water and leave to stand for five minutes, or until thickened. In a food processor, blitz the oats until you have a fine flour.

Melt the coconut oil, ginger, sugar and maple syrup in a small saucepan until the sugar has fully melted, and set aside to cool.

Put the oats and remaining dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blitz to combine.

Pour in the chia mixture, add the syrup mixture, and pulse until a dough forms. Tip this out on to a lightly floured surface, roll into a large square about 2mm thick, then cut into roughly 7cm squares. You will need to re-form the offcuts and repeat the rolling-out process.

Put the biscuits on two baking trays lined with greaseproof paper, prick all over with a fork and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Leave to cool a little.

Finely chop the chocolate and, stirring constantly, melt over the water in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure it doesn’t touch the water. Take off the heat. Put the toasted almonds in another bowl.

Toast a couple of marshmallows over the bonfire on a metal skewer until charred and drippy, and use to fill a biscuit sandwich, which you can then dunk in the chocolate and almonds.

Pear and cardamom hot toddy

Take a vacuum flask of this with you to see the fireworks. I like using a dark spiced rum, but any dark spirit seems to work well.

Anna Jones’ pear and cardamom hot toddies.
 Anna Jones’ pear and cardamom hot toddies. Photograph: Issy Croker for the Guardian

Prep 10 min
Cook 10 min
Makes 6 small mugs

200ml whisky or dark rum
500ml cloudy pear or apple juice 
3 cardamom pods, lightly bashed 
1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla paste
1 cinnamon stick
2 unwaxed lemons, juiced and skin peeled into strips

Put the whisky or rum, and pear or apple juice in a medium pan, with 200ml water. Add the cardamom pods and bring to a low simmer.

Split the vanilla pod in half and scoop out the seeds. Add the pod and seeds to the pan with the cinnamon stick, lemon peel and juice, and simmer for five to 10 minutes.

Ladle into cups or a vacuum flask, and serve steaming hot.

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