Can you eat a whole Crunchie? If so, I am impressed. I think this is a ‘skill’ that has evaded me somewhat. The honeycomb is too hard, gets stuck in my teeth and the texture is just weird. I’d sooner chip off the dairy milk coating and just eat that. I realise this makes me sound like I have false teeth. Rest assured I don’t.
Proper honeycomb however, is magic. I remember my first taste of it, as we toured the chocolate shops and factories round Margaret River in Australia. Someone bought a big bag of the homemade stuff and it was divine. The ‘combs were irregular, slightly sticky and a little soft. Perfect honeycomb, if such a thing exists, is like that.
Honeycomb is also a relatively simple and pretty thing to make. Watching the three ingredients melt together and turn from a sandy brown to a deep golden colour is lovely to watch and the transformation bicarbonate of soda brings to the mix is like baking magic. Smashed into shards and drizzled with chocolate turns a bar of honeycomb into a pretty present with just a little bit of effort. Of course, you could just eat a piece with a cup of tea, slightly smug in the knowledge that your honeycomb is far better and more sophisticated than a Crunchie. Sorry Cadbury, I think you need to step up your game.
Adapted slightly from Granny’s Honeycomb Toffee recipe
You Will Need
A little vegetable oil for brushing
175g granulated sugar
125g golden syrup (this is easiest to weigh with a tablespoon that has been heated in a mug of hot water – the syrup just slides off!)
1 ½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3-4 squares each of milk, white and dark chocolate
You will also need a sugar thermometer to heat the honeycomb to the correct temperature and three piping bags for the chocolate
Lightly brush a 7 inch square tin with vegetable oil and line with a sheet of baking parchment. Set aside. Place the granulated sugar and golden syrup in a large heavy based pan with two tablespoons of water. Place over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Then begin to boil the mixture. Keep a sugar thermometer handy and keep testing, you want the honeycomb to boil to the ‘crack’ stage, which is 156oc. Once the honeycomb is ready, keep your prepared tin next to you, then quickly stir in the bicarbonate of soda and pour straight into the tin and leave to cool. Leave your pan, spoons and thermometer to soak in hot soapy water to make it easier for cleaning.
Once the honeycomb has set, remove from the tin and place on a chopping board, still with the baking parchment underneath. To create shards, simply take a large knife and attempt to cut into the slab. It will shatter, but this is the effect you want. If you would prefer uniform honeycomb, mark into squares before completely set then break apart. This isn’t a foolproof method speaking from experience – honeycomb will break the way it wants to break!
To decorate, melt the squares of chocolate in individual bowls for one minute each, stir and reheat for a further minute. Place each type of melted chocolate into a separate piping bag and either pipe neat squiggles along each piece, or go a little less regimented with long sweeping lines like I have. Repeat with each type of chocolate then leave to set. Serve with ice cream, place in cellophane bags and tie with ribbon for a pretty present or simply eat as it is.