Amateur baker with a passion for eating!
Okay, right, so now we’ve got that out of the way… hello!
You can probably guess what I’ve been making this week then: honeycomb! Basically, I’ve been watching Masterchef: The Professionals and one of the challenges was to make honeycomb decorations… and I was inspired!
It looked more difficult than it was I think. Essentially we made toffee and added bicarbonate of soda to it. It was more like a crazy science experiment than cooking!
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the crazy, foaming part, as the moment was just too exciting (okay, so maybe I should get out more…) but I will share the glorious finished product with you. Well, not in the “free tasters” sense, as unfortunately, that is not yet possible on the internet, although I hear Willy Wonka is currently working on it in his chocolate factory… *watch this space*
Okay, so this was after everything had been mixed together and dissolved and boiled and bicarb of soda-ed, but it doesn’t necessarily look too much like honeycomb… but I promise you: it will soon 🙂
But first, I guess I’d better give you the recipe and method, so you can try it for yourselves if you so choose:
Honeycomb – recipe taken from Sonia Allison’s Sweets Book (published by Piatkus in 1983)
Ingredients (makes about 1 lb or 450 g)
4 oz (125 g) golden syrup
4 oz (125 g) clear honey
12 oz (350 g) granulated sugar
2 oz (50 g) butter
1 tsp vinegar (it doesn’t end up tasting at all vinegary, don’t worry!)
4 tbsp water
2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
1) Measure out all the ingredients and wang everything apart from the bicarbonate of soda in a large pan (you don’t want honeycomb foaming out all over your kitchen like the porridge in the Magic Porridge Pot did…)
2) Put the pan over a low heat and keep stirring the mixture until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is completely smooth.
3) Bring the mixture to the boil and cover the pan for two minutes whilst everything bubbles and boils away.
4) Uncover the pan and continue to boil the mixture (resist the temptation to stir it!) for another 7 or 8 minutes. Basically the best way to tell if it’s ready is to drop a little of the mixture into a cup of cold water, and if it turns into hard and brittle threads then it’s done. If the threads are still bendy and don’t snap, cook the mixture a bit longer.
5) If you were to pour this mixture into a pan now, you would have a lovely traditional toffee… but who would want to miss out on adding the bicarbonate of soda?! Go on – whack it in & stir everything together as it goes all foamy and wonderful!
6) Pour the mixture into a buttered 8 inch (20 cm) tin, and wait till it cools and sets.
7) Smash up the honeycomb and enjoy! (The recipe instructs us to eat the honeycomb as quickly as possible so it doesn’t go sticky… but I don’t think there’s much risk of that happening in this house at least!)
Yes, yes, yes. I know it looks rather a lot like toffee. (And the toffee hammer doesn’t help either I suppose!)
Wonderful – I shall be handing this out to my friends and family now, so let’s hope they appreciate it!
I told my friend last night that I would give her some honeycomb if it turned out well… and more if it didn’t. She’s going to be getting less honeycomb, yes, but probably more enjoyment from it, so I guess it’s fair 😉
Till next time 🙂