Honeycomb

Flora Renz

Currently compensating for all my failings as a PhD student by eating my way around London and bribing my entire department with baked goods. Still unsure if I want to be Nigella or marry her. Definitely want to live in a gingerbread house. Think Beetroot is an abomination.

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HoneycombI made this for a dinner party last week and it went down a treat. And yes, just writing this made me feel instantly middle-aged. Honeycomb is surprisingly quick and easy to make. However, cleaning up afterwards takes a bit of time. I took the approach of just holding everything under a very hot tap until the sugar dissolved. Whatever you do, do NOT touch the honeycomb with a sponge unless you plan to do a lot of screaming and swearing. I doubled this recipe, and with some ice cream it made for a nice desert for 6 people. Obviously I doubled the recipe because I am very organised and plan ahead and not say because I am an idiot and can’t keep track of how much golden syrup I have already added. The honeycomb is really nice on its own; however, I coated mine in chocolate once it had set because you really can’t go wrong with a bit of extra chocolatey goodness.

 

Ingredients:

100g caster sugar

About 4 tbsp golden syrup

1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda

 

1. Cover a flat baking tray with parchment paper and put it next to your hob. Fill a mug with cold water and set aside.

2. Put sugar and golden syrup into a high sided pan. I found the easiest way to get the right amount of syrup is to dip a fork into it, get as much syrup as possible on it and twirl it around so it stops dripping, then dump that amount into your pan. Repeat once more and you should be done. You can try actually using a tablespoon measure but it is a slightly infuriating process. Believe me this looks like a tiny amount, but it will bubble up a lot.

3. Mix the sugar and syrup before you turn on the heat and then put on the lowest possible heat if you have a gas hob, or medium to low on electric.

4. Let the sugar and syrup mix and melt together. Swirl it around or stir it if it starts to bubble on only one side or browns unevenly.

5. Wait till the mix has turned a sort of light brown caramel colour (kind of like maple syrup) which should take about 5 mins. Dip your fork or the end of a teaspoon into the syrup and then instantly dunk it into the cold water. You might hear a slight cracking noise. Alternatively, bite into it and if it comes off cleanly  then the syrup mix has reached the right temperature. Alternatively if you are organised enough to own a candy thermometer you want it to get to 160C.

5. Add bicarbonate and whisk in very quickly with your fork. The syrup will turn into a cloudy sugar mix. Spread it instantly on your parchment paper.

6. When the honeycomb has set (when the surface is not too sticky anymore, after about 1-2hrs) break it into rough pieces and it will be ready to eat as it is.

If you feel like being fancy, melt some good quality chocolate (about 60g) either in a mixing bowl over a pan full of water or in the microwave.  Shake off excess chocolate and put honeycomb back to dry on some parchment paper for an additional hour.