We have all had moments when all that we want, is something sweet and tasty… and all too often when that moment comes sods law there is nothing in the kitchen except for empty cupboards, or worse biscuit tins full off empty chocolate wrappers… Lately Mark has developed a taste for home made sweets. He is perfecting homemade chocolates, truffles, toffee, marshmallows and his latest “invention” chocolate covered honeycomb 🙂
We all know that sweets in quantity are not good for you, but… if they are homemade we can at least make them taste so good that you can forget about the inches pilling on, at least till you have finished the batch. Using quality ingredients is the key for how to recreate that old fashioned taste of sweets we all remember. Honeycomb is easy to make and if made right really taste like a small pieces of heaven, with a sharp crack as you bite into it followed by the crumble in your mouth as you chew your whole mouth will fill with the taste of fresh cooked honeycomb. Commercial sweets tend to be made from processed ingredients, purified to the point of having no deviation in taste, ever. Add to that that they were made probably weeks ago and shipped all over the world, and you cannot help that your end product has a different taste. Fresh cooked, just like bread, is when honeycomb is at its absolute more-ish peak.
All you need are a few ingredients and about 40 minutes of free time… oh and an absolute must – A sugar thermometer, as without it the chances of success are remote unless you have years of experience.
- 375g caster sugar
- 125g good quality honey, we used Comvita Wildlands Honey, which contains 25% Comvita Manuka Honey 🙂
- 100g golden syrup
- 125ml water
- 15g of bicarbonate of soda
- 200g melted chocolate, we used a milk one
You will also need:
- Medium size saucepan, ideally with heavy bottom for heat distribution
- Greased with butter and lined tray, a silicone one is ideal about 9” x 9” X 2”
- A 2nd tray for cooling and Icing sugar for dusting
- Sugar thermometer
- A sauce whisk, or any small whisk
And now the cooking instructions, which are really quite straightforward:
Place your 2nd cooling tray in the freezer to chill.
Combine sugar, honey, golden syrup and water in your saucepan. Place over low heat and cook gently, stirring continuously. Occasionally brush down the side of the pan and your spoon with a pastry brush dipped in boiling water to remove any sugar crystals. After around 5-7 minutes the sugars should have dissolved, stop stirring. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring until the syrup reaches 145°C on a sugar thermometer. Remove from heat and immediately add the bi-carbonate of soda and whisk like made for 10 seconds to incorporate it. Your mixture will bubble and foam violently, don’t worry this is good, now quickly pour the mixture into the tray and set aside to cool completely. Ideally somewhere high up, out of sight and reach.
When cool turn the honeycomb out onto a clean surface. Break into desired pieces.
Retrieve your 2nd cooling tray from the freezer.
In a double boiler melt your chocolate till it is smooth and glossy. Line a tray with a good dusting of icing sugar. Drop the honey comb into the chocolate and with a fork turn the pieces till they are fully coated. Fish out the pieces one at a time with a fork to allow excess chocolate to drain away and drop onto the ice cold cooling tray. Again set aside to cool for an hour at room temperature.
If you want to be super posh you can now melt some white chocolate and drizzle it over the covered honeycomb pieces to get the “posh choc look” and put aside to finally set. Store in an airtight container, do not refrigerate as honeycomb really hates the cold and will go soft very quickly.