By the time it gets to Friday in the office, my coworkers and I are usually at our wit’s end with boredom, so eager for the weekend that we’re almost salivating with desire (eww, now there’s a mental image!) and shooting emails back and forth, desperate for some form of amusing distraction. Occasionally, when I know I’ll be baking on the weekend, I’ll run an event on the Friday afternoon known as “Friday Afternoon Shenanigans” – an event that invites my coworkers to prepare for the weekend by exercising the sillier sides of their brains, and generally sharing a laugh.
After not having run the event for the past month, this Friday I shared the definitive guide on “How To: Smell Like A Fish“, which caused such confusion that I thought it the perfect opportunity to reinstate this event and make a triumphant come-back. The resulting request for people to submit the title of a “most unlikely ‘how to’ list” yielded a few responses, but only 3 that were received within the specified time frame, so I decided that I’d gift all three of them with a mini basket of goodies! For the basket, I created 3 different boiled sugar delights – the marshmallows you’ve already seen, so I now present you with the home made honeycomb!
Golden, crisp and crunchy – these explosive sweets are sure to be a hit!
Haalo runs one of my absolute favourite food blogs on the internet – Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once, and when she posted this recipe for honeycomb I was impressed and slightly bemused in equal parts – impressed, because her sugary sweets looked so amazing, and bemused because earlier that day I’d gone grocery shopping and come home with a tub of liquid glucose, not having any idea what it was for! I took the fact that I’d seen this recipe and bought the glucose on the same day as a sign that this was something I was meant to make, but my overwhelming fear of boiled sugar (not unlike my fear of cupcakes) meant that I just couldn’t muster up the courage to try them.
However, holding my shiny new sugar thermometer in my hands on Friday night, I felt a sudden rush of optimism – even though this recipe didn’t specify temperatures, dangnammit, I was going to give it a shot!
Haalo’s straight-forward instructions made the recipe a cinch to follow, yet for some reason I underestimated just how explosive the reaction of bi-carb (baking) soda and the molten sugars would be…which resulted in me squealing like a maniac at 1am in the morning (which is when I chose to give this a try!) and stirring like mad to try and prevent the bubbling mixture from overflowing over the sides of the pot.
Mom: (rushing into the kitchen from the lounge, having been woken from her nap) What? What’s wrong? What’s going on? Are you hurt?
Mom: (taking a long look at me) You are an idiot. (walks back into the lounge and grumbles as she collapses on the couch)
About 10 seconds later, I gave up, grabbed both handles of the pot and dashed over to my lined lasagne tin and dumped the lot in, taking a step back and eyeing the tin with awe and shock as I watched the sugar mixture morph and grow, taking on shapes not unlike a swamp monster struggling from the murky depths of a lagoon. Once it appeared to stop moving, I cautiously prodded it with my wooden spoon, letting out a slight squeal as it quickly deflated like a popped balloon. Fearing wht my curiosity might lead me to do, I forced myself out of the room and sat down to watch a movie as the sugar set, dashing back into the kitchen once the credits rolled onto the screen.
I eyeballed the golden lump, grabbed it from the tin, applied pressure and *SNAP*! I popped the freshly broken piece into my mouth and closed my eyes as the sugar fizzled and disintegrated into nothing on my tongue. I can’t tell you how much better this honeycomb is than the store bought ‘Crunchie’ chocolate bars (bars of honeycomb coated in chocolate), and it was also superb crushed and sprinkled into a bowl of vanilla ice cream that I had the next afternoon!
So, if you feel the need for a little sugary something as well as some kitchen magic, I definetely recommend giving this recipe a try
Home Made Honeycomb (from Haalo & AWW)
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1/3 cup liquid glucose (can replace with light coloured corn syrup)
2 tbsp monofloral honey (ironbark, leatherwood, red gum etc)
1/4 cup water
2 tsp bi-carb (baking) soda, sifted
1. In a high-sided large saucepan add the sugar, glucose, honey and water and stir over a gently heat until sugar has dissolved.
2. Continue to cook until the mixture turns a golden brown colour – this should take about 15 minutes.
3. While the sugars are cooking prepare your tray. I line my tray (20x30cm or 8×12 inch and a good 2-3 inches in depth) with double thickness aluminium foil and extend it generously over the tray edges. Put this tray on a larger cookie sheet as a protection measure to catch any over-runs should the tray not be high enough.
4. Make sure the bi-carb is well sifted and when the sugar is ready, place this into the saucepan. Stir quickly to combine, you’ll immediately notice the mixture become a lot lightly in colour and start to rise – it’s texture will change to something resembling spun sugar. Keep stirring and when the mixture is approaching the top of the saucepan begin pouring it out onto the tray – the reaction will continue in the tray where it will keep rising. There’s no need to smooth the mix out – it’s best that you just leave it.
5. Let it set in the pan for about an hour – it will drop down somewhat as it cools.
6. Remove from tray and break it up into pieces to enjoy on it’s own, dipped/coated in chocolate or smashed and mixed into some vanilla ice cream
Look at all those caverns…anyone feel like a spot of spelunking?
[tags]boiled sugar, candy, sugar, honeycomb, recipes, sweets[/tags]
Others who have tried this recipe:
- Jill from Hey, That Tastes Good