Hey all, firstly and most importantly Happy New Years eve! We have taken a few days off as we were in transit from family to home but now we are back and excited to get our cook-on for the next few days of New Years food deliciousness. Which is why, today we decided to share a super quick, super simple but pretty awesome treat which you can impress your New Years guests or hosts with tommorow: Honeycomb Toffee
In truth the hardest part of today’s post was deciding what to call it. It turns out that everywhere has its own name for honeycomb toffee, including to name but a few: cinder toffee, sponge candy, hokey pokey, crunchie filling, yellow man, puff candy, golden crunchers, sea foam, fairy food candy and turkish honey. But, regardless of what its known as, honeycomb toffee has to be one of the most fool proof of candies to make at home and only took us twenty five minutes start to finish. There are just a couple of important tips to remember which we thought we would share before we start, to make sure that your candy turns out perfect each time:
Firstly – Make sure to have prepared your moulds before you start! Once you add the bicarb to your syrup everything happens very quickly so you will need them to hand.
Secondly – True to one of its names, honeycomb really is a sponge candy and will absorb as much water as it can from the air. So, when you leave your honeycomb to cool make sure it is away from the kitchen or other humid places in the house. Also, once it has dried it must be immediatly transfered to, and stored in, an airtight container like a biscuit tin or sealed kitchen bag. Otherwise the candy turns to goo in a matter of hours. (If you are covering your candy in chocolate you don’t need to worry about this as the chocolate creates an air tight seal).
So, with that being said, here’s how we did it:
100g caster sugar
4 tablespoons golden syrup (or corn syrup which will make a slightly lighter coloured but equally tasty end product)
1 1/2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda (aka. baking soda)
A bar of chocolate to coat your finished candy (this is optional – the candy tastes yummy regardless, but we used a good dark chocolate to finish ours)
1) Prep – We aren’t usually ones to measure out everything we need for a recipe before hand, but we make an exception for this recipe. So, make sure you line a baking tin with a circle of parchment for the bottom (you will use this as a mould later to pour your finished candy in to set), and have your ingredients ready to go (apart from the chocolate which, if your using, you won’t need untill later after the candy has cooled).
2) Mix – Add your caster sugar and golden syrup to a large heavy bottomed saucepan (not using any heat yet!) and stir together to form a thick sugary paste.
3) Heat – Place your pan with your sugary paste over a medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes. The sugary paste will melt and bubble away, and you should see the mixture turning into a clear syrup which then starts to turn an amber colour. It is really important not!!! to stir at all once the mixture is on the heat because it makes crystals form in the mix, meaning your candy won’t set properly. Once your mixture has bubbled to a nice golden colour you are ready for your next step (also, public service announcement, Sam is a worry wart and would like me to remind you that boiling sugar is hot like lava and can give you a really nasty burn so take care when making it :D)
4) The magic bit! – Take your candy off the heat and immediately sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over the surface. Then, with a whisk, mix mix mix mix mix until the bicarb is totally incorportated. Don’t be alarmed, at the point that you add your bicarb the candy will look like a volcano erupting, growing and getting super foamy very quickly (in fact it happened so quickly when we made it we didn’t even get a good picture of it). As soon as you have stirred in your bicarb, quickly transfer your mix to your lined baking tin.
5) Cool – Once your candy mixture is safely corralled in its tin, leave it to cool and harden somewhere dry. When its ready you should be able to easily turn it out of the tin as a single lump and it should feel hard and brittle. Ours took around 20 minutes to get to this point.
6) Smash – Now you need to break your candy into bite sized chunks. You could try to chop it nicely into individual cubes but from our experience it just tends to break where you don’t want it to, so we stick with just giving it a good old whack and letting it break wherever.
7) Chocolate coated – At this point, your totally done if you want your candy plain; but if you want to make it a little more fancy, melt your bar of chocolate to coat your honeycomb pieces. It is important to make sure they get a good thorough coating otherwise air gets in and you get a chocolate coat with gungy mess inside.
And, that’s all there is to it. We love honeycomb crunched up over icecream, but it also makes a good sharing treat to pass round at a party, boxed up as party favours, or to give as a hostess gift.
From both of us over here at Cook Quilt Make a Bake, we hope you have a very lovely New Years eve, however you celebrate it! We will be curled up with cups of tea (and buckets of honeycomb).
Happy New Year!