As a child I remember eating fun-size Violet Crumbles and Crunchies by gnawing away on the outside chocolate layer and then relishing the crunchy, sweet honeycomb centre afterwards.
I always thought that the honeycomb was some magical, bubble-filled candy that you could only buy in shops, but recently I discovered how easy it is to make. This gets a little dangerous when you have a whole box of honeycomb to yourself and you start eating it non-stop like you’re eating popcorn at a movie. Very dangerous indeed.
As long as you have a candy thermometer, it’s super easy and quick to whip up a batch of these. Be sure to keep an eye on your melting sugar so that it doesn’t burn (because I assure you, the smell will linger in your kitchen for ages!). And don’t be alarmed when the mixture foams up like crazy when you add the bicarb – it’s supposed to happen.
I love eating the pieces of honeycomb on its own, but you could always jazz up this basic recipe by half or fully coating the pieces in dark chocolate once the honeycomb is set. Alternatively, crush it up and sprinkle it over your favourite ice cream, mousse or cake for some extra sugary goodness. Or you could always take a leaf out of Bill Granger’s book and mix some crushed honeycomb with butter, and serve the honeycomb butter with hotcakes, pancakes or crumpets.
300g caster sugar
150g honey (or golden syrup)
5 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1. Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper. Make sure you have your bicarbonate of soda and a whisk ready to go.
2. Place the sugar, honey and water into a large saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to low heat and cook without stirring until the mixture turns golden and reaches 154ºC on a candy thermometer (hard crack stage). Keep an eye on your mixture so that it doesn’t burn.
3. Remove from the heat and quickly add the bicarbonate of soda. Whisk quickly for a few seconds to combine the bicarbonate of soda with the sugar mixture – it should foam up rapidly. Immediately pour into the prepared tin and set aside to cool. When the honeycomb is set, break it up into bite-sized chunks. Store in an airtight container.