As part of my job, I’m often cooking all sorts of things that I would never normally make at home. Usually it’s to demonstrate to my students some principle of food preparation or a particular skill that they need to know. Occasionally I will take some of my creations home for my kids, but usually my students are more than happy to ‘sample’ my demonstration. One food item I make every few years is honeycomb (for those who are interested, it demonstrates chemical raising agents beautifully). Each time I make it, my students are always eager to try it (no surprises there), so it never gets home to my own kids.
Earlier this year, Hannah and I were having a discussion about how cooking food is really just a giant science experiment (aren’t I just the coolest mum ever!), and I mentioned that honeycomb was a fun, easy thing to make. Of course she then suggested (OK insisted) that we make some. Since then she has mentioned making it several time – usually just as she is going to bed – and we agree that we should make it one time.
Over the weekend, with the rainy weather promising to keep the kids indoors for the entire time, I thought it would be a good idea to trot out the honeycomb as an activity we could do. It does require a bit of patience to get the sugar mixture up to the right temperature, but once it’s there, the bicarb soda works it’s magic, and suddenly you have honey comb.
- 1½c white sugar
- ½c honey
- ⅓c water
- 2T golden syrup
- 2t bicarb soda
- Place the sugar, honey, water, and golden syrup in a saucepan.
- Slowly heat the ingredients, allowing the sugar to dissolve. Brush the sides of the saucepan with a little water, using a pastry brush, to dissolve any sugar crystals on the side of the pan.
- Bring the mixture up to a simmer, and simmer until the sugar mixture reaches 154*c. Stir occasionally. If you don't have a sugar thermometer, you can test the temperature by dropping a little of the sugar mixture into a cup of cold water. The mixture will be a dark colour and will be crunchy like toffee - with no chewiness.
- Once the the mixture reaches 154*c, remove from the heat, and allow to sit until there are no bubbles in the mixture.
- Quickly stir in the bicarb soda. This will cause the mixture to bubble into a creamy mass.
- Working quickly, pour the mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper and allow to cool.
- Once the mixture is cool, snap it into pieces.
- Store in an airtight container. Do not refridgerate.
In Australia we have two chocolate bars with honeycomb centres: the Crunchie, and the Violet Crumble. Most people prefer one over the other. Wars have been fought over lesser issues than which one is better. For the record, I prefer the Crunchie.
Are you a Crunchie or Violet Crumble person? Are you a cool parent like me? Have you made honeycomb before?