I found the recipe for these in a Good Food magazine I was reading at my mother-in-laws house last week during a few days holiday back home in Devon. I liked the look of them and found the recipe on line on the BBC website which you can find here (it’s a Mary Berry one from the Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief). I’ve never made honeycomb before and was a little apprehensive to say the least. I didn’t fancy ruining any of our saucepans! It was actually surprisingly easy especially as I received a sugar thermometer in the post yesterday as a birthday present (thanks Dot and Martin!) which would help with getting the mixture to the right temperature. They have a crunchy texture and my husband has just given them his seal of approval so I would definitely recommend.
Some tips on making the honeycomb…
There are lots of different recipes around online for making honeycomb including a Nigella Lawson one (she calls hers Hokey Pokey). The most useful one I found was a blog post by Ruth Clemens (of Great British Bake Off fame) which you can read here. If you don’t follow or read her blog ‘The Pink Whisk’ I would highly recommend checking it out. Ruth takes you through the process step by step. The most useful pieces of advice I found were to use a cardboard box to set your honeycomb (the cardboard allows it to cool more quickly) and to make sure you use a good quality silicone coated baking paper rather than greaseproof paper (I used Tesco’s). Also make sure that when you pour your honeycomb into your box you don’t use a spoon or spatula as this will knock the air out of it and you will lose the bubbles. A final word of advice – make sure you soak your pan quickly as otherwise you will end up with honeycomb stuck to your saucepan. If you do get any bits left over, boil a kettle and pour this over and you should be able to remove any stubborn bits.
For the honeycomb
1 tsp bicarboante of soda
75g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
250g dark or milk chocolate, or a mixture (I used dark)
100g unsalted butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
150g digestive biscuits
1) Begin by preparing your cereal box (you can use a shoe box or cereal packet – I used a cereal packet). Cut off one of the large sides and tape together the corners to make sure it holds together. Line it with a double layer of non-stick baking paper, making sure you have a good overhang along the long edges.
2) Measure and sieve the bicarbonate of soda into a dish ready for when you will need it. Make sure you have a wire whisk ready as well. Put the sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan and set it on a very low heat. Warm gently ready for 10 minutes until all the sugar has melted, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. (I found I needed to add a couple of tablespoons of water to help the sugar melt). You’ll know when it’s dissolved as you won’t be able to feel the grains of sugar in the bottom of the pan with your spoon.
3) When the sugar is completely melted, turn the heat up to medium. Once the mixture has started to boil, leave to bubble without stirring. If your using a sugar thermometer the mixture needs to reach 145C – if you’re not you will need to leave it for around 10 minutes until it turns golden-brown.
4) Turn off the heat under the pan. Add the bicarbonate of soda and quickly whisk it in for a couple of seconds until it is fully incorporated. The mixture will froth up – take care as it is extremely hot!
5) Quickly pour it into the middle of your lined cardboard box. Don’t touch it or spread it out on the tray. Leave it to cool and harden, which will take about 30 minutes.
6) Line a square 20.5cm tin with baking paper. Break the chocolate into small pieces. Put them in a heatproof bowl and add the butter and golden syrup. Melt gently, over a pan of hot water, stirring it occasionally. When the chocolate mixture is smooth, carefully lift the bowl of the pan and place on a heatproof surface.
7) Put the biscuits into a plastic food bag and use the rolling pic to break them up into chunks the size of your thumbnail. (We didn’t have any food bags so I put the biscuits in a bowl). Break the honeycomb into chunks roughly the same size (I found a rolling pin didn’t really work so did this by hand).
8) Add the biscuits and honeycomb to the melted chocolate and mix well so all the chunks are coated.
9) Scoop the mixture into your lined tine and spread it evenly, right into the corners. Cover with cling film, then chill in the fridge for about two hours, or until firm and set.
10) Cut into 16 squares with a sharp knife. Store, tightly covered, in the fridge and eat within two days.
Enjoy! Happy baking!