Not for the first time, I recently tried to make cinder toffee or honeycomb as I know it again.
I don’t remember what my inspiration was the first time around (probably edible gifts) but this time it was owing to a really simple recipe I came across in Nadiya Hussain’s (winner of Great British Bake Off 2015) gorgeous cook book. Ironically the book is named ‘Nadiya’s Kitchen’ so it is any wonder I was drawn to it!
The ‘A little bit of something sweet’ section is just divine and I spent ages drawling over it before deciding on what to make. Having all of the ingredients for the ‘Chocolate-dipped honeycomb’ to hand, I thought that I would give it a go.
The recipe calls for quite specific measurements:
- 200g caster sugar
- 100ml runny honey or 5 tsp of golden syrup
- 2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
- veg oil or butter for greasing
Now having previously tried this without much success (it was far too chewy and not at all enjoyable) I wanted to test the recipe so used half of the ingredients.
- Grease a baking dish with the oil/butter.
- Put the sugar and honey/syrup into a large pan over a medium heat, leaving until the sugar turns an amber colour, ensuring that all of the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the bicarbonate of soda.
- Pour into the prepared dish, leaving it to set for 30 minutes.
- Once cooled, break into pieces, cover with chocolate, eat on it’s own or crumble into ice-cream.
So…I followed the method (kind of) as follows:
- Sugar and honey into the pan, stirring until the sugar dissolved.
- Allowed to bubble and turn to a dark amber colour. What is amber anyway – it’s one of those subjective colours. Anyone who has watched the later seasons of the Sci-Fi TV show ‘Fringe’ will associate amber with being a dark yellow / orange colour. I actually think I left mine on the heat for too long (Fringe Amber) and hence my amber was probably a little too dark…
- On removing from the heat and whisking in the bicarbonate of soda (be careful the mixture expands magnificently really quickly so you do need a large pan for this) I smelt burning…
- Into the dish for it to cool next.
- Now in addition to the burning, the smell of honeycomb wafted through the kitchen but to be far it was overpowered by smoke…
- In theory the recipe worked but the proof was in the pudding. I have to admit that the flavour of burnt sugar was not so appealing and I ended up discarding my honeycomb 😦
I very nearly got this but think that the mixture was left on the heat for a little too long. I have seen others comment that you need a sugar/jam thermometer when making honeycomb and I’m being to think that I should invest in one. However part of me believes that I may just have it – third time lucky from all the lessons learned!
Have any of you guys successfully made honeycomb and do you have any tips you can share with me!?
Looking forward to your comments.