Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Homemade Honeycomb

My European and Expat family and friends might know of a classic Cadbury candy: the Crunchie. This was one of my favorites! They've been making it since 1929 but my first taste was probably around 1990. Several years later I took a trip to London with 4 high school friends from the American School of the Hague. Like much of high school, there are so many memories where I look back and say, "I can't believe we did that!" This London trip included midnight shopping cart rides, toilet paper receipts, clothes hanger wine openers and fiberglass sleeping blankets to name a few! Although there wasn't much sleeping...

On the return ferry to Hoek van Holland we spent the remainder of our pounds in the candy machines. Way back then we could eat pounds of candy and still get into slinky dresses for prom at the Kurhaus! My choice was usually the milk chocolate covered honeycomb Crunchie.

I found a recipe in an issue of Oprah magazine and felt challenged to make my own! After two failed attempts (pictured below. I'm not shy) I researched a few more recipes online and settled on one by Elizabeth LaBau from about.com. I finally got the hang of it the result brought me back 15+ years!

Overcooked. Spread with spatula.
Tasted like burnt sugar.

Chocolate Dipped Honeycomb by Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide
Prep time: 25 minutes

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 generous tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  1. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
    Cooled too fast. Few tiny
    bubbles. Hard as a rock.
  3. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, honey and water in a saucepan large enough so that the mixture can triple in size and still be safely contained. Stir the ingredients together until the sugar is completely moistened. Using a wet pastry brush, wipe the sides of the saucepan to remove any stray sugar crystals.
  4. Insert a candy thermometer and cook the mixture over medium-high heat, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 300 degrees.
    Boiling sugar mixture.
  6. Once the candy is at the proper temperature, remove it from the heat and add the baking soda all at once. Immediately whisk the candy to incorporate the baking soda, and be careful—it will foam up a great deal!
  8. As soon as the baking soda is incorporated, pour the candy carefully onto the prepared sheet.
  9. Allow it to cool and harden completely, then break it into small pieces. Honeycomb can be eaten as-is, or you can dip it in chocolate:
  10. Combine the chocolate and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave it to melt the chocolate completely, stirring every minute. Note that the amount of chocolate required may vary depending on how thick you made your honeycomb and how many pieces you made.
  11. Using two forks, dip the individual pieces in chocolate so that they are completely covered, and replace them on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining honeycomb and refrigerate until chocolate is set. Best enjoyed within 24 hours.
    Third time's a charm!

    My melted chocolate was quite thick so I chose not to cover them entirely. A quick dip gives the Crunchie taste while leaving the pretty, airy honeycomb exposed.

    Also, don't discard the crumbs! Sprinkle them on ice cream or drop them in the remaining melted chocolate and let it cool in clumps on wax paper with your other honeycomb candies. They're delicious!

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