19 Jan 2010

Honeycomb and a bit of Chemistry

Posted by PastryPrincess at 21:22

Do you know British cook Nigella Lawson? Cook, that's right, she's not a professional chef but her food is bad-ass! She's a busy, voluptuous London-based mother of two and she makes cooking look incredibly sexy. I can only wish I ever looked half as flirtatious when I'm in the kitchen! Somehow watching her show makes me feel a bit naughty, do you know what I mean? She just has this way of being coquet and everything she does looks unbelievably sensual and her usual sneaking to the fridge and having a midnight snack makes her very likeable, not only for men!

Anyway, when I watched her Express show recently, she made what she called "Hokey-Pokey" - a mostly British sweet called honeycomb because of it's look and bubble-infused texture.
I never even thought about making it at home but when I realized how simple it was and how fun it looked, I decided to give it a try. Basically it's not much more than a bit of different types of sugar and a little chemical reaction thrown in which is basically what makes it look so cool!

People from America may not know what I'm talking about but if you've ever had a Cadbury Crunchie bar, this is exactly it!

 Actually I got a Crunchie bar and compared it to my own honeybomb, albeit not chocolate-covered, and the result is pretty much the same, just that the home-made stuff is more bubbly.

So here goes the recipe:

Nigella’s Honeycomb

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsps golden syrup ( or you can use half syrup half honey if you want )
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp bicarb (baking) soda

Place a sheet of non-stick baking paper on a tray.
Pour the syrup and sugar in a saucepan and mix them before you heat them up, because you shouldn’t stir the mixture while it’s heating up and boiling as it would go grainy. Gently melt the sugar and golden syrup over a medium heat and swirl the pan every so often until the sugar has dissolved.

Allow the mixture to come to the boil and allow it to colour slightly so it goes a lovely, not too deep golden brown. You have to keep a close eye on the mixture because it can go from perfectly fine to a tiny bit too dark and as a result tasting slightly burned in a matter of seconds!
Pull the mixture off the heat and quickly add the bicarb of soda. Mix thoroughly with a silicone spatula or metal spoon until it is just evenly combined (you don’t want to over-mix it or you’d loose some of the bubbles the chemical reaction created). When you add the bicarb soda the mixture will froth and bubble.

Pour the mixture out onto the prepared tray and allow for it to set for approximately 20 minutes. If the weather is particularly humid, it may not set completely and you will have to put it in the fridge for a a few minutes to firm it up.
Once set you can break it up into pieces and there is different ways to do this. You can carefully whack it with  a pestle and it will break easily, but don’t  be too rough because it will get very crumbly. If you would like to cover it so the pieces don’t fly all over the place, use baking paper or something similar but preferably not a towel because it might stick to it.

Honeycomb is very sweet (it’s mainly sugar after all!) and goes well with a cup of coffee. A very yum and common way to eat them is to dip the pieces in melted chocolate and let them cool or crumble them over ice-cream, which is especially good and gives great texture.

1 comments on "Honeycomb and a bit of Chemistry"

Joy on 28 January 2010 at 19:30 said...

HA who wouldve known a little bicarbonate and sugar could create such a tasty treat. It really does look like a honeycomb! I am sure it tastes great too :)

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