A few weeks ago, I did something that I’ve never done. I purchased a piece of handmade candy from a candy store; chocolate covered honeycomb. Not only was it expensive, it wasn’t very good. Instead of being light, airy and crunchy, the piece I ended up with was soft, sticky & stringy ~ blech. I had pretty much put
throwing my money in the trash it out of my mind until I came across a recipe for Honeycomb candy in the August 2011 issue of bon appétit magazine. It is a relatively simple recipe, requiring few ingredients so I decided to give it a try. It was even easier than I thought it would be.The honeycomb turned out perfectly and I couldn’t help but pop a little piece into my mouth each time I walked by. It definitely has a unique, yet somewhat addicting flavor. It wasn’t exactly love at first bite, but I couldn’t seem to stop tasting it.
After my disappointing experience with the my candy shoppe chocolate purchase, I decided to take the recipe one step further and coat the pieces with chocolate. The results more than exceeded my expectations. The slightly bitter cocoa flavor perfectly balanced the sweet, deep, rich flavor of the honey & carmelized sugars. This recipe is definitely something special and would make a fabulous gift for just about anyone. The Honeycomb Chocolates require minimal effort with 5 ingredients, simple directions, and little preparation/clean-up time. I will definitely be making these again and again. Words cannot describe how over-the-top yummy this simple candy tastes.
I realize that candy making can be somewhat intimidating, but basically it all boils (ha, ha pun intended) down to “cooking” sugar. Once you familiarize yourself with the different stages of cooked sugar – you’ll have perfected the art of candy making. Of course, good recipes are beneficial and more importantly is having clear, precise directions; practice helps, too. Making candy is also relatively inexpensive, so if you have an “oops”, you haven’t wasted a lot of money. I really enjoy making candy and this is a perfect recipe for beginners -so is the Rocky Road recipe. I have included a step by step tutorial (when I make this again, I’ll have someone help photograph a few steps that I didn’t capture, but they aren’t critical to achieving success with this recipe.)
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbl Honey
- 3 Tbl Corn Syrup (I used light, I think dark would be too rich)
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1 Tbl Baking Soda sifted (sift ahead of time & set aside)
- 1 baking sheet lined with parchment (prepare before you begin & set aside)
Using a deep, non-dark* heavy saucepan heat the sugar, honey, corn syrup and water over low heat, until the sugar is dissolved. Crank the heat up to high, cook without stirring, swirl the pot occasionally (trying not to let the sugar syrup get all over the sides of the pot, ba says to wipe down with a pastry brush dipped in water, but I didn’t find it necessary) and boil until the sugar turns amber. I timed it to be about 5 minutes. *(If you use a dark pan, it will be difficult to judge the change in color.)
Be careful not to let the sugar get too dark (or basically you’ve burned it and it will taste burned). Immediately remove the amber sugar from heat and immediately whisk in the 1 Tbl of sifted baking soda. The sugar will foam up A LOT. Mix the soda in quickly & well (but not too much because you don’t want to deflate the foam.) Please note: Hot Sugar is very sticky & will burn so be careful. I would use extreme caution around children.
Pour the foamy mixture onto the parchment prepared tray (cookie sheet) and allow to cool for approximately 20 minutes.
Once the candy hardens, break it up into pieces.
Then dip in chocolate. I used candy melts which are VERY forgiving & EASY to work with. Did I mention they are VERY forgiving & EASY to work with? – 😉 A popular brand is made by Wilton (think local craft store & a 40% coupon) – I also saw candy melts in the bulk food section at Winco. Since I wasn’t sure how these would turn out, I didn’t use my good chocolate this time. I think I’ll try a trio of white, milk & dark chocolates.
Source: Honeycomb recipe barely adapted from bon appetit magazine – August 2011 issue (page 82) ~ I get 100% credit for the chocolate dipping.