Homemade Honeycomb Recipe
It took me quite a bit of trial and error before I finally, FINALLY got the knack of making caramel. Most recipes will tell you that all you have to do is put some sugar in a pan on the stove and leave it alone and voila, caramel. Other recipes advise stirring it. Then you will hear the advice of having a wet pastry brush to knock down any sugar on the sides of the pan. And lastly a bit of water added to the sugar. Then there are combinations of all those things to achieve a good result. What I can tell you is the way that works best for me and that is: add just enough water to the sugar so that it resembles damp sand. Any more than that and all you’re doing is adding extra time for the water to evaporate. Any less than that and I always get burnt patches where the sugar is dry. As for not stirring? I agree whole-heatedly not to stir but I like to pick up the pan and gently swirl around from time to time because there’s always a bit of uneven cooking otherwise. It starts to go dark around one edge while the rest stays pale and then you will end up with a bitter caramel. So a gentle swirl from time to time. No pastry brush required (it seems to wreck the brush and a bit of sugar on the sides of the pot doesn’t affect the end result anyway).
So if you already have the knack of making caramel you are ready to make honeycomb (and even if you didn’t know before, I’ve just told you so you can still do it anyway). Honeycomb is super cool because it’s just caramel with added baking soda and a volcanic, puffy dramatic effect happens as soon as you add it (definitely don’t let the kids anywhere near you while this is going on).
Last thing: make sure you are well prepared in advance – a lined baking tray sitting right next to the stove. The smaller the tray and the higher the sides, the thicker your honeycomb will be. This recipe is just your basic honeycomb – if you want to make home-made crunchy bars, simply wait until it’s cooled and dip the pieces into melted chocolate and allow to set.
I like having a bit of this on hand all the time to add to
stuff my face with, add to ice cream or top cakes with.
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 tbsp glucose syrup
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp baking soda
Line a metal tray with non-stick baking paper. Have your baking soda measured out and ready to add and make sure your whisk is ready to grab.
In a large pot (preferably stainless steel so you can easily watch the colour) place the sugar, glucose syrup, honey and water. Place on medium-high heat and about every 30 seconds, gently tilt the pan a touch so the mixture combines without going all over the sides of the pan and then continue to do so to ensure it cooks evenly and you don’t have a clump of sugar in the middle that could burn. When it looks a light amber colour, add the baking soda and quickly whisk to combine, then tip onto the lined baking tray.
Leave to cool, then break apart with the handle of a heavy knife.