It’s alive!

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Remember the volcano you made for your second grade science project?  Well, this is sort of like that only you get to eat the post-apocalyptic results.  Today on Miss Wizardmisanthropichostess, we’re making honeycomb.  Well, honeycomb the candy (though, I may have some Queen Bee tendencies).

Honeycomb’s humble beginnings start with sugar, corn syrup, honey and a little water.

Then, you turn up the heat and do a little buzzing dance.

Slowly, the color will turn from nearly clear to pale gold.

In goes the baking soda, and you know what happens next (think exploding volcano).

Before we move forward, we need to move back a little.  In my first attempt at making this confection, I let it get a little too golden before adding the baking soda.  This is what burned honeycomb looks like.  You don’t even want to know what burned honeycomb smells like.  Trust me.  So that you don’t make the same mistake, I’ve made some adjustments to the original recipe and added some instructions on using a thermometer.  If you’d like to forgo the technology, just made sure you watch the sugar lava closely and as soon as it gets to a uniform pale gold, add the soda.

This is what it should look like after the baking soda is mixed in.

Once it cools, the magic happens.   If you’ve ever had the Australian candy Violet Crumble, you know where I’m going with this.  Honeycomb’s frothy texture is simultaneously crunchy and chewy.  Incidentally, the first time I saw Violet Crumble, I read it as Violent Crumble.  So, Violent Crumble stuck.  In my fantasy world, the Violent Femmes’ favorite candy is Violent Crumble.

This honeyed treat is very good on its own. It’s also very sticky…especially if there is any humidity in the air.  The solution?  Cover it in chocolate (because, isn’t the solution to many of life’s problems the addition of chocolate?).

Baking is a world of uniformity.  Uniform shapes, precise measurements, attempts at symmetry.  I think this is why I love the decidedly un-uniform (does that make it “iform”) shapes the honeycomb makes.

Once the chocolate has set, these will keep in a cool place for a month or so.

Totally fun to make.  Even more fun to eat.

Since it happens to be October, and since October happens to be the month of Halloween, I thought I’d go with a candy theme for the first three weeks.  I realize that attempting to hand out homemade candy to trick-or-treaters would probably end in incarceration for most of us–so let it be known I’m not suggesting using any of these recipes on trick-or-treaters.  But…I bet you can think of a few ghosts and goblins who might enjoy some treats form your cauldron.

If you like this, you might like these

Toffee (insert your favorite nut)

Soundtrack

The Cure.  You thought I was going to say the Violent Femmes didn’t you?

Honeycomb Candy

Adapted from Gail Gand, Foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda, sifted
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 TBS shortening

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, gently combine the sugar and water then add the honey and corn syrup.
  2. Boil until lightly gold colored and the sugar looks like light caramel (if using a candy thermometer, heat to 300 degrees).
  3. Add the baking soda and with a wooden spoon, stir in gently. It will foam up a lot.
  4. Pour the mixture onto a silpat or a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan, and let cool. Break into pieces.
  5. Over a double boiler (or using a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water), add chocolate chips and shortening. Using a rubber spatula, fold gently until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  6. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  7. One-at-a-time, drop honeycomb pieces into melted chocolate.  Using the back of a fork, quickly pull the candy out of the chocolate, let extra chocolate drip back into the pan.  Using a second fork, gently slide candy off of first fork and on to a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  8. Let set.  Store in airtight container in a cool, dry place.

 

 

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