I made honeycomb on Thursday for the third time. Both previous attempts were made last year when we lived in halls of residence on campus, and were, as a friend would say, of questionable merit. The first time the sugar burned (the electric hobs took hours to cool down, so when I attempted to turn it off after the temperature needed for a 'rapid boil', it just kept on cooking. Cue making the whole of Runnymede JK smell of burned sugar. Still managed not to set the fire alarm off though, for which people should be thankful.). The second time I was overly cautious and it wasn't quite cooked enough.
They always say it's third time lucky though.
I followed Lorraine Pascale's recipe because Zosia has her cookbook, but Nigella has a nice looking one too. Neither of them make loads, but that's probably a good thing as far as my teeth are concerned.
Ingredients (to fill a 20cm tin):
- 80g/3oz butter
- 160g/5½oz caster sugar
- 80g/3oz golden syrup
- 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1. Grease the tin with vegetable oil (any flavourless oil is fine). The best way to do this is to pour in about a tablespoon and then use a pastry brush to distribute it and make sure there's no excess.
2. Gently heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large heavy-based frying pan until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Turn up the heat and boil rapidly, WITHOUT stirring. Make sure the flames aren't licking up the sides of the pan, and if the mixture goes darker at one side then swirl the pan. Do this until it turns a golden-brown 'honeycomb' colour - Lorraine Pascale says this will take about 5 minutes, but I'd say it's more like 3-4. Don't let it go too dark or it will catch and become acrid, and no one wants that.
4. Add the bicarb and stir rapidly for a few seconds, then pour it into the oiled tin and leave to set. I tend to make mine in the evening, so it sets overnight. When it's all firm, you get to smash it up. I've found a really good one for this is our knife sharpener, but you could bash it with the end of a rolling pin or just about anything.
You can add it to puddings, or just put it in a tin and bring it along with you to watch the fireworks tomorrow. With a flask of tea. Or Baileys hot chocolate. I know what I'll be doing...