I don't know who's happier when I make these crunchy, airy treats - my dentist or me. It's easy and fun to make, as long as you get the temperature just right. My favourite part is adding the bicarb soda, which seems part science part magic - watch in awe as the caramel rapidly transforms into a puffy, golden cloud of honeycomb.
Line a deep sided oven tray with baking paper and put it next to the stove.
Combine all the ingredients in a deep sided, heavy based saucepan. Make sure the pan is a lot bigger than is required to hold the ingredients; because once you add the bicarb soda all that hot bubbling caramel will double in size- not the type of thing you want over flowing into the kitchen!
Heat the mix over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Take a wet pastry brush and brush down any sugar crystals from the sides of the pot, now turn up the heat and don't stir until the caramel has just about reached the hard crack stage.
You can determine this one of two ways. Firstly, you can use a sugar thermometer and wait until it reaches just under 150C or you can keep a glass of water close by then drop a little caramel into the glass. If it solidifies into shards that can then be easily cracked you're in business.
Remove the pot from the heat, put the pan into a pan of cold water and allow the bubbling caramel to calm down for a second.
Then add the bicarb soda, stirring vigorously with a spatula as you do to ensure that it's evenly mixed through- stand back and enjoy the caramel volcano show. Then transfer the airy, golden mass to the lined tray and allow to cool completely.
While the honeycomb cools melt the chocolate in a mixing bowl that is set over a pot of gently simmering water.
To serve, smash the cooled honeycomb into bite sized shards and then dip them in the melted chocolate. Set them on a tray lined with baking paper and allow the chocolate to set. Enjoy by themselves or for a naughty dessert smash up the pieces even more and sprinkle over some chocolate ice cream.
Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)
Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
This recipe can be found in the River Cottage Australia cookbook.
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