Gourmet crunchy bars

I am probably the only person in the world who likes making caramel.

I find it quite exciting, especially when the difference between perfect and burnt caramel is only a matter of seconds.

The following recipe makes a load of mini crunchy bars and is the perfect treat for sugar fiends.

Recipe (inspired by Citrusandcandy.com)

Ingredients:

  • 80 ml honey/golden syrup (honey gives the caramel a distinctive smokey flavour)
  • 20 ml water
  • 120 grams white caster sugar
  • 100 grams golden caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda (make sure it is fresh, otherwise the honeycomb will not rise as much)
  • 150 grams sea-salt dark chocolate (I used Montezuma’s Chocolate Sea Dog Bar)

Method:

  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment
  • Put the honey, water and sugar into a deep saucepan
  • Warm on the lowest heat setting, stirring occasionally from the sides inwards to ensure there are no lumps of un-melted sugar
  • Keep on cooking until the mixture becomes a deep amber colour (usually 7-8 minutes)

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  • Make sure you keep a watch on the mixture as perfect caramel can become burnt sugar in a matter of seconds. If you are unsure, use a thermometer and cook till exactly 150°C
  • Remove from the heat, pour in the baking soda and whisk frantically. You now have honeycomb!
  • Pour the honeycomb onto the pre-lined baking parchment and allow to cool. DO NOT TOUCH the honeycomb until it has fully cooled

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  • Chuck the saucepan and whisk into the sink and cover with warm soapy water immediately to allow for easy cleaning
  • In the meantime, use a bain-marie and temper the chocolate. For dark chocolate, you need to melt the chocolate in the bain-marie, cool it to 27°C and then re-heat it to exactly 32°C (credit to Poppy Smadja for the lesson in tempering chocolate!). Remove from the heat immediately and smother the cooled honeycomb in the tempered chocolate
  • Once the chocolate has hardened (5 minutes or so), break up the crunchy bar with your hands (it is very therapeutic!)

Enjoy!

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