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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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
- 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!)