Honeycomb without golden syrup! Just some basic ingredients for gorgeous sugary goodness!
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- 300g caster sugar
- 100g soft brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons of brown vinegar
- 3 tea spoons bicarbonate of soda
- 100g butter
- Put both sugars, vinegar and butter into a pan.
- Put on high heat, stirring continuously.
- Once all is mixed in (will look like a sugary fluidy mix but fairly smooth) leave to boil (2-4 minutes).
- Once it starts bubbling, mix again and leave to simmer (medium heat) for about 5 minutes.
- Once it has risen slightly and bubbled in the pan, add the bicarb and quickly mix.
- Then transfer into trays lined with greaseproof paper (keep mixing as you pour)
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes in trays.
- Remove from trays and put out on greaseproof paper until cool.
- Break into as many pieces or crumbly bits as you desire!
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Honeycomb, also known as cinder toffee, is a classic confection. Sweet with a deep crunch and a slight saltiness, it’s been a British favourite for decades. However, it’s got a reputation for being tricky to make, with a lot of care required to create a caramel and then need for speed once you’ve chucked the bicarb into the pan. But follow these straightforward steps and you’ll end up with perfect honeycomb every time.
How to make honeycomb
What size should your honeycomb be?
A deep 20cm tin is ideal as the high sides prevent the mixture from spreading outwards, helping it stay puffed.
How do you prepare honeycomb?
Have the tin lined, all the ingredients weighed out and a sugar thermometer to hand. Once the sugar starts cooking you’ll need to keep an eye on it and once it reaches the desired temperature you’ll need everything to hand to work quickly to get the best results.
How do you create the caramel?
Water and golden syrup make the caramel much more stable – the sugar can dissolve in these and then caramelise evenly as the water evaporates, which means the mixture can be stirred without it crystallising.
How hot should the honeycomb be?
The reason for taking the sugar to 140C is because at this point the mixture achieves a perfect balance between caramelisation and bitterness.
Why do you use bicarbonate of soda?
Adding bicarbonate of soda causes a chemical reaction in the pan, creating a burst of carbon dioxide gas, which forms bubbles in the mixture. As the sugar reaches ‘crack’ stage, its strong structure will trap these bubbles as it cools.
You need to whisk in the bicarb briskly to distribute it throughout the sugar, but also briefly so you don’t knock out the air bubbles before you tip the mixture into the tin.
How do you cool honeycomb?
Putting the honeycomb into a warm oven means it will cool slowly – this should prevent it from collapsing, allowing it to set and harden before it deflates.
How do you store honeycomb?
Keeping the honeycomb in an airtight container will keep it crunchy for longer – it prevents moisture in the air getting to the honeycomb, which would start to dissolve the sugar, making it softer.
For many years I’ve made cookies for the holidays. Lots and lots of cookies. For gifts, for parties, sometimes just to have around the house. To keep it interesting, I might tweak the recipes or change up the varieties. Fun, yes, but even tradition can get a little boring after a while. Which is why I decided to switch things up this season and give candy a try.
My experience with homemade candy before now had been rather limited. I’d made lollipops once or twice and had tried my hand at marshmallows and divinity. But pulled sugar — like individually wrapped taffy bites and those beautiful handmade candy canes — always seemed a bit beyond me.
So I decided to start simple, with honeycomb candy, which is relatively easy and straightforward to make. Taffy is a bit more involved — the sugar needs to be pulled and stretched to incorporate air, making a lighter, chewier candy. Candy canes take practice because the sugar needs to be handled while it is still extremely hot.
Allow yourself plenty of time — and patience. Sugar work is not easy and will take time to master. Likewise, flavoring extracts will vary in intensity, and it may take a few batches to get the balance just right. But even the mistakes are (almost always) edible.
Honeycomb candy: Combine granulated sugar, honey and corn syrup with a little water and cook to a temperature of 300 degrees (also called “hard crack” stage), then whisk in a little baking soda. The baking soda reacts with the acid in the honey, bubbling up and leavening the sugar much as it does cookies and cakes. Stand back as the sugar bubbles — it will easily increase three to four times its original volume — then pour it onto a prepared baking sheet or pan to cool. Finally, break it into edible pieces and dip them in melted chocolate to seal the candy for a longer shelf life (sugar is hygroscopic and draws moisture from the air sugar candy can become sticky if left out too long).
Taffy: The method is similar at first, heating sugar, corn syrup and water. A little cornstarch is also added to smooth out the texture of the taffy. Cook the sugar to 255 degrees (“hard ball” stage — some recipes call for a higher temperature, but this works better for me), whisk in a little butter and flavoring, then carefully pour the mixture out onto a prepared, heat-proof surface and set it aside until it’s cool enough to handle without burning your hands. Add some food coloring if you’d like, then begin to pull the taffy — stretching, folding, and stretching the taffy again and again.
Candy canes: Cook sugar, corn syrup and water to a temperature of 290 degrees (“soft crack” stage). Add flavoring and pour the sugar onto a prepared surface. And where you let the taffy cool a bit before pulling, the sugar for candy canes needs to be pulled while it’s hot. Hot sugar is dangerous it burns easily and can become a sticky mess. You’ll need heat-resistant “sugar gloves” to pull the sugar, and you’ll need to work fast to aerate the sugar before it cools too much. (As sugar cools, it hardens and becomes brittle — if this happens, placing the candy in a warm oven will make it malleable.)
How To Make HoneycombBen, So Vegan Waaaaait just a minute, how can honeycomb be vegan? We asked that same question. Well this isn’t actually ‘honeycomb’. This is essentially&hellip Print This
- 50ml / 1.7fl.oz water
- 80g / 2.8oz golden syrup (or corn syrup)
- 150g / 5.3oz caster sugar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda / baking soda
- 70% dark chocolate, for dipping (optional)
Wongsters Honeycomb recipe - Recipes
- 2 cups (400g) sugar
- ½ cup (164g) light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons (50g) honey
- ¼ cup (56ml) water
- 2 teaspoons (8ml) vanilla
- 1 tablespoon (20g) baking soda, sifted
- Flaky salt, for garnish
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (235ml) hot water
- 1 cup + 2 ½ tablespoons (160g) bread flour
- ¾ teaspoon (3g) baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon (5g) baking soda
- ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (125g) sweetened condensed milk
- 4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 5 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Make the Honeycomb Toffee: Line a 9"x9" baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar, corn syrup, honey and water.
- Stir to combine, then attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot (or have an instant-read thermometer ready).Without stirring, let the mixture boil until it reaches 300˚F (150˚C), about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla and baking soda. Quickly and carefully whisk to combine--as you do, the mixture will rapidly bubble and expand. Do not overmix, only about 5 seconds total so as to not deflate the mix.
- Use a spatula to carefully transfer the mix into the prepared baking dish, then lightly sprinkle all over with flaky salt. Leave the pan, undisturbed, to cool completely and set, about 2 hours.
- Once set, peel the parchment paper off the toffee and crack it between your hands (or use the butt of a knife handle) to break into large chunks. Continue to break it up into bite-size pieces, reserving any of the small bits that break off as well. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Make the Honeycomb Cake: Prepare an ice bath. Place the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Shake the pot to spread the sugar then do not touch it, and let the sugar melt and caramelize. This may take a while so be patient, up to 10-15 minutes. Once all sugar has dissolved and has an amber color, add half of the hot water and stir to combine, being careful as the sugar will bubble and spit. Add the rest of the water and stir to combine. Transfer to a bowl and place that bowl in the ice bath to chill quickly.
- In a medium bowl, combine pastry flour, baking powder and soda, then set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla extract. Add in condensed milk and whisk to combine.
- Sift in the flour mixture, then whisk until smooth, followed by the melted butter. Pour in the chilled sugar syrup and whisk to combine. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl, then cover and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Once the hour is almost up, preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Line an 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pan with parchment paper and grease both the parchment and sides of the pan set aside. When the batter has rested, whisk briefly again to combine and pour into the prepared cake pan.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the cake is no longer jiggly in the center, and the top has domed and is a dark golden brown color. A cake tester or toothpick should come out clean. Cool the cake completely before inverting the pan to remove.
- While the cake cools, make the Honey Whipped Cream: Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to soft peaks, about 1-2 minutes with a hand mixer or 3-5 minutes by hand. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, no more than 1-2 hours.
- Once the cake has cooled, slice into wedges and serve, topping with a dollop of honey whipped cream and a smattering of the toffee crumbles. Leftovers can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- For the honeycomb toffee, make sure to use a large enough pot as the mixture will almost triple in size when you add the baking soda.
- For a more striking presentation, flip the cake upside down after it cools and use a sharp knife to trim about ⅛-inch to reveal the honeycomb pattern. Mix a splash of sweetened condensed milk with regular milk or water and whisk to make a thin glaze. Use a pastry brush to spread a thin layer of the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it seep into the tiny holes. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.
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I Made the TikTok Honeycomb Pasta Cake, and You Know What? It's Delicious!
You don't have to be a queen bee to appreciate the beauty of the honeycomb that's blowing up TikTok right now. The amazing honeycomb pasta cake tastes as delicious as it looks, with soft rigatoni noodles, warm Italian sauce, and three kinds of cheese that melt in your mouth. It's a fun recipe that's visually pleasing and bursting with flavor with every bite. Serve this honeycomb pasta with salad and a glass of wine for the perfect dinner! Everything you need to know to make this recipe yourself can be found below. Don't forget to take a picture of the pretty honeycomb design.
This recipe calls for rigatoni pasta, mozzarella cheese balls, shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded parmesan, tomato sauce, olive oil, and optional basil leaves.
Boil pasta, being sure to drain the noodles two minutes before the recommended time.
Line the sides of a cake pan with oil, and spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.
Mix the rigatoni with olive oil.
Line up the rigatoni in the pan tightly.
Spread tomato sauce over the top of the noodles.
Top with shredded mozzarella, mozzarella balls, and shredded parmesan.
Cover with foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
4. Butternut Squash, Sage & Walnut Honeycomb Cannelloni
I know we’re just barely in spring, but pasta dishes are year-round so we want to share an autumn version of this recipe as well. If you love bundling up in the colder months and eating pasta, then this recipe is for you. It uses a butternut squash-infused ricotta mixed with onion, sage, garlic, and whole cubes of roasted butternut squash, that’s then piped into the rigatoni. And if that doesn’t sound amazing enough, the accompanying sauce is mascarpone with nutmeg and parmesan – delicious!
Get the full recipe and directions from BBC Food
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YUM! This is a delicious take on a Margarita!
So you didn’t say how much of the syrup mixture goes into the alcohol.
That depends on how large is the glass and how much you want to add. It is a personal choice. If you watch the video will be more clear.
This looks absolutely gorgeous, and delicious. Awesome post!
I wish I had a glass right now.
Perfect for Christmas! Love the sound of this!
I’m Adriana, a Latina food writer born in Mexico. I am specialized in recipe development using fresh and seasonal ingredients. The inspiration behind my recipes is based on the culinary culture of Mexico and influenced by the Mediterranean cuisine and grilling which is one of my passions. Welcome to my Kitchen! Read More…
What are pea shoots?
As it sounds, pea shoots come from the pea plant. They’re the early growth that appears before the pea plant matures. You’ll find them starting to appear in early spring at farmers markets and specialty grocery stores.
Pea shoots have a delicate stem a few inches long with a few baby leaves, as seen in the top right of the below photo. They’re perfect for this pea shoots salad recipe because they add a subtle, fresh pea flavor.
To store pea shoots, wrap them in an ever-so-slightly moist paper towel and keep them in your fridge crisper until you’re ready to use. Make sure to use them in a few days because just like the window in which they’re available, pea shoots don’t last long once harvested!
‘Honeycomb Pasta’ Is The Latest Viral Food Trend
Trigger warning: If you have trypophobia (fear of clustered holes) this viral TikTok recipe may not be for you.
One of the trending TikTok recipe sensations to emerge recently is “honeycomb pasta.” If you’re thinking this is a gooey, honey dessert, you’re wrong. The baked pasta pie is gooey, but it gets its name from the honeycomb pattern formed from tubular pasta packed together upright in a springform pan.
The honeycomb pasta is then stuffed with cheese, covered in sauce, meat and more cheese, and then baked. After popping it out of the oven, the honeycomb pasta is released from the springform pan to reveal a congealed noodle pie.
Variations on this stuffed pasta bake or pasta pie have been around for a while. But the so-called honeycomb pasta seems to have started trending on TikTok in the last few months.
Sweet Portfolio’s Valentina Mussi posted her version on Instagram in December 2018, reposting it in April 2020. She revived it for TikTok in February, adding more cheese along the way. Mussi calls it “honeycomb rigatoni pasta cake” but penne and ziti can be swapped in as the tube pasta.
After TikToker Anna Rothfuss (@bananalovesyoutoo) posted her take on the recipe on March 29, honeycomb pasta really seemed to take off. This might be because her recipe was controversial for using string cheese and Prego sauce (two things that riled up Italian food traditionalists).
Some commenters on Rothfuss’ video called this “vertical manicotti,” “tubular lasagna” or a spin on baked ziti. Others offered suggestions on how to improve the dish like adding spinach, ricotta, chicken or fresh tomato sauce.
There are lots of variations on the honeycomb pasta dish already posted on TikTok.
DeLallo Foods made a spicier version using Italian sausage, extra sauce, mozzarella and red pepper flakes.
HelloWonderful’s honeycomb pasta cake puts the sauce on top of the noodles before various cheeses, which seems like it would save a lot of time you’d otherwise spend stuffing the individual pasta tubes.
YWM Family stuffed their rigatoni with basil and mozzarella, which looks pretty tasty.
Matt Ramsey (@cookerofdeliciousness) layered pepperoni and halved meatballs on top of his string cheese-stuffed noodles plus sauce. He then put dollops of ricotta and mozzarella above that.
The Hunger Diaries made a fancy Greek “pasticcio” twist on the honeycomb pasta dish that looks pretty complicated but so creamy and decadent.
One of The Hunger Diaries’ commenters suggested she make a dessert version of this with chocolate pasta stuffed with strawberries and chocolate, and the social media chef thought it was a great idea.
Whether you think putting string cheese and premade pasta sauce in honeycomb pasta is an offense to Italian cooking or a creative take on the dish, it’s fun to see all the spins on yummy comfort food.
As Food52 put it, “This pasta cake proves that though bucking convention might leave some a bit bewildered, there’s always room for a little experimentation.”