Shards of sweetness.
What’s your favorite type of candy? Is it chocolate, (or not), chewy, sour, salty, or hard? If it’s called candy I like it.
My mother always made the best pecan brittle and I remember watching her make it during the holidays. She would roast the pecans that she had picked up out of our yard, cook the sugar mixture until it was just the right temperature and then throw in some baking soda. That was my favorite part; I loved seeing it foam up and almost spill over the pan right before she would pour it up onto a buttered cookie sheet to cool and then be broken into pieces for either us to eat or go to a friend in need of some sweets.
Some recipes call this candy toffee, sponge toffee or cinder toffee; whatever you call it I think you will enjoy the amazing taste from this quick to make confection. I’m not really sure how it differs from a brittle but it isn’t nearly as hard to eat. My first attempt was using light corn syrup but then I wanted to try a recipe using honey. I couldn’t really tell the difference and in my third batch I used 2 tablespoons of syrup and the rest of the 1/2 cup filled with honey.
However you decide to make this, dip a few pieces in chocolate and sprinkle with a little flaked sea salt. My first attempt which was wonderful was from Buzzfeed but I chose to try A Cozy Kitchen’s version for the blog.
When we were in Austin back in August we had our 47th anniversary dinner at Barley Swine and did their chef tasting menu. One of our desserts (we had three bite size ones) was a ice cream with fennel honeycomb broken on top. I’d never tasted honeycomb, especially with fennel flavor and this one bite dessert got me wanting to discover how to make this airy treat. The fennel added an interesting flavor and maybe for a restaurant that does things out of the ordinary that’s fine but most people will love this plain version.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Bacon and Eggs (candy that is) anyone? These are so cute you can’t resist eating a few.
Mix the sugar and syrup (and/or honey) together.
Cook mixture, stirring only a few times until it reaches 300°.
Sift the baking soda and have ready to add to the cooked sugar mixture.
As soon as the mixture reaches 300° remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. It will get really foamy.
Have a sheet pan or baking dish lined with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray. When candy is ready to pour up, pour quickly over the sheet, let it smooth out on its own, don’t spread it out.
After the candy has cooled and harden for about 15-20 minutes, use a small hammer or mallet and break up in small pieces.
I dipped about half of my shards into melted chocolate chips then sprinkled with a tiny bit of sea salt.
Set in refrigerator for about 10 minutes to harden chocolate. Then pack in air tight container.
I used some of the shards to decorate my Halloween cupcakes.
- 1 Tbsp. baking soda, sifted
- 1 1/4 c. white granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. light Karo corn syrup*
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted, optional
- 2 Tbsp. fine sea salt, optional for sprinkling on chocolate
- Sift the baking soda and set aside. This really makes a difference according to A Cozy Kitchen
- Gather all your ingredients and supplies. Line a baking sheet with parchment and have it close by. Also use a silicon spatula for this recipe.
- In a large pot (I like to use a 5-quart Dutch oven), pour in the sugar, honey and salt. Heat the sugar mixture to 295 degrees F, about 3 minutes, (mine took maybe 10 minutes to reach 295-300°) stirring it with a silicon spatula to ensure even caramelization. During this time it'll turn an autumn-like brown.
- Turn off the heat and then immediately add mix the vanilla extract and baking soda. The mixture will foam up quite a bit, continue stirring until the baking soda completely dissolves. Quickly pour the honeycomb mixture onto a sheet of parchment. Allow it to cool completely before touching it, about 2 minutes.
- Wait about 10 minutes before attempting to break it apart to make sure it has set. Break the honeycomb apart and transfer to an airtight container.
- If you want some of it dipped in chocolate, melt about 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips slowly in a microwave. Stir until it has melted. Dip the edge of the broken honeycomb shards in the chocolate and sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt.
- This is wonderful as is but is great sprinkled in a milkshake, on top of ice cream or use as garnish on a chocolate cake.
- What I did the third time I made this was to put 2 tablespoons of honey in the 1/2 cup and then finish filling it with Karo syrup. You can try all honey or all Karo corn syrup.