I was at home recently and after a conversation with my wife decided to make some Honeycomb, or cinder toffee as she calls it. I'd never made it before and as an Irish person that closest you're going to get to this is a Crunchie bar unless you had someone to make it for you as a kid.
I looked up some recipes online and mixed and matched them to come up with my recipe. The first time I attempted it, it didn't turn out all that well, as the sugar I used was a little too dark and I neglected to use my sugar thermometer to keep tabs on the temperature and in the end the toffee was close to burned with an unpleasant bitter flavour. Not to be disheartened I tried again a few days later and it turned out great, this time I even went and covered the whole lot in chocolate which takes it to a whole new level of deliciousness.
Cinder Toffee in chocolate.
250g caster sugar
110g golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp bicarb of soda
chocolate, I used lidl dark for the adults and some lidl milk chocolate for my three year old.
Sugar thermometer. It's very helpful to have one when working with sugar, although not necessary if you know how to judge hard from soft crack using a glass of water, read up on it if you wish.
Start off by lining a tray of some description, I used an oven tray, with greaseproof paper and then oil it gently, if you have some spray oil that's best. Set the lined tray aside.
It's an easy enough recipe, combine all the ingredients, except the chocolate, in a saucepan add the thermometer and then boil the mixture without stirring, (REALLY DON'T STIR IT, YOU'LL RUIN IT) you want to get it to the hard crack stage (154c) and then take it off the heat.
Once you have done this you then need to get it close to the lined tray and add the Bicarb, mix it in well but don't go crazy with stirring, once you see it's puffed up as much as it will then pour it into the tray.
If you overwork it once it's had the bicarb added you will knock the air out of it, so rather less stirring than too much or you'll end up with a very hard end product with no bubbles in it.
Once it's all been poured into the tray then don't touch it again or it'll collapse.
Set it aside to cool.
Once cooled throw a tea towel over the top of the tray to keep everything in there and then whack the lot with a rolling pin, my three year old loved this part of helping.
Pour that lot out into another container. It's ready now if you wish to eat it plain, but I like it with chocolate on it, so on to that preparation.
Put some greaseproof paper on a cake rack and set it aside.
Add some chocolate to a double boiler, I use a pyrex bowl over a pot of water, don't let the bowl touch the water, and melt the chocolate.
Once melted simply dip the toffee into the chocolate and then put it on the rack to cool, it's best if you can stick it in the fridge after a few minutes to cool it properly and allow the chocolate to get properly firm.
Once cooled it's ready to go. I pack it in jars similar to Mason jars and put it in the fridge to keep.
The toffee has a huge affinity for water, so if you leave it out and exposed it will start to absorb atmospheric water and will effectively melt into a messy stain of sticky toffee, so deal with it within a half an hour of making by getting it into some airtight container for storage.