homemade honeycomb

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Whoever thought Junk-free June was a clever use of alliteration clearly Hasn’t Had Homemade Honeycomb.

I’m quoting my own Instagram and I was asleep by 8PM on a Friday: these two things paint a rather dismal picture of my mid-twenties. I have made honeycomb (hokey pokey/cinder toffee) once before, over a decade ago, over a bunsen burner. If reliving my high school chemistry days is my way of dealing with a potential quarter life crisis (I’m 25 in less than two weeks), then thank goodness this is actually tasty. Making it in a saucepan over a stovetop certainly lends itself to less of a gas burned beaker vibe, and altogether a more delicious outcome.

Thanks to Planet Science and my poor long term recall, I can divulge the secret of how this treat is made:

The heat of the sugar mixture causes the bicarbonate of soda to break down and release carbon dioxide bubbles. The carbon dioxide bubbles make the sugar mixture expand. When the sugar mixture cools, gaps remain where the carbon dioxide bubbled through the mixture. This gives honeycomb its distinctive texture.

Whatever’s happening, it’s a superb cake decoration and opportunistic treat to nibble from the jar. I was incredibly pleased with the dramatic effect half a batch broken into shards created on top of this cake, and even more so with the amount left over to eat myself. It would also be utterly marvellous covered in chocolate, sprinkled over ice cream or as a component in rocky road.

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chocolate marshmallows

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The only disclaimer I need to preface these with is that OMG they are amazing.

Rich smooth chocolatey taste from dark chocolate + fluffy lightness from marshmallows = the best (gluten free!) treat ever. One batch makes so many you won’t know what to do with them all. Put them in a jar. Save some for yourself and then spread the love.

These are inspired by chocolate marshmallows I had earlier this year at Milse dessert bar in Britomart, Auckland. So inspired I was to make the creation myself that I went out and purchased Valhrona cocoa powder for the expressed purpose. I’ve attempted once before without a sugar thermometer and without heating the syrup and it turned out terribly. Thankfully, my patience with these little lovelies paid off. I’ve eaten enough of them to assure you of that!

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Whittaker’s Creamy Milk chocolate fudge

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Sugar thermometers make the ability to give gifts your command.

Fudge is SO simple with one of these – it takes the guesswork out of heating the sugar, which is 100% the scariest part of making it. I’m so excited to have added this treat to my repertoire of quick treats. It has the perfect smooth but chewy consistency without any hint of grittiness from crystallisation. It also stores well at room temperature and so is perfect for sending away for friend’s birthdays! I would definitely recommend having an occasion planned for this wee one, mainly because it is altogether too easy to consume in vast quantities. Much easier to simply discount the extensive spoon licking and off-cut consuming afterwards as quality control for its final purpose.

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