I have been a pastry chef for over 20 years, and I reckon my greatest creation could be this. Three ingredients — milk chocolate, popcorn, and honeycomb chunks – is all it takes to make the most addictive sweet treat ever. I sell absolutely loads of this in my shop; it’s my biggest-selling confectionery item by far. Make this and take it to the cinema for the best movie snack ever.
Simple to make, this honeycomb is addictive. The recipe differs from some inferior incarnations — this actually contains honey. You’d be surprised how many don’t!
The recipe calls for checking the temperature with a digital thermometer, but I reckon you can ditch that and cook it by eye after you’ve had practice in making it a few times. You’ll eventually be an expert and get the hang of it, plus it’s hard to correctly get the temperature without overcooking the syrup or getting your hands really hot.
This honeycomb can be packaged as a gift or used by itself or for another recipe.
Makes a decent amount that can be smashed into smaller pieces once cool.
— Darren Purchese, author of Lamingtons & Lemon Tart
Spray a 14-by-10-by-1 1/4-inch baking tray with canola oil and line it with a piece of baking paper cut to size.
Arrange some pieces of honeycomb and popcorn in the tray. Pour most of the chocolate into the tray to cover the honeycomb, the popcorn, and the base of the tray. Tap the tray gently to flatten and even the chocolate.
Stud the tray randomly with the remaining honeycomb and popcorn pieces and flick the remaining chocolate over the top and again tap to flatten.
Leave the rubble to set at cool room temperature for 30 minutes. Place in the refrigerator if necessary for 15 minutes to speed things up.
Break into irregular pieces and store in between pieces of baking paper in a tin or sealed container. This will keep for up to a month if it is kept covered, but I don’t think it will last that long.
Place 50 milliliters (1 3/4 fluid ounces) of water, the honey, glucose, and sugar in an overlarge heavy-based saucepan. (I like to use a cast-iron pan for this, but you can use a sturdy stainless steel one instead.) Ensure the pan is much larger than the volume of the contents, as the mixture will expand later on during cooking.
Line the base and sides of a 8-by-8-by-3 1/4-inch square cake tin with baking paper. Liberally spray the paper with canola oil.
Heat the honey mixture in the pan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Have the bicarbonate of soda at the ready.
Cook the syrup until it starts to color, around 155 degrees C (311 degrees F) on a digital or sugar thermometer. Once the temperature has been reached, turn the heat off, remove any thermometers and mix the syrup using a hand whisk.
Whisk the bicarbonate of soda in well — be careful, as the mixture will now expand furiously up to the top of the saucepan. This mixture is very hot and will burn you badly if you touch it.
Lift the pan carefully and pour the honeycomb into the prepared tin using the whisk to scoop the entire honeycomb out.
Leave the honeycomb to cool for at least 2 hours before breaking it into irregular pieces.
Note: Add hot water to the saucepan on the stove and boil to clean and remove any stuck-on honeycomb residue.
Recipe adapted from Lamingtons & Lemon Tart by Darren Purchese (Hardie Grant, 2017)