Recipe: Chocolate honeycomb

Last week, I found myself in the only slightly terrifying position of having to make a handmade secret santa gift for the editor of a craft magazine. Gulp.

Usually, in times of crisis, I find myself in the kitchen. Bodging about, I flicked through books and pondered what might make a simple gift with a bit of pizazz. Here is what I came up with.

I cannot express quite how straightforward this is; despite the melting sugar aspect of things, it's just three ingredients, one pan, and takes around 5 minutes. Really, if you're after a speedy, greedy gift then this might just be the answer to your prayers. 

You will need:
100g caster sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup, honey or maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g dark chocolate
Baking tray, lined with parchment/baking paper

Step one:
Weigh the caster sugar and syrup/honey into a pan and mix together.

Step two:
Set over a medium heat. Don't stir, just gently melt the two together and keep a beady eye on what's taking place in your pan - it shouldn't burn or turn too dark.

Step three:
Once melted, which should take around three minutes, you're ready to add the bicarb. (If you're that way inclined, use a sugar thermometer to check you've reached 160 degrees or - fnarrr - somewhere around the hard crack area.)

Step four:
Off the heat, mix in the bicarb with a wooden spoon. It will bubble and rise up like lava - this is what gives honeycomb its bubbly, aerated texture - so work fast, and pour immediately into a small, baking paper-lined tray.

Step five:
Leave the honeycomb to cool, which takes around half an hour (depending on the temperature of your room). Once cool, bash it up into shards.

Step six:
Melt the chocolate, either in a double pan or in the microwave for around 90 seconds, in 30 second bursts.

Step seven:
Dip the pieces of honeycomb into the melted chocolate - this quantity is just enough to half coat each piece, so use 200g if you want to fully coat yours - and place back on baking paper to set.

Step eight:
Store in an airtight container (I like Weck jars as they are both functional and look good). Whatever you do, keep it away from moisture. Add a little festive sparkle with a glittery gold ribbon to match the golden treats within.

Chocolate honeycomb should keep for around two weeks, making it an even-more-perfect, perfect present.
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