In Joanne Chang’s book Pastry Love, she offers a good array of candy recipes in her “I Made This for You” chapter as gift ideas. Included is what she calls “Christopher’s Honeycomb,” in reference to her husband and his sweet tooth. It is hard to find honeycomb candy in New York, so much so that my grandmother used to send it from Canada to my dad because he liked it so much as a kid. I decided that if Chang can give me secret to making it myself, I never have to worry about trying to buy it here for my dad ever again. And she succeeds! Her recipe has the telltale airy crunch and flavor, using simple ingredients and a straight-forward method. She also includes good instructions on how to quickly temper chocolate by the seeding method, without a thermometer which is an added plus. I adjusted the instructions slightly from her book to reduce the verbiage, but the method is exactly the same. Check out the book review posted previously here!
Makes 6-8 generous servings
- 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (118 grams) water
- 1 cup (328 grams) light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 ounces (170 grams) milk chocolate
Make the Honeycomb:
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water and stir to entirely moisten the sugar. Add the corn syrup and place the saucepan over high heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Don’t stir the pot as it boils, as it could trigger crystallization.
- After 6 to 8 minutes, the mixture will start to caramelize and it is safe to swirl the syrup to even out the color. As soon as the syrup is a pale tan, take it off the heat.
- Sprinkle the baking soda evenly across the mixture and add the vanilla. Immediately start whisking vigorously to combine. It will bubble and foam and turn darker.
- While it is still foamy, quickly pour the honeycomb mixture onto the sheet pan and resist the urge to spread it, as that will deflate the bubbles. Let the honeycomb sit at room temperature until cool and hard, about 30 minutes.
Temper the Chocolate:
- Chop the milk chocolate finely and add about 2/3 of it in bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the chocolate from time to time until it is melted. Alternatively, you can microwave the chocolate in 20 second intervals, stirring to melt evenly.
- Once the chocolate is melted, add the rest of the chopped chocolate and stir slowly until it is all melted. The temperature of the chocolate should be just under body temperature. The best way to test is to place a little bit of chocolate right underneath your lip and if you can’t feel it or it is a bit cool, it is perfect. If it still feels warm, add a little more chopped chocolate to cool.
- Spread the chocolate evenly across the surface of the honeycomb and let set about 1 hour to room temperature. Once the chocolate is set, break the honeycomb into irregular 2-inch sized pieces. It can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 months.