Happy 2019 Everyone!!!
I hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe start to the new year.
As I sit here and try to find the words to post for the new day, in the new week, of the new month of this new year...I sit staring blankly at my screen. I want to share recipes the first of each month, but choosing one of anything for me is a challenge.
So, after pondering on this long and hard, I have decided to post a recipe of allergy friendly HONEYCOMB CANDY. I know, I know... I know what most of you are thinking, "Candy?!?! What? How is that healthy? How will this motivate me to eat more healthy in 2019?"
And this is a very valid question. I guess my answer is this:
Not all candy and treat gorging has to be AWFUL for you. If you choose to make this recipe, it is not your typical sweet fill that you're used to...with additives, food dyes and colorings, manipulated sugars that are foreign and hard to digest in your body, etc... This candy is delicious and fights those sweet cravings without all the junk that you're used to when biting into name brand candies.
This candy contains 5 ingredients total (4 if you choose to eat it without chocolate, but let's not fool each other...who really leaves out the chocolate?)
The next time you are grocery shopping, I encourage you to look at the back of your candy package you're about to impulse buy, and read the ingredients. I guarantee you will find yourself trying to pronounce several words, or at least will be thinking, "Hey I could pronounce that! ...but I don't know what it means."
With my honeycomb recipe, you can pronounce all the ingredients and you probably have most of them already in your pantry.
Candy making requires a fancy candy thermometer, and it really is worth it to have on hand to make your process easier, since you have to watch the temperature carefully.
When I tried making candy for the first time with a standard kitchen thermometer, I found myself burning my hand from the steam...no fun. Most standard thermometers don't even reach a high enough temperature to make candy.
Because I know firsthand that money doesn't grow on trees, I asked around and one of my friends lent me his candy thermometer - Thanks again, Christian!
So let's get to it!
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Large Pot (candy mixture will rise 3x its size once baking soda is added!)
Brush (to brush off crystalized sugar on inner edges of large pot)
Bowl of water (for dipping brush into - mentioned above)
Silicon/Rubber spoon or spatula
Baking Sheet/Pan (size depends on how you want it to come out - for thinner honey comb use a standard-sized baking sheet, for thicker use 8x8 pan)
Parchment Paper or SilPat mat
1 1/4 cup granulated cane sugar (I use cane sugar for best results)
1/2 cup honey (I use raw, unfiltered and local to help with allergies)
1/4 cup water (I use filtered water for tastiest results)
1 teaspoon GF vanilla
1 tablespoon baking soda (I use aluminum free for best results)
2 (9 oz.) bags of Enjoy Life Dark Morsels (chocolate chips)
Touch of Sea Salt (I use Pink Himalayan Salt for yummiest results)
1. Get all materials prepped (meaning, put them all in arms length reach in your kitchen around the stove) and ingredients measured and ready to go. This recipe goes pretty quick towards the end, and the more you have prepared, the smoother it will go. I like to have a helper for the last step, but it's not required.
2. Place sugar, honey, and water into your pot on Medium-High heat. I use my silicon spatula to mix them up until they're all blended, then stop touching it all together!
3. This is the waiting game, so patience is a virtue....but you can do it! I add my thermometer to the pot at this point and let 'er bubble up to 300°F - once the mixture reaches 280°F, stay on your toes, because it goes quickly! I also brush the inner sides of the pot using my brush and water to get rid of any sugar crystals that form. Be mindful that you're not adding too much water to the mixture because this will make the mixture stickier when it comes out to cool.
4. Once your mixture hits 300°F shut off the heat (on occasion I leave my pot over heated element to continue to cook the mixture, which makes it a little more caramelized, but you can also take it off the heat altogether to stop the cooking process) and whisk in the vanilla.
5. Quickly, but carefully add the baking soda and whisk that puppy up! Once the mixture stops foaming (10-15 seconds) immediately pour the mixture into your cooling pan (covered with parchment paper or silpat mats). This is helpful with two people - one person holds the pot and the other person scrapes out the candy with silicon spatula.
6. Let mixture cool completely for 1-2 hours. Break up the hardened candy by using the heal of a knife or a blunt force object. There is not a pretty way to break it evenly, so whacking it into chunks is the way to go.
(8x8 pan lined with parchment paper)
(standard baking sheet with silpat mat)
EAT WHEN FRESH FOR BEST CRUNCH - or immediately seal it in an airtight jar -it may last for 1-2 weeks until it becomes soggy. Any moisture will make it soggy, so avoid putting it in the refrigerator (unless you have covered it in chocolate and stored in an airtight container).
I like to cover mine in tempered chocolate, which preserves the shelf life to about 1 month in an airtight jar or container.
If you're tight on time like me, you can just melt the chocolate. In this case, I harden the chocolate in the refrigerator and store it in the refrigerator - if you leave it out that's when splotches occur. It is still edible, but doesn't look as pretty. If you're giving as a gift, then tempering your chocolate may be the best way to go.
To learn how to temper chocolate CLICK HERE - They walk you through the science behind tempering chocolate, which is cool within itself!
Covering HoneyComb Candy in melted chocolate:
1. Heat up 2 bags of Enjoy Life brand Dark Morsels (chocolate chips) on a double-broiler method. This method, plus stirring frequently, will heat the chocolate evenly and slowly, so it does not burn.
2. Once the chocolate is melted, coat your honeycomb chunks - I use two forks and shake-off the excess before setting it on parchment paper (which lies upon a cooling rack).
3. Lastly, I sprinkle the chocolate-covered honeycomb with pink Himalayan sea salt before immediately storing it in the refrigerator to let it harden. Having multiple-stacking cooling racks makes it easy to store in the refrigerator, while the chocolate hardens (20-30 mins).
4. Once harden store in airtight jars/containers.
5. ENJOY and spread the love if you can help it!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and candy as much as me, my friends and my family do.
It is a process, but overall it is easy and very impressive.
Please comment and share your honeycomb with us!
We would love to see what you make.