Often called honeycomb, or just ‘the stuff you get inside a crunchie bar’, cinder toffee is an extra indulgent snack or dessert. Not for those on a diet, the main ingredients are typically brown sugar, syrup and baking soda, sometimes with an acid such as vinegar.
The sponge-like structure is formed while the sugar is liquid, then the toffee sets hard.
The candy goes by a variety of names and regional variants, including honeycomb, sponge toffee or hokey pokey.
It’s quite messy to make and you really have to be quick with it or it solidifies so quickly that you can’t get it out of the pan, so be prepared to work quickly.
It’s easy to make, though you might find some trouble in cleaning your pan afterwards, but soaking in water and washing up liquid should sort the problem out.
Make sure you grease the cooking pan for your cinder toffee very very well, or it will stick like glue and you might need to cut it out.
You will need:
1 teaspoon butter
2 ½ cups white sugar
¾ cup golden syrup
6 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking soda
Grease a rimmed 8×12-inch baking pan and line bottom and sides with parchment paper, making sure the parchment sides reach at least 2 inches above the sides of the baking sheet. Grease parchment with butter.
Combine sugar, golden syrup, water, and vanilla extract in a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, but do not stir.
Heat to 155C or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads, about 10 minutes.
Brush the sides of the pan with a clean pastry brush dipped in water if any sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan.
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Remove from heat and carefully add baking soda; stir quickly until foaming subsides and mixture turns golden.
Pour into the prepared baking pan immediately. Cool until set, about 15 minutes.
Break into bite-size chunks to serve.
To make the recipe extra indulgent, melt some chocolate and dip the cooled honeycomb in it.
Then leave to dry on a rack and you have your own homemade crunchie bar.
Once made, it is recommended to store your finished cinder toffee in a metal container at room temperature.
Sugar has a tendency to ‘sweat’ when stored in plastic and this could make your cinder toffee go sticky.
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