Thursday, 6 September 2012

Let's do the Hokey Pokey!

It's Friday, tomorrow, right? I'm all ready to, 'Thank Crunchie,' I've been ready ever since sampling the Mini Moo chocolate with honeycomb the other week - in the interests of research (of course) for another post that I wrote. Last week, remembering a kind friend who made some honeycomb for me the other year, using a Nigella recipe, I searched online and found this one. Problem was, the process of moving house got in the way of any making or baking. Not this week though! Huzzah!

I love the name of this stuff - Hokey Pokey. It immediately reminds me of the Hokey Cokey and then conjures to mind Baby's efforts to follow the actions and makes me smile. 

Anyway, back to the recipe! 

What I found interesting about this recipe (apart from Nigella's aside about the Cornish name for honeycomb) was the comments at the bottom - quite enlightening! Although Nigella says that it's easy, the comments of her followers lead one to suggest that maybe it's not quite so easy as our lovely Nigella makes out? 

However, one follower (comment 10, I think) suggested altering the quantities to the following:

4 tbsp golden caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup 
1 tsp   bicarbonate of soda

'Aha!' thought I. 'This person sounds confident and successful, so that's what I'll do then. Bound to work '

Having washed my tin (it was still in a box, in the Living Room - I've already run out of space in the kitchen cupboards, in our new home) and lined it with parchment, I dug out my ingredients and, a bit gingerly (don't want sticky stuff ruining my pans) off I set.

What a sticky mix!
I measured, mixed and heated - Baby had already lost interest by this point, already. Once it was bubbling away nicely, however, I called her back, got her to add the bicarbonate of soda and whisk it in (being very careful to keep her from touching either the hot pan or the mixture). Then I hastily poured it into the lined tin as per a comment from another of Nigella's followers. 

'Well!' I thought, as I gazed at my results. 'That's not going to go very far is it?' I'd been envisioning great big chunks of the stuff, over which I could dribble melted chocolate. I was sure The Hub's friend, Paul, had made much more generous quantities of the stuff, when he made it for us the other year.

Making a mental note to double, triple, maybe even quadruple, the ingredients next time, I left the mixture to set.

Returning to examine the recipe, I noted that Nigella did state, that the recipe doesn't make a large quantity. '... any more and you'll be sued by your dentist,' says Nigella.

'Humph!' Thought I, 'Beg to differ! Dentists don't get rich by congratulating patients on how well their teeth are looking, do they?'

Well, I left the stuff in the fridge for long enough, I thought, but when it came out, it was not going to crack into lovely crispy pieces, oh no! I was able to mould it into fancy shapes though... which eventually flopped! 

What  a flop!
At this point I succumbed to tearing chunks off with my teeth and chewing furiously, to vent my frustration... until I remembered the comments about the dentist. 'Better not eat the whole lot, in one go,' I thought to myself. The flavour was there, but where was the crunch? 

Meanwhile, with Baby's help, I made some more - double quantities this time. I let it bubble for a bit longer, as one of Nigella's followers suggested one should. It certainly foamed very nicely when the bicarb went in and really looked the business. 

I also messaged Paul. 'Cut down the syrup,' was his advice, and, 'put it in the fridge!' Right-oh! In the fridge - too late for the syrup bit! I left the Hokey Pokey in the fridge for a couple of hours this time - went out shopping and everything!

At this point, I'd love to tell you that we were successful... but no! It was a bit more solid, yes but still chewy rather than crispy. More chewing ensued. 

The next morning, I was debating whether or not to make another load - with less syrup this time. I was thinking of my teeth, by this time - I didn't want to end up with a whole lot more to chew my way through - all I really wanted was a nice crisp dairy free Crunchie!!

One last go, and... result!!

Less syrup and more cooking - I let it go a bit darker than I had before. Not sure what did the trick but crispy, crunchy honeycomb was the result. I never got round to adding the chocolate though - it didn't really last long enough.

I'm not thanking Crunchie, though - my thanks go to Paul, for helping me out. Less syrup, more cooking was definitely the way to go!  Oh, and storing it in the fridge, to stop it going goey. 

Related Post:
Sweets for my Sweet

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