Honeycomb Ice Cream
Here I am, sitting behind our shabby brown desk, looking all tanned and radiant but feeling severely depressed and sad. Just a few more days by the sea would make me infinitely happy and calm. I long for that salty taste in my mouth and the tiny white crystals that stick to my tanned skin, I long for the scent of coconut sunscreen and the intoxicating smell of strawberry ice cream. Vacation is no more. Time to get back to reality.
Thank god we had some homemade ice cream left in the freezer. It was patiently awaiting our return, deliberately tucked into a remote part of the freezer between a packet of chicken thighs and frozen homemade pizza dough. A hidden treasure I had almost forgotten about. As we were devouring the ice cream straight from the container, I tried to imagine I was sitting at the beach, few annoying grains of sand tickling my toes, warm breeze fondling my wet hair. The attempt was not as successful as I had hoped, but I was nontheless grateful for the ice cream and its cooling effect.
I first heard of honeycomb candy about two years ago while watching the Australian MasterChef. I had no idea what it was or what it tasted like but was completely intrigued by the stuff. It was funny looking, full of holes and air pockets and it seemed incredibly crispy and crunchy. I knew I had to make it someday.
I’m telling you, that honeycomb thing is just pure awesomeness. It’s magic, whitchcraft even. One of the most amazing things I’ve tried so far. It has a lovely nutty caramel flavor and the most beautiful crunch. It’s as light as a feather and as sweet as honey. Honeycomb’s interesting and unique texture is caused by carbon dioxide bubbles getting trapped within the candy. The carbon dioxide is produced when baking soda is added to hot sugar syrup. It then starts to foam up and rise, trapping the bubbles inside the candy.
Honeycomb is actually ridiculously easy to make. If you watch your caramel closely and don’t let it burn, the success is granted. Of cource, candy thermometer helps but is not essential. If you’re still feeling uneasy, here’s a short video of Gordon Ramsay making honeycomb that you might find helpful and reassuring. Honeycomb cannot be left out in the open for a long time, as it will draw moisture from the air and become sticky and soggy. To prevent this, it should be stored in an airtight container.
You could also store it in a container full of ice cream, which I personally like best and strongly recommend. Okay, technically speaking this isn’t exactly a real ice cream since it contains no eggs or sugar, but it comes quite close if you ask me. All you have to do is mix together two ingredients and in the end add some honeycomb pieces. Seriously.
Honeycomb Ice Cream
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Combine sugar, honey, and water in a saucepan. You can stir the mixture, but it isn't necessary. Cook over high heat, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 150°C. The sugar will melt, small bubbles will form, the bubbles will become larger, then the sugar will start to carmelize to an amber color. This will take about 8-10 minutes. When the temperature reaches 150°C, remove the pan from heat and whisk baking soda into the hot syrup. This will cause the syrup to foam up. Stir just enough to mix the ingredients, then dump the mixture into prepared tin. Don't spread out the candy, as this would pop your bubbles.
Allow the candy to cool. This will take abour 30 minutes and then break or cut it into pieces. Store the honeycomb candy in an airtight container.
175ml sweetened condensed milk
2/3 of honeycomb candy, chopped
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