Homemade Honeycomb | gluten free

We’re in New Orleans at the moment experiencing all the delight of the bayou and Bourbon St. I left these with my sister when I left…I wonder if she’s saved me any…

Sweet crystals of honey delight! Make your own honeycomb at home with just a few simple ingredients and have fun decorating it just the way you want! Homemade Honeycomb | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI am not exaggerating when I say that chocolate coated honeycomb contributed to my good report cards in high school. Violet Crumble bars, strawberries, and almonds dipped in Nutella (try it, but don’t blame me…) were what fuelled my late night study of religion essays, math assignments, chemistry calculations, and Japanese vocab memorisations. Whenever end of term came round Mum knew to stock up on Violet Crumble and strawberries and make sure my little dog Tex stayed inside while I worked late into the night. Thanks Mum.Homemade Honeycomb | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI’ve always loved honeycomb. The way it shatters. The sticky, pure sugar sweetness. And most of all, the chocolate coating. Now, in Australia there is a division between Crunchie people and Violet Crumble people. I am a Violet Crumble girl myself. Unfortunately most chocolate-coated honeycomb bars include both wheat and gelatine. No bueno. Enter: my kitchen and a little bit of really awesome chemistry! See Mama, those late night sessions didn’t go to waste!Homemade Honeycomb | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeHoneycomb is essentially a heated sugar syrup with most of the moisture removed by boiling it for a long time to a high temperature. When you add the baking soda to the hot syrup it is forced to break down quickly and carbon dioxide molecules are released in bubbles. These bubbles become trapped in the sugar syrup that has formed long threads of crystals, hence the light, airy, bubbly texture of honeycomb. Sweet, sweet science. Making honeycomb at home is a great way to teach kids about science!

Now, let me issue my warning: this recipe involves heating sugar syrup to high temperatures and is therefore not suitable for small children to make on their own. Be very careful when you make this candy treat so that you can enjoy it at home, and not in the hospital. Homemade Honeycomb | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWith that warning out of the way. Let me say: making honeycomb at home is totally worth it. You only need a few inexpensive ingredients, a large pot, a massive baking tray, and a candy thermometer. I picked mine up at out local grocery store for under $10.

I had so much fun making and eating this favourite childhood treat and then I decided that the only way to up the ante was to decorate it with sprinkles! Because sprinkles make even the best treats even better! Try this for some homemade trick-or-treating fun or as gifts for friends! Just remember to brush your teeth afterwards 🙂Homemade Honeycomb | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Homemade Honeycomb

Gluten free | Makes: A LOT. Seriously, if you aren’t prepared to eat honeycomb for a ages, or give it away, then make a half batch.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 200 grams chocolate, roughly chopped
  • Sprinkles to decorate, optional

Method

  1. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet by lining it with baking paper. Spray with cooking oil or spray to make removal of the honeycomb easier. Make sure your baking sheet is at least 20 x 12 inches. Or prep two smaller baking sheets.
  2. Place white sugar, honey, water and golden syrup into a large saucepan. Warm over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has melted.
  3. Increase temperature to high and bring the sugar syrup to boiling point. The mixture will rise in the pan while it is boiling. Cook without stirring at all until the temperature reads 154C (309F) on your candy thermometer. This is hard crack stage. Be very careful around the syrup.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow the bubbles to reduce then add baking soda. Quickly stir the baking soda in. The mixture will begin to bubble immediately.
  5. Working quickly spread the honeycomb over your lined baking sheet. It will continue to bubble and foam so place it on some newspaper on your kitchen bench just in case.
  6. Allow the honeycomb to cool completely.
  7. Break honeycomb into large shards.
  8. Melt chocolate by placing it into a microwave-proof bowl and heating in 30 second blasts, stirring well in between with a metal spoon, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  9. Coat honeycomb shards using a spoon and decorate with sprinkles if using.

Homemade Honeycomb | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Violet Crumble Brownies

You might hate me after I show you these brownies. In fact, maybe you shouldn’t scroll down too far, just in case.

Reasons you might hate me? Let’s make a list:

  1. Brownies, on a Friday (and I’ve been so good all week Amy – why did you show me these now??);
  2. You have the insatiable urge to push yourself away from your computer and run to the nearest providore of Violet Crumble and then rush back to your kitchen and make them – but you can’t because you are most likely at work (or in school, or taking care of little ones, or maybe in outer space, I don’t know, maybe); or
  3. You didn’t get one when I brought them into work today…

Oh, what the heck, scroll down and we’ll take our chances shall we?

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Any haters? Whew, that’s a good feeling.

These brownies came to mind when I was thinking about my favourite chocolate bars while simultaneously doing some extremely boring paperwork (you know, as you do). My favourite childhood chocolate bar has always been the Violet Crumble (followed closely by Picnic Bars – please, please make a gluten free version someday soon!). Some of you may contradict me – why Amy, what about Peanut m&ms? Surely they are your favourite chocolate bar? My reasoning: they are my favourite chocolate and candy coated vegetable. Hear me out – peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes, legumes are a type of vegetable – see, sound scientific reasoning!

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Violet Crumbles will always hold a special place in my heart (even though they aren’t currently Amy friendly) because they are not only delicious, musical to eat, and can devoured slowly while reading a good book, but also because they helped me survive my final year of high school. High school Amy study food: Violet Crumbles and strawberries…

It’s all about balance, right?

So, instead of hating on me, love on these brownies. Remember, it’s the way it shatters that matters.

Violet Crumble Brownies

Makes 30 decadent brownies. Of course, you can cut this into larger or smaller squares at your own discretion. They will keep for 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge , or about 30 minutes on an office kitchen table.

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams dark chocolate, chopped
  • 175 grams butter, cubed
  • 125 grams plain flour
  • 50 grams cocoa powder
  • 230 grams brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 250 grams Violet Crumble (5 x 50 gram bars), or other chocolate-covered honeycomb

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (356F) and line a 8 x 11 x 1-inch baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Place butter and chocolate in a small heavy-based saucepan and melt together over a low, low heat. Stir frequently with a metal spoon until just melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. Sift together plain flour and cocoa powder and set aside.
  4. In a medium-size mixing bowl beat together brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla essence with a hand-held mixer until light and creamy. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Fold melted chocolate into egg mixture. Then fold in flour and cocoa.
  6. Roughly chop Violet Crumble and fold 200 grams into brownie batter.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared baking tin and smooth top with a spatula. Sprinkle reserved Violet Crumble over the top.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  9. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing up and serving.
  10. Enjoy.

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Okay readers, tell me, what is your favourite chocolate bar? Any interesting discoveries?