This recipe for Honeycomb Chocolate Soldiers is a nostalgic nod to the gluttony of my youth.
In the general store my parents owned in Australia, the “Violet Crumble” was often used as payment for doing an after-school shift behind the shop-counter. A long slender bar of crisp, brittle honeycomb encased in milk chocolate, made an irresistible treat to an acne blighted teenage girl. My dental records would suggest I ate too many.
The Violet Crumble is a little like a Crunchie bar, but drier and more brittle and doesn’t have quite the same golden syrupy flavoring. Much like football teams, you can’t perch yourself upon a picket fence; you’re either a Crunchie or a Violet Crumble kind of girl. Never both. I was always in the Violet Crumble camp, having been seduced by the lairy purple packaging and the crisp *snap pf the bar.
The violet bit of the Violet Crumble is said to have been introduced because the inventor was unable to copyright ‘Crumble’ on its own, and violet was his wife’s favorite colour. In 2011 there was uproar and a subsequent ‘Save the Violet Crumble Bag’ facebook page when the current owners, Nestle, suggested they would discontinue the product.
The trickiest thing about this recipe is trying to manage environmental moisture issues. Honeycomb is a sponge to ambient moisture and once it absorbs any moisture, the characteristic crunch and snap disappears, leaving gooey and sticky in its wake. You really need to make this recipe the day you want to use it and force your loved ones to consume it all in one sitting. Dental impact notwithstanding.
The chocolate coating goes some way to protecting the honeycomb from the damage of humidity, but it’s tricky to coat the whole piece in chocolate so I compromise with portion dipping and eating them with speed.
- 300gm Caster Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Golden Syrup
- 1 heaped TBS Bicarbonate of Soda
- 100gm Dark chocolate
- Gently melt caster sugar and golden syrup
- Bring to a rolling boil
- Using a sugar thermometer, bring the sugar syrup to hard toffee stage (around 240C)
- Working quickly so the toffee doesn't burn add all the bicarb at once. Don't over-beat or you'll lose all the lovely big air bubbles that gives it its characteristic honeycombosity
- Cool completely
- When cool, break honeycomb into pieces and dip the tops of the shards in chocolate you've melted gently over a double boiler.
- Stand in a cake rack to dry
- Gobble it all up at once