Crunchies are among my very favourite chocolate bars. The combination of cinder toffee (aka honeycomb) with chocolate is absolutely mindblowing and I like it best with a really lovely dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. It balances out the sweetness in the cinder toffee (which is essentially just airy sugar) and makes for a very delicious treat to have with a cup of tea.
The first couple of times I attempted cinder toffee, the mix frothed up as it is meant to, but quickly deflated into flat, solid sugar. I found out later that it’s because I didn’t heat the sugar high enough. It really does need to get SUPER hot (140°c) so I do recommend getting a sugar thermometre if you don’t have one already.
Cinder toffee is best on the day you make it, as after a little bit of time it will go soft and will lose that amazing crunch. Make sure you store it in an airtight container once it’s cold and the chocolate is set.
For enough for 4 people to munch on, you need:
- 100g caster sugar
- 120g golden syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 200g dark or milk chocolate
- First of all, you need a BIG saucepan. Use your biggest one – the mixture will expand hugely and you really don’t want molten, lava-like sugar going all over the place. On this note, it’s best to wear shoes while making this (take it from someone who burnt her foot!) and I do recommend an apron.
- Pop the sugar and golden syrup into your saucepan and mix until they are well combined. Put the pain on a medium heat and melt together the sugar and syrup. Don’t stir it.
- While the sugar is melting, line a roasting tin, or a large pyrex bowl with baking parchment. If you want even ish slices of it, go with a tray as it will be more even in depth. If you’d rather just smash it up into uneven shards, go with a bowl. Make sure it’s BIG.
- The sugar should be gently melting and starting to go golden brown after 5-8 mins. Turn the heat up a little bit and stick a sugar thermometre in the mix. Swirl the sugar around in the pan but don’t stir.
- Measure out the baking soda into a ramekin and set to one side. Grab your biggest whisk.
- When the sugar is at 140°c, throw the baking soda into the sugar and whisk briskly. It will WHOOSH up and expand very rapidly. Whisk only for a few seconds until you’re happy it’s totally mixed in, then carefully pour straight into your prepared bowl.
- Leave to cool and don’t touch it, as it will be very hot.
- When it’s gone cold, lift the cinder toffee out of the bowl using the parchment. Using a sharp heavy knife, such as a meat cleaver, bash ip into shards and spread over some clean parchment.
- Melt your chocolate. If you’re using very dark then it’s safe to do this in the microwave if you watch it very closely and check on it every 20 seconds. If you’re using milk chocolate, melt it in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl).
- Dip the pieces of cinder toffee into the melted chocolate and set onto the parchment to cool and set. You can cover the whole of each piece in chocolate if you want, or you can leave a bit of the honeycomb on show. If you don’t dip them in chocolate, you might find they stick together. If so, sift together a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar and corn flour and dust it over to prevent them from sticking.
These are best enjoyed with a nice cup of tea!