I usually try to avoid having too many sweets in the house. As I’ve been often told, “exposure leads to consumption”! However it’s always fun to learn new skills, so when my daughter suggested a cooking class at New Farm Confectionery, I was up for the challenge and we signed up for the class.
The class was well organised – we started off with a discussion of the basic chemistry of honeycomb, then measured out the ingredients and got cooking. The idea is that you want to trap tiny air bubbles in the candy. The air bubbles are generated with baking soda, and gelatine helps keep the bubbles tiny and uniform. We put a pot of sugar, water, and glucose syrup (a very thick corn syrup) onto the boil.
It doesn’t look like much in that huge pot, but that’s because there’s not much air in it yet. That comes from mixing in the gelatine and the baking soda – you could develop some serious muscles doing this job regularly! Once it’s all mixed, it starts to rise.
So glad we had the big pot! Tipping all of that hot sugar mixture into a pan without burning yourself was surprisingly difficult, but we (mostly) managed it.
We made two different types of honeycomb – one with just sugar and glucose and one with honey as well. Yes, for those keeping score, that’s two huge pans full of honeycomb. The two of us each took home half of each recipe!
After we finished the honeycomb, we moved on to the brittles. The base is quite similar, but you don’t use the gelatine or as much baking soda. You also add in butter, nuts, and flavourings. We made both classic peanut brittle and a pecan and cinnamon brittle – both were delicious!
And, yes, we each took home half a pan of each of the brittles. I may be taking candy to meetings with me for the next week or so to try to get rid of it!
As we were breaking up and packaging the honeycomb, we were able to dip some of it in milk chocolate – yum!
If you’re in Brisbane, I would highly recommend the class. We had a great time, learned lots, and came home with more candy than we usually eat in a year!