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Susan Jane White: Chocolate buckwheat honeycomb

Eats shoots & leaves


Susan Jane White. Photo: Joanne Murphy

Susan Jane White. Photo: Joanne Murphy

Susan Jane White. Photo: Joanne Murphy

Children are captivated by this chocolate buckwheat honeycomb recipe because it magically foams up like a volcano of caramel and bewitches everyone within its orbit. I recommend using this alleged sorcery to your advantage. If your younglings stay up past their bedtime, see what happens when you threaten to turn them into Ms Trunchbull's mouldy cavity. (Incantation can also be fun, but try not to mess with their heads too much).

Our kitchens are where magic meets love - the slow and gentle conjuring of meals; the alchemy of belly-bombing deliciousness; the enchantment of familiar and unfamiliar scents; the instinctive pleasure of feeding friends and family. Yes, where magic meets love. And this chocolate buckwheat honeycomb. It's enough to inspire a lifetime of awe from my little wizards. Makes 30 servings

You will need:

3 tablespoons whole buckwheat groats

200g golden caster sugar

5 tablespoons golden syrup

2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted

100g pitch-dark chocolate, to coat

1 Line a 20cm x 20cm brownie tin with non-stick parchment paper.

2 Then roast your buckwheat groats on a lipped baking tray for 14-16 minutes at 180°C, 250°F, Gas 4. Remove the tray from the oven, and allow the groats to cool before dusting the bottom of the prepared brownie tin with the roasted groats.

3 In a medium saucepan, heat the golden caster sugar with the golden syrup over a very gentle flame. The mixture will turn from sandy and granular to glossy and runny. You're looking to dissolve the sugar crystals in the syrup - which, curiously, won't happen if you substitute with honey, maple or rice malt syrup. Golden syrup is key here.

4 Try not to let the mixture bubble until you are confident that the sugar crystals have dissolved. Then turn up the heat and allow the pan to putter until it reaches a gorgeous amber-coloured caramel (this will take from 1-4 minutes). At this stage, sprinkle in the sifted baking powder. Stir briskly to prevent lumps, admire the crazy foaming, and pour immediately into your prelined tin of buckwheat (watch out! It's really hot). Resist the urge to touch it at this stage, or manipulate it in any way.

5 Allow the honeycomb to cool for 30 minutes before snapping it into lovely shards. Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate over a bain marie. This is simply a small pot containing 2cm of simmering water, with a bowl sitting on top where a lid might otherwise go. The steam from the water will gently melt the chocolate in the bowl. Don't let the water violently boil, and don't let the bowl touch the water underneath.

6 Semi coat the honeycomb shards in the melted chocolate. Leave the shards to dry on non-stick baking parchment, inside the fridge. Namas-tasty.

Sunday Indo Life Magazine