There’s a vague memory somewhere of a high school science class in which we wore pinafores and made honeycomb over bunsen burners and gauze mats, and let the golden mass harden in misshapen trays on the benchtops.  It must have been quite a sight to see!  A quick search on the web tells me that in terms of the science, the magic of honeycomb is that once you add bicarbonate of soda to the hot toffee mixture, the bicarb breaks down to release carbon dioxide gas into the toffee, causing it to foam up.  How ’bout that.  Well, in terms of its culinary worth, I’d have to rate honeycomb right up there as one of my favourite sweets, for its dense syrupy sweetness and its hard yet airy, crumbly-chewy texture.  Delicious.

I’m aware that making sweets in January is probably not strictly necessary, given the excesses of December and all.  So here’s a recipe for the honeycomb in the context of an otherwise extremely healthful yoghurt-based dessert idea.  We’ve already given some away to friends to help us eat through the batch, but I’m quietly hoping that our stash of little golden chunks and the dust will last us just a bit longer.

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Passionfruit and honeycomb yoghurt with fresh fruit
Inspired by Nigella’s Hokey Pokey

For a single serve of the yoghurt
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
Pulp of half a passionfruit, a bit reserved for the top
Fresh fruit (I used nectarines)

For the honeycomb
100g sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

To make the honeycomb, first line a tray with baking paper or foil.

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the sugar and golden syrup until all the sugar has melted (takes about 3-5 minutes).  Stir as little as you can.

When the toffee is the colour of maple syrup and bubbling well, take off the heat and whisk in the bicarbonate of soda.  Immediately tip onto your prepared tray.  Leave until completely cool and set, and break into many pieces with a rolling pin (or I used a tin of baked beans!).

To assemble the dessert:  Stir together the yoghurt, 1/2 passionfruit and 1 tbsp of honeycomb crumbs until mixed.  Dollop over your fresh fruit of choice, and scatter over a bit more passionfruit and honeycomb.  Yum!

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