With the festive season looming, thoughts have turned to gift-giving. The challenge is always to give something that the recipient wouldn’t have chosen for themselves but really do appreciate, something that’s a little indulgent & frivolous without being wasteful. This year we’ve decided that the way forward is to give gifts of homemade food.
We’ve scoured our favourite recipe books & have narrowed down the options to a range of sweet and savoury treats suitable for the time of year, including:
- Chocolate biscotti (made with plain chocolate & suitable for vegans, like farm regular & good friend, Claire F)
- Double dark chocolate, Pecan & Ginger cookies
- Beetroot & orange chutney (see related post)
- Cheese & Herb thins
- Cheese Sablés
Of all of the options, the honeycomb was the easiest, the scariest and the most exciting, with chemical reactions that turn the mix from standard toffee into honeycomb or cinder toffee.
The process consists of making toffee according to the normal process, boiling the ingredients together until they reach the required temperature in as large a pan as possible. Then, at the last moment and in a flurry of excitement, bicarbonate of soda is quickly stirred into the mixture. Quickly, because as soon as the bicarb hits the toffee, the whole thing starts frothing wildly & generally going a bit mad. The next challenge is to get it into trays prepared earlier (you did prepare them earlier, didn’t you?) and patiently wait for it to cool enough to try it.
Actually, we didn’t wait that patiently & used the time to chip off the last traces of the honeycomb/toffee residue from the pan. Well, we didn’t want to let it go to waste!