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Just to be clear, "chocolate-coated honeycomb" is not an actual honeycomb coated in chocolate. That would be filled with wax. It would be hard to eat. No, this chocolate-coated honeycomb refers to a delicious caramel candy made with sugar, corn syrup or golden syrup, and baking soda. It's quick to make and incredibly addictive.
It's possible you've heard of this confection by a different name: hokey pokey, cinder toffee, sponge toffee, golden crunchers, fairy food candy, angel food candy, puff candy, sea foam, or sponge candy. All of them refer to the very same thing.
To make it, you start by preparing a caramel in a heavy-bottomed pan. Then you add baking soda and as soon as you do, it starts to expand and bubble. You pour the fizzy caramel onto a lined baking sheet and set it aside to cool—as it does, tiny air bubbles are trapped inside, creating a really great aerated texture.
Making it is easy, but since it involves cooking up a scalding hot caramel and then making it foam and swell, you need to be a bit careful.
It's important to choose the right pot for the job. For this recipe, I used a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a capacity of 2 1/2 quarts. If you happen to have a similar pot on hand, use it. It's okay to use a slightly larger one, but I wouldn't recommend using anything smaller, as the hot caramel may spill over the sides once you've whisked in the baking soda.
Once you've decided on your pan, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and measure all your ingredients. Have the baking soda and a whisk ready, because you need to add it as soon as the caramel has reached the right color. Delay, and your caramel will darken too much.
Once everything is set, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in the saucepan and heat it over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. The water is there to ensure that the sugar and syrup heat (and brown) evenly. With the sugar dissolved, bring the syrup to a boil.
Cook the caramel, undisturbed, until it has become a very light golden color. Remove the pan from the heat, add the baking soda, and immediately whisk it in. Don't whisk longer than 3 to 5 seconds, though—the caramel will start to bubble and expand dramatically!
After a few seconds of whisking, pour the bubbling caramel onto the prepared baking sheet and let it cool to room temperature. It will bubble a little at first, but it will settle down soon enough.
Once the honeycomb has cooled, the final step is to coat it with melted semisweet chocolate and add a sprinkle of salted peanuts. Break it into large chunks and serve, wax not included.
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