If you’re racking your brains about what to buy for people this Christmas why not hit the kitchen and make your own? You’ll get loads of brownie points, plus you’ll save oodles of cash too. Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you a series of easy ideas that anyone can do and won’t leave you chained to your stove, like a culinary Cinderella, while your friends are off tripping the light fantastic. And what you store them in is important (as Tupperware does not a sexy gift make), so we’ll be suggesting ideas for that too.
Today we’re bringing you a gift idea for work colleagues and friends – chilli chocolate and ginger honeycomb. This is a cross between a homemade crunchy and toffee nut brittle. Don’t worry if you don’t have a sugar thermometer for this recipe. You can test if the toffee is ready by dripping a few drops from a teaspoon into a cup of cold water. It will form small hard balls as soon as it touches the cold water when it’s ready. Try eBay or Etsy for vintage toffee hammers and old toffee or sweet tins. Line tins with musical score gift wrap, available at notonthehighstreet.com
Chilli Chocolate And Ginger Honeycomb
Makes enough for 12 people
330 g granulated sugar
120 ml cold water
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp melted butter
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp sea salt
For the topping:
200 g dark chocolate
50 g flaked almonds, toasted
1/2 tsp chilli sea salt
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the sugar, water and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan and heat very gently, without stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 8-10 minutes until the liquid turns a warm golden brown or until it reaches hard crack on a sugar thermometer (154c/309f). Add the butter and swirl the pan.
- Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and salt until evenly blended. The mixture will foam up dramatically but this is perfect. Pour directly onto the prepared baking paper and tilt pan so mixture reaches the edges. Tap gently a few times on the work top to settle the mixture and leave until completely cold.
- For the topping, melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir well and return to microwave and cook for 10 seconds at a time, stirring each time until the chocolate is melted. Pour over the set toffee and spread smooth with a palette knife. Scatter with the nuts and sea salt and leave to set a second time.
- Wrap the toffee in large slabs or break into pieces and place in small individual gifts bags. Tie to seal. Eat within 2-3 days.