Air Meal from last summer…

Puff candy reminds me of primary school trips to Largs and Millport. Everyone would spend all their money in Nardinis and the wee pokey shops on the seafront, buying things like puff candy and sticks of rock and macaroon bars. To this day I would rank the Crunchie very highly in a Top 5 sweetie poll.

Making the stuff feels like alchemy, bubbling it up in a saucepan until the magic golden caramel colour is reached, and then hurling the bicarbonate of soda into the swirling depths and watching the bubbly eruptions it causes. The only drawback is the sneaky colouring of the Golden Syrup which can fool one into thinking the stuff is sufficiently caramelised when this is so not the case. Puff candy Mk. I produced a sad tray of pale, bubbly gum which refused to set even when left overnight. Puff candy Mk. II (made with the aid of the sugar thermometer) was much more satisfactory, a deep orange hue with a central strata of tiny caverns. The full tray in its unbroken state looks quite like the surface of the moon which is very appealing. It would be amazing to portion the mix out into greased ring moulds of biscuit cutters and produce even more accurate moons, definitely one to try out next time!

Puff Candy / Honeycomb

  • 300g sugar (I used 200g caster sugar and 100g light brown sugar due to contents of kitchen cupboards, I would do so again in future as I think the darker sugar gave the finished product a darker, more intense taste)
  • 200g Golden Syrup
  • 100ml water
  • 2 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
Line a brownie pan or baking tray with lightly oiled tinfoil. The size of the tray will dictate the thickness of the puff candy – spread in a thin layer over a large baking tray the mix will produce a slightly different texture than if poured into a small, deep sided pan. Heat all the other ingredients in a deep-sided saucepan ’til the mix turns a dark amber colour and reaches 150 oC. Sieve in the bicarbonate of soda in order to avoid over-working the mix and removing the bubbles. Pour into the lined tin and leave to cool before breaking up. To cut the puff candy into blocks, run an oiled knife over it before it has totally hardened and then break it into blocks along the lines.

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