So this weekend was a baking adventure x 100. I was out in Duxbury, hanging out with all of Team Muncey, and gave my mom the task of picking the dessert I should make for a dinner party we were hosting. She pulled out the Farmhouse Cookbook, which I like a lot, and picked the honeycomb and chocolate cookie cake, which I’ve had my eye on for awhile, so obviously I agreed immediately.
My mom went out to buy ingredients, and when she came back, I started the process. And then I stopped, because she “didn’t even think we might need more sugar.” So she went out and bought sugar.
Then I was back at it – except the candy thermometer we borrowed from my mom’s friend didn’t work. So my mom went out and bought a candy thermometer. She truly is a saint.
Finally, I was at it for real. And this is what happened.
First, start by making the honeycomb. Put the sugar, karo syrup, honey, and water in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts.
Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil, putting in a candy thermometer.
Boil until the temperature reaches 302°F, without stirring.
As soon as it hits 302°F, turn off the heat, sprinkle the baking soda, whisking vigorously, until it rises up to almost the top. When it does, pour the mixture quickly into an 8×12 pan lined with parchment paper. I didn’t take pictures of this step because, as you know, I’m terrified of boiling sugar, and because it just moved too fast.
However, I did take pictures of the part where I poured the mixture into the decidedly wrong-sized pan. I blame the British. The recipe said an “8×12 loaf pan.” I fixated on loaf pan, and that’s what I prepared. loaf pans are 9×5. 8×12 is very different. Here’s what it looks like when you screw this up:
It didn’t fit. In fact, it ended up all over the counter.
But you know what? It was still honeycomb. And when it hardened (takes about 30 minutes) it was still delicious. And the counter honeycomb became snacking honeycomb, obviously.
Back to the baking. Once the honeycomb cools, transfer it into a bag and smash into raisin-size pieces. You’ll only actually need about half of it for the recipe – save the rest for something else (or a second cake). Here’s my mom figuring out how to deal with the honeycomb fiasco:
Then, take out two saucepans. In a medium saucepan, put 1/2 cup cream, 15.75 oz chocolate, and 1/2 cup butter. In a small saucepan, put remaining cream, chocolate, and butter.
Starting with the medium saucepan, melt everything over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Once melted, pour into a bowl with the honeycomb, dried fruit, and broken cookies.
You’ll notice a distinct absence of cookies – more on that later.
Anyways, once mixed, pour everything into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper.
Then turn back to the small saucepan. Melt everything in that pan over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Pour the mixture over the top, spreading to smooth out. Pop in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours to chill.
About the broken cookies. I had everything all set, up until this stage, spreading the chocolate smooth. Then my mom looks over and says, “shouldn’t you use those cookies?” I had completely forgotten. It felt like the time my mom had made blueberry buckle and forgot the blueberries. Before the chocolate solidified, I was breaking up cookies and poking them into the cake. Fortunately, with the combination of stuff going on here, it all worked out.
When you’re ready to serve, dust the cake with cocoa powder.
Cut into bars, as big as you want.
And that’s it! A fudgy, slightly chilled, crunchy, fancy cake, similar to a tiramisu but not really.
If you don’t finish it in one sitting, store it in the fridge to keep cool.
Honeycomb and Chocolate Cookie Cake
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup Karo syrup
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
- 1 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate, chopped, divided
- 3/4 cup butter, divided
- 1 cup dried sour cherries and dried blueberries (or other mixed dried fruit)
- 3 oz ladyfingers, broken into 1 inch pieces
- unsweetened cocoa, for dusting
- In a medium saucepan, melt sugar, karo syrup, and honey over low heat until clear.
- Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil, putting in a candy thermometer. Boil, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 302°F.
- At that temperature, turn off the heat and sprinkle the baking soda over the top, whisking constantly. Once the mixture rises up to the top of the pan, quickly pour into an 8×12 inch pan lined with parchment paper.
- Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Transfer to a bag and break into raisin-sized pieces. Reserve half for use in the recipe and half to save.
- In a medium saucepan, combine 1/3 cup cream, 15.75 ounces chocolate, and 1/2 cup of butter. In a small saucepan, combine remaining cream, chocolate, and butter.
- Starting with the medium saucepan, heat ingredients over low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Pour mixture into a large bowl and mix with crushed honeycomb, dried fruit, and broken cookies.
- Pour entire mixture into the 8×8 pan, spreading to the sides using an offset spatula.
- With the small saucepan, do the same. Melt the ingredients over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the 8×8 pan over the other mixture, and use the offset spatula to smooth the top.
- Chill cake for 2 to 3 hours. When ready to serve, dust with unsweetened cocoa powder and slice into bars.