In this article:
For a while I've wanted to get my mitts on Callebaut's Gold chocolate couverture. To my surprise, in my mystery box of LemonVanilla home baking ingredients was a pouch of this caramel chocolate. Result!
The taste reminds my of Nestlé Caramac bars. It's a creamy white chocolate made with cocoa butter from the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Ecuador that is spiked with caramelised sugar.
LemonVanilla recommends using Callebaut’s Gold Chocolate to make caramel blondies or caramel chocolate cookies. I had a very disappointing experience baking blondies before (I'm still searching for a good recipe so if you find one, let me know in the comments below). Plus, as I just baked a batch of chocolate fudge Welsh cakes, I went in search of inspiration. Then I remembered a few tweets I'd seen previously and combined the concepts into Gold Chocolate Chilli Honeycomb.
In my head, I pictured gargantuan cubes of honeycomb smothered in a thick layer of caramel chocolate. The reality transpired to be a little different, as my honeycomb lost its nerve. After consulting the 'best before' dates, I realised my tub of bicarbonate of soda was a year over its best days, so I wonder if this had an impact? I'm also nervous when it comes to boiling sugar and so I might not have pushed it as dark (and as hot) as I ought to have done.
Combined with the fact I let it spread too far on the baking tray as it cooled meant I ended up with pieces more befitting of a bonbon. Less 'mouthful' and more a 'dainty nibble'.
Undeterred, I smothered these tiny shards in a bowl of molten Callebaut Gold chocolate. It turns out, enrobing isn't my forte either. I shall not be winning any food decoration awards for some time yet.
Nevertheless, I allowed the chocolate to harden fully. Biting into these, you first get a flavour uncannily resembling the centre of a Cadbury Crunchie. The caramel notes in the chocolate compliment the honeycomb perfectly.
Then, like a shot out of nowhere, the fiery chilli kicks in with a warmth at the back of the throat. It contrasts against the sweetness and threatens to hijack the flavour. Suddenly, it's Gold to the rescue as the chocolate acts as an extinguisher, cooling things back down.
It might not look how I expected it to, but the flavour has a bit of everything. The honeycomb adds deep, rich caramel flavours, the chilli adds a mighty kick, while the Gold chocolate adds more caramel flavours, creaminess, and a slight saltiness.
After a few days the honeycomb had started to turn back into a liquid. While this made things a little messy, I liked the textural differences this created. It's not pretty, it's not my finest work, but it tastes great and I had fun making it. That's all that matters, really.
All said and done, the result is a highly addictive combination. You want to experience the rush of heat from the chilli powder, and can do so as the sweet, lightly-salted Gold chocolate helps to put the fire out, ready for another bite. And another...
Try it, and let me know how you get on. Hopefully you'll end up with gloriously large cubes of honeycomb.
Blonde Chocolate Chilli Honeycomb Recipe
I adapted Nigella Lawson's Hokey Pokey recipe, spiking it with chilli powder after getting the idea from a tweet by Andrew Baker where he commented on Firecracker Honeycomb from Hotel Chocolat's Inventing Room. The idea of blonde chocolate honeycomb came from a conversation with Rivington Chocolates (you'll find their honeycomb here).
Blonde Chocolate Chilli Honeycomb Recipe
Spicy, sweet honeycomb pieces smothered in caramel chocolate.
Makes approximately 20
Chilli Honeycomb Ingredients
- 100g caster sugar
- 75g golden syrup
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½tsp chilli powder
Blonde chocolate shell Ingredients
- About 200g Callebaut Gold Caramel chocolate buttons, depending on how liberally you coat the pieces
Blonde Chocolate Chilli Honeycomb Method
Step 1 / Prepare equipment
Preparation is key. You'll need a large pan. Line a deep-rimmed baking tray with greaseproof paper. You'll need a heat-resistant spatula on hand too.
Step 2 / Mix ingredients
Measure the sugar and syrup into a large pan. Measure out the bicarbonate of soda and chilli powder into a bowl and pop it nearby.
Step 3 / Heat caramel
Over a medium heat, bring the caramel up to a rolling boil. Don't stir it, just watch it like a hawk. It'll darken in colour. You're aiming for the same bronzed shade as a brand new copper penny coin. It'll test your nerves!
Step 4 / Add powders
Take the pan off the heat and tip in the chilli powder and bicarbonate of soda. Vigorously stir and the syrup will bubble up like lava inside a volcano.
Step 5 / Cool
Quickly (but carefully) transfer this bubbling molten mess onto the lined baking tray. Leave to cool completely. Once stone cold, snap into bite-size pieces.
Step 6 / Melt chocolate
Once cold, pop the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, cooking in bursts of 20 seconds and stirring in-between. As soon as you get close to a glossy liquid, reduce the bursts to 10 seconds or even 5 second intervals. You want to melt the chocolate but not heat it more than it needs to be.
Step 7 / Dip
Dip the honeycomb pieces into the chocolate one-by-one, using a fork to ensure it's covered in a golden coat. Transfer onto a plate or tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave to set.
Step 8 / Eat
Once hardened, enjoy! Store in an airtight container at room temperature. These are best consumed within a day or two.
You can find the pouch of Callebaut Gold chocolate drops alongside plenty of other home baking ingredients over at LemonVanilla. If the thought of 2.5kg sacks of chocolate couverture fill you with fear, these 300g bags are the answer. They're much easier to handle and store at home. At the time of writing, LemonVanilla is offering free next working day delivery on orders over £25.
I imagine quite a few spices could be used to flavour honeycomb. What else do you think would work well? Post your ideas in the comments section below.