No Bother, Honeycomb Candy

“Oh bother.” Today is National Winnie the Pooh day! January 18th is also the birthday of the famed author, A.A. Milne, who gave us the delightful adventures of Pooh Bear and his friends. Thank you Mr. Milne!

I wanted to create something very Pooh Bear-like for today. And the only thing, the obvious thing, was something honey infused. My internet search brought up all kinds of recipes but I was having a hard time settling on one.

“Think. Think. Think.” I whispered in my most Winnie the Pooh voice. The character of Pooh is simple and sweet. His love for his friends and for honey pretty much define him. I don’t want to say he’s basic, but maybe uncomplicated is a better word. So I was looking for a honey based recipe that was uncomplicated but also a uniquely fun treat.

I suddenly remembered a candy I made last Christmas that totally fit the bill. Some people call it seafoam candy, sponge candy, or honeycomb candy because of its interesting texture created by a little science. The ingredients are minimal and probably in your kitchen right now. Four ingredients- honey, sugar, water, and baking soda. The only special gadget I recommend is a candy thermometer because you need to make sure the honey, sugar, and water reach 300 degrees before whisking in the baking soda. That’s when the science and candy magic happen. It foams up and expands like crazy. Quickly pour it onto a greased or lined cookie sheet, but do not try to spread it at all. That deflates the super light, porous texture. The exact recipe and directions can be found here https://frugalfamilyhome.com/food/recipes/homemade-sweet-treats-honeycomb-candy .

After you allow it to cool completely, break it into pieces and enjoy! If you want to get all fancy, you could dip the pieces in melted chocolate. It is also delicious crushed and sprinkled over ice cream. I opted to keep it simple and sweet. I think that Winnie the Pooh would have wanted it that way.

Let Them Eat Cake

Sometimes foodie inspiration is something you see that peaks the interest of your inner creativity. And sometimes foodie inspiration comes from refrigerator roulette where you look at what’s in there and think about what you can make with the contents. And sometimes the two come together and it’s magic.

A painstaking plan of tiramisu for Christmas dessert fell through (specific reasons being unimportant at this point). I think I ultimately ended up making a delicious flourless chocolate cake but I’ll come back to that in another post in the future. So this week I discovered the mascarpone I had gotten for the tiramisu buried in the back of my fridge. As I was trying to think of how to use it, I found an interesting recipe that actually called for the exact amount I had. Seriously, how often does that happen? The answer is almost never, at least in my kitchen.

This particular cake is called Chocolate Mascarpone Bundt Cake and it was everything I was hoping for in a chocolate cake. Dense. Moist. Chocolate overload. Nothing really complicated about it, but it does take about 60-70 baking time. You could glaze it, but I just went with a simple dusting of powdered sugar and served it with whipped cream. The recipe is here http://www.thebakingfairy.net/2016/02/chocolate-mascarpone-bundt-cake/.

Here are a few extra thoughts on this cake. Room temperature ingredients are a must. Make sure your bundt pan is really well prepared. This means thoroughly greased and floured. I am a fan of Bakers Secret pan spray but that’s just a personal preference. Also, I used Hershey’s special dark baking cocoa and dark chocolate chips, but regular baking cocoa and any type of chocolate chips will work just fine. Although the recipe calls for mascarpone I honestly think that regular cream cheese would work as well in a pinch. Lastly, I released the cake from the pan with only 10 minutes cooling time. I have never had a good experience with waiting longer than that for a bundt pan. Maybe it’s just me?I hope you give it a try. Sometimes things have a surprisingly wonderful way of working out! I ❤️ happy endings.