For Kirsten Tibballs, it’s chocolate day every day. She is the owner, director and head pastry chef at Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School in Brunswick, Melbourne, and her newly-released cookbook Chocolate is rich with her favourite chocolate recipes.
Tibballs started her apprenticeship as a pastry chef at 15 at a small patisserie in country Victoria and has since devoted her life to the pursuit of perfecting her techniques in creating desserts.
She says she chose chocolate as the theme for her new book because she loves the diversity it offers. The recipes range from simple to complex.
“If you’re going to put in the effort to make one of my recipes I will make sure it is worth your while by giving you a deliciously decadent chocolate experience that you may find difficult to share,” she writes.
Here, Tibballs shares a simple recipe for chocolate-coated honeycomb.
Honeycomb is simple to make but there are a few tips to ensure you create a perfect result every time. When adding in the bicarbonate of soda, just whisk it until combined or else you’ll knock out all the air. The honeycomb needs to be coated in chocolate shortly after it has cooled to avoid it absorbing moisture and going soft.
225g caster sugar
85g liquid glucose
10g (2 teaspoons) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), sifted
480g good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
Place a large sheet of baking paper on a heatproof surface. Put the sugar, honey, glucose and 40ml (2 tablespoons) water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until it starts to boil. Once boiling, stop stirring the mixture.
When the temperature reaches 157°C — if you don’t have a thermometer the bubbles on the surface should reach a light golden colour — add the sifted bicarbonate of soda and whisk just a few times to incorporate. Pour the honeycomb mixture onto the baking paper and don’t move it until it is cold.
Temper the milk chocolate. Break the honeycomb up into small pieces and mix it through the tempered chocolate until well coated.
Spread the chocolate-coated honeycomb on a tray lined with baking paper and leave at room temperature to set. If your room temperature is too warm, place in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Break up the honeycomb sheet into large chunks and serve or wrap in cellophane or sealed packaging to present as a gift. This has a 4-week shelf life if left in a single sheet. Once broken up, it will need to be eaten within a few days.
Serves 6 to 8
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