Most children in Australia will be confronted with a very important question at some stage of their childhood – Violet Crumble or Crunchie? Much like the Pepsi/Coke debate (Pepsi for me), the Violet Crumble/Crunchie debate is one that will divide a nation. End friendships. Even end relationships. Well, maybe not relationships, but people have a fierce loyalty to one or the other.
The Violet Crumble is an Aussie classic, while the Crunchie originated in the UK. Both are very similar in that they consist of honeycomb toffee coated in chocolate. Violet Crumbles are coated in dark chocolate, Crunchies in milk chocolate, and there is a subtle difference in the texture of the honeycomb. Both are delicious in their own right, and today’s recipe is an attempt to copy these iconic chocolate bars.
With the lack of preservatives and ability to create extreme air-tightness in the homemade version of these bars, the outcome is not exactly the same, and the honeycomb will start to ‘melt’ after 4 or 5 days, but they won’t last that long anyway, they’re that good. How long you stir the honeycomb after adding the bicarb soda will determine the consistency of the finished product. Shorter stirring will result in an airier finish, but this version won’t last as long (will melt faster). Stirring for a little bit longer results in the denser honeycomb you see in the pictures which lasts longer, but this version sticks to your teeth a bit more. It’s mighty tasty whichever version you choose to go with.
If you’ve never had a Violet Crumble or Crunchie, the best way to describe it is as a light, crispy, airy toffee, with a hint of caramel and honey flavours, coated in either dark (Violet Crumble) or milk chocolate (Crunchie). Whichever version you choose to go with, just know that you’re entering a very divisive debate.
Oh, and admitting this will make me the most unpatriotic Aussie, but I actually prefer the chocolate bar that originated in Britain – the Crunchie!
Prep Time: 10 minutes + 1 hour cooling time
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
½ cup caster sugar
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp water
2 tsp bicarb soda
200g good quality milk or dark chocoate
NOTE: You will need a candy/jam thermometer for this recipe.
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper. In a medium saucepan with candy thermometer attached, add caster sugar, honey and water and heat on low, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
- Once sugar has dissolved, stop stirring, increase heat to medium and bring to boil. Boil, without stirring, until mixture turns a dark golden colour and temperature reaches the Hard Crack stage on the thermometer (148-150°C/300°F), about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat and allow bubbles to settle slightly, then add bicarb soda and stir for 10 seconds to combine (be careful, it will bubble up). For airier honeycomb, stir once or twice more, then pour onto prepared baking paper. For denser honeycomb, stir for about 10 seconds, then pour onto prepared baking paper. Do not spread mixture. Allow to set fully before breaking or cutting into mini chocolate bar-sized pieces, about 40 minutes.
- Once honeycomb has set and been broken into smaller pieces, melt chocolate in the microwave or on the stove in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Dip honeycomb pieces into melted chocolate to coat. I coated some of my pieces completely and others I dipped one side of the honeycomb into the melted chocolate and used a fork to drizzle on top in a tiger stripe pattern. Set on a cooling rack (with paper underneath to catch the drips) and allow chocolate to set fully before serving.
Recipe adapted from andcute.com