Monday, 8 October 2007

There's got to be a mushroom around here somewhere!

It seems that there's a genetic component to successful mushroom hunting: a good amount of Italian DNA is a distinct advantage for sure. Last weekend however, Barry and I took our pale English selves off to Tentsmuir with a nice basket (thanks Nikki!) and our fingers crossed. No luck however. There were a few fungi dotted around here and there, but we certainly weren't tripping over them and there were absolutely no porcini to be seen. I think it was too dry. Oh well, next time perhaps. Here's Barry strolling along as I scrabbled about underneath the trees and occasionally popped out to straighten up and remove the twigs from my hair. As well as no mushrooms, I also came home with no tics this time, so it's not all bad!!

There's been a distinct dropoff in both the knitting and the baking this weekend due to an awful lot of rugby world cup excitement (and rugby-related hangovers on Sunday). But I did make some rocky road chocolate bars and some honeycomb for match snacks on Saturady afternoon. The Coopers Australian ale was just a bit too tasty...


100g caster sugar

4tbsp golden syrup

1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Heat the sugar and syrup until dissolved and turning golden (don't stir too much). Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the bicarb, then pour out onto a greased surface. Break into chunks once cool and hardened.


Anonymous said...

Hi Louise,

I have just made your honeycomb recipe which looks delicious but unfortunately it is very chewy. Do you know why this is? Have a done something wrong? I followed your instructions to the letter.


Louise said...

Hi Pumpkin
Sorry to hear you had problems with the honeycomb. I was actually going to make it again yesterday anyway so I did a bit of testing for you. It turned out chewy for me too on my first attempt yesterday, v odd because it was absolutely fine before. I had another go, and it worked so here's a few tips that might help:

The syrup weighed 60g - more
accurate than trying to spoon it!

I heated the sugars on med/high for 5-6min before adding the bicarb, enough to get a good colour but not burnt.

After adding the bicarb, the mixture needs a really good whisk to get it frothing and bubbling - I think fairly large bubbles are important. I didn't whisk it enough the first time.

Related to that, don't try to spread out the mixture with a spatula once poured: I did this with the first batch yesterday and it really deflated. Just pour and leave!

I put yesterday's second batch in the fridge to set rather than leaving it at room temperature. Seems like the fast cooling helped.

Good luck, hope that helps, let me know how you get on! :)

PS a lot of recipes have some vinegar in them too, I think this would help the bicarb to fizz a lot so it could be worth checking out.