Vegan Crunchie bar experiment

There are many Vegan alternative chocolate bars available these days. Go Max Go Foods have a fantastic selection, they have their own Vegan take on Mars bar, Snickers, Milky way, Bounty, Crunch and Peanut Butter Cups – but no Crunchie bar alternative, so I’ve set myself a challenge to make my own Vegan version of a Crunchie bar, read on to see how the experiment goes.

Honeycomb

To start the experiment I looked into the product I was trying to recreate, Cadbury Crunchie – A golden honeycomb centre surrounded by Cadbury milk chocolate. I discovered that it was launched back in 1929, now thats a long time ago!  Since the 1980’s it has been advertised with the line: Get that Friday Feeling! And doesn’t it just? Oh how I miss that Friday feeling as a Vegan.

Honeycomb is also known as Cinder Toffee or Sponge Toffee. Honeycomb really is just a description of the way the sugary centre of this chocolate bar looks, it is not a Honey product. It quite literally is sugar bubbled up. So with this information in hand my experiment can begin. First of all I searched for a Honeycomb recipe, I came across a few, but the simplest had to be Nigella Lawsons, I remember seeing it on T.V, she made it to take round a friends as a gift and ate it all in the taxi on the way!

Ingredients:

  • 100g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Golden Syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda

The recipe said to mix the sugar and syrup together in a heavy non stick saucepan, then gently heat on a medium hob until sugar has dissolved and mixture has become golden brown. The recipe also said not to stir, but you could gently swirl if necessary. I don’t have a heavy non stick saucepan, so I used a large one and hoped for the best, I was cautious not to burn my pan, so probably had the hob on too low. I thought the mixture was golden brown so I proceeded to the next step, adding the bicarb and whisking it in, it didn’t bubble up as I was expecting :( But I thought maybe I’d remembered it wrong, it smelt like honeycomb, so I poured it into my swiss roll pan lined with greaseproof paper then placed it in the fridge. After four hours chilling i discovered I had made chewy caramel!! Disaster.

So as the saying goes If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. So I did. I melted down the chewy caramel, using a higher heat, then added it a little more bicarb, it did bubble up – would have loved to have taken a photo but I only have two hands, sorry! I poured my second attempt into the lined pan and left it to chill. After four hours it was set, amazing. I broke it up into pieces, (the picture of this is at the start of my post,) much better than first attempt, however far too much bicarbonate of soda, and quite possibly over cooked, but I know now to not be frightened of cooking it on a hight heat, my saucepan survived.

Dark chocolate coated Honeycomb

Dark chocolate coated Honeyconb

Rice milk coated Honeycomb

Rice milk chocolate Honeycomb

I dipped the shards of Honeycomb into melted chocolate, half in rice milk and the other half in dark. I left the pieces to set in the fridge on greaseproof paper. Other than the bicarby after taste they are pretty good. Now to investigate how to make Honeycomb in bars, will be back soon with my findings. Till then… I’ll be tucking into my Go Max Go Foods chocolate bars, click here for your nearest stockist.

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