This is probably one the my favourite recipes from The Great British Bake Off. It got a a lot of airtime and the recipe below also got published on the BBC Food website! I’m really proud of that achievement!
Honeycomb is brilliantly versatile. I use it to top these tarts but you can also dip medium sized pieces into chocolate and sprinkle with hundreds and thousands. This makes a great treat at children’s birthday parties. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios or hazelnuts and it instantly becomes a lovely sweet canapé or Xmas gift.
There are lots of pictures of these and the honeycomb sequence on my Facebook Page.
For the pastry
- 200g plain flour, sifted
- 100g cold unsalted butter, diced
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 large free-range egg
- 1½ tbsp elderflower cordial
- butter, for greasing
For the filling
- 55g caster sugar
- 1 large free-range egg, plus 1 free-range egg yolk
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 125ml whole milk
- 4 tbsp double cream
- 1-2 tbsp elderflower cordial
For the honeycomb and decoration
- 200g caster sugar
- 50ml runny honey
- 50ml water
- 1 tbsp glucose syrup
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 12 violets or violas
To make them
- For the pastry, place the flour, butter, salt and icing sugar into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Beat the egg and elderflower cordial together in a small jug and with the motor running, slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture until it comes together to form a dough. Remove the dough from the processor and knead lightly on a floured surface. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease a 12-hole tart tin with butter.
- Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface and using a fluted edge 7.5cm/3in biscuit cutter, cut out 12 circles . Gently place the pastry circles into the holes in the tart tin, prick with a fork and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden-brown.
- For the honeycomb, grease and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Place the sugar, honey, water and glucose into a pan and boil until temperature reaches 160C/320F (use a sugar thermometer to check this) – it should be a light caramel colour. Take it off the heat and quickly whisk in the bicarbonate of soda then pour onto the baking tray. Set the honeycomb aside to cool then break into pieces.
- For the filling, mix the sugar, egg, egg yolk and cornflour into a large bowl. Put the milk and cream into a saucepan and heat over a low flame until it starts to simmer.
- Whisk the hot milk and cream into the egg and sugar mixture until smooth then return to a low heat and continue whisking until it starts to thicken. Continue cooking for one minute, whisking continuously, then take it off the heat and leave to cool at room temperature, with cling film over to the surface to prevent a skin forming. When cooled, add elderflower cordial to taste.
- To assemble the tarts, pipe the elderflower cream into the cooled pastry cases. Place a broken piece of honeycomb on top and garnish with a viola or violet flower.