Crunchie is a candy from England, which is essentially a honeycomb candy covered in milk chocolate – and It is my FAVORITE candy ever! My mom’s family – as in grandma and aunts/uncles live in the U.K, and growing up they would visit us every year, and bring all the English candies/chocolates/biscuits/cookies – all the possible goodies and they become our house favorite sweets ever. We would literally be stingy in eating the goodies, to preserve them until the next time they would visit us ! I would save all the different candy wrappers cause they were so pretty and unique unlike what we got in Bombay. I kept the wrappers for many years until one fine day my mom decided that I HAD to throw them out of my cupboard!
I have been to England a few times to visit my family. Going to the chocolate isle in the grocery store is HEAVEN! I go crazy looking at all the candy and chocolate and spending a lot on it! England has a lot of unique candy stores which are just so fun to go into and try the different creations. I remember one store that we visited in Windsor that has so many different kinds of licorice and different flavored toffees. The British chocolates are so creamy and they simply melt in your mouth! My other favorite is Galaxy – they have many different flavors available now.
I have been wanting to make my own honeycomb candy and I finally got around to doing it! It is like a science experiment, where you have to keep everything ready and once you add the baking soda to the mixture, it explodes like a volcano – literally! I made the candy with my kids, and they had fun watching the candy explode and form these bubbles to form the honeycomb like texture in the candy. Once the candy cooled, they would not keep their hands off it!
Instead of dipping the candy in chocolate, I decided to make a dark chocolate cheesecake with a touch of espresso in it, fill the center of the cheesecake with the honeycomb candy, that melts when you bake the cheesecake and forms a caramel like center in the cheesecake. I topped the cheesecake with the honeycomb candy as a visual appeal and for the crunch. This cheesecake took me right back to my childhood, eating crunchies and my brother and I fighting over equal shares in the candy brought by my family! The funny part is – my brother would finish his share within no time, and I stretched out by share as much as I could, and he would beg me to give him part of my share but that was NOT going to happen ;).
The dark chocolate cheesecake is seriously super easy and super decadent. A little piece goes a long way, hence I made a 6 inch cheesecake. Make it for a party or when you have friends or family over. It is easy, can be made a day ahead of time, and will be a hit at any party!
If you do make this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on the blog post below.
I am looking forward to watching the Oscars on Sunday! One of my favorite things to do in February! Have a great weekend!
- Honeycomb Candy:
- 1 ½ cup organic cane sugar
- ½ cup honey
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tbsp baking soda (sifted)
- Candy thermometer
- Dark Chocolate Cheesecake - Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
- (I used a 6 inch cheesecake pan)
- Chocolate Crust:
- 16 chocolate wafer cookies
- ¼ stick butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Chocolate cheesecake filling:
- (6 inch diameter cheesecake)
- 1 70% chocolate bar, chopped into small pieces
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 packages cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- Chocolate Ganache:
- 3 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Honeycomb candy
- Honeycomb Candy:
- It is very important to keep everything ready before making the honeycomb candy. Keep a small baking sheet ready with parchment paper or silpat ready. Keep the baking soda next to the stove ready as well. Make sure that the baking soda is sifted.
- In a 5 quart pan(you need a big sized pan because the candy will rise after adding baking soda) add in the organic cane sugar, honey, water. On medium heat, stir to mix. Once incorporated, stop stirring, add in the candy thermometer. The mixture will bubble. Let the thermometer go to 300 degrees C. It will be slightly amber in color. Switch the stove off. Immediately add in the baking soda, and stir continuously for 10 seconds till baking soda is mixed in well. The whole mixture will bubble and rise to the top. Now using oven mittens, immediately add the mixture onto the baking sheet. You do not need to spread it.
- Let it cool for an hour. Then it will be ready to break into pieces! You could dip it in melted chocolate and store it in a container for upto a week. If you are not going to coat it with chocolate it will last for about 2 days in an air tight container.
- Dark Chocolate Cheesecake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 6 inch-diameter springform pan. In a food processor, blend the cookies and sugar until finely ground. Add melted butter and process until well blended. Press the rumbs evenly onto bottom and sides of the prepared pan. Bake until just set for about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling.
- Dark Cheesecake Filling:
- In a small saucepan, add water half way up and heat it on medium heat. Let it simmer. Stir chopped chocolate in a metal bowl on the simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over the water, and let cool but still lukewarm.
- In a stand mixer, blend the cream cheese, sugar, espresso powder and cocoa powder for a minute until smooth. Add in one egg at a time and mix until well blended. Mix in the melted chocolate and blend with a spatula until smooth and even in color.
- Pour half the filling over the crust. Cover the filling with honeycomb candy, crushed into small pieces, to form an even layer. The smalle tiny pieces is important, or else it will make dents in the cheesecake. Add the remaining filling over the honeycomb candy and smoothen the top. Tap the cheesecake 2-3 times for all the batter to settle properly.
- Prepare a water bath by adding hot water in a large baking pan. Cover the bottom of the springform pan with aluminum foil to seal it tight. Put the pan into the water bath carefully and into the 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes till it is set. It will be slightly jiggley Cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife through the sides of the cake. The cake may have cracks in the middle due to the honeycomb candy added in the center. Do not panic. It will settle. Chill overnight. Remove it from the springform pan carefully and onto a platter.
- Chocolate Ganache:
- In a medium bowl, add in the chopped chocolate. In a small saucepan, add in the heavy cream and let it boil once. Remove it from the stove top and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute. Now mix with a spatula until the mixture is smooth and silky. Add in the sea salt and mix. Let it cool for a couple of minutes. Pour over the center of the chocolate cheesecake and spread to the edge of the cheesecake to fill any cracks. Chill until the top is set for about an hour. Decorate with small pieces of the honeycomb candy on the rim of the cake.