The Sweet Swap

Often following the one recipe for cupcakes or cookies produces way too much for me alone to eat. For this reason I’ve got fellow foodie work colleagues, friends and family who are more than willing to be my culinary guinea pigs. But about a few months ago, I received an email from Sara of Belly Rumbles, a fellow Sydney food blogger who wanted to let me know about a plan, called The Sweet Swap.

The Sweet Swap is an online event for Australian food & lifestyle bloggers which results in packages of sweets arriving on your doorstep and a few friendships formed. Each blogger is matched with three other bloggers and will mail off parcels of homemade lollies to their matches.  In return three parcels of lollies arrive on your doorstep.  We all post about the experience and get a lot of inspiration and ideas from one another. The small registration fee goes to charity (Child Fund Australia) and then you can get your bake on!

As exciting as this was, the prospect of other food bloggers reviewing my food was also ridiculously scary. You also had to make something that you haven’t already blogged about.

It took me some time to brainstorm ideas, taking into consideration factors such as postage cost, heat and temperature, packaging, fragility, and once I got my swaps – dietary requirements. I had one person who was allergic to a few specific nuts but I decided that on the safe side, to put a blanket ban on any nut products.

Ultimately, I decided to make honeycomb. Well, I dubbed it ‘Hokey Pokey Honeycomb’, to be precise. A sweet, moreish treat that would hopefully be quite a light package and wouldn’t shatter too easily upon impact during its travel.

You will need:

  • 215g caster sugar;
  • 80ml honey;
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoons cold water;
  • pinch salt;
  • 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate-of-soda;
  • 100g good-quality eating chocolate.

IMG_9070Line a baking tray with paper. Place the caster sugar, honey, cold water and pinch of salt into a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil until a sugar thermometer reaches 145 degrees Celcius and the mixture turns golden.

IMG_9081Working quickly, remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the bicarb. The mixture will whoosh up in a glorious caramel-coloured cloud.

IMG_9082Pour this gorgeous liquid honeycomb out onto the baking tray and allow to sit in a cool, dry room for approximately two hours or so until set.

IMG_9078At this point, you can choose whether you want to drizzle your melted chocolate over the entire slab or break it up first before doing so. I chose to do it afterwards as I wanted to first test the consistency of the honeycomb, but it would be much easier if you did it the first way. After two hours of cooling, it should be brittle enough for you to break it cleanly with your hands. Don’t worry about any of the smaller shards – they’re wonderful sprinkled over ice cream 😉

IMG_9085Over a double saucepan, melt the dark chocolate until it’s glossy.

IMG_9087With a small spoon, drizzle it over the set honeycomb and allow to sit at room temperature until it sets.

IMG_9089Now to package it with love and care!

IMG_9091

IMG_9095And off in the post they went! I fretted over whether or not they would arrive, but was reassured when Instagram photos (tagged #thesweetswap) popped up of my deliciously sticky treat!

But I was even happier when my own arrived, of course 😉

My first package was from Humble Crumble, who sent me a little gift box of Black Forest Fudge.

IMG_9103While rich in chocolate, it was offset perfectly by the tart, sour cherries and I hoovered up a few of these gorgeous little treats as soon as I opened the box. They were so good!

IMG_9099The package which arrived the next day was a funny one. I had been looking through the Instagram photos for The Sweet Swap when I saw that with one poor blogger – one was gluten-intolerant, and the other allergic to nuts! I really couldn’t imagine anything more difficult… but saw from her photo that she had produced some lovely little traditional Indonesian cheese biscuits made from starch flour. And I had such a big laugh when these arrived on my doorstep the next day!

IMG_9110Wonderfully buttery and crumbly, the biscuits were almost sweet and savoury at the same time and as the label promised, did ‘melt in my mouth’! Unfortunately though the blogger only gave me her first name and while I know her Instagram name, I don’t know what her blog’s name is so I can credit her here! But they were deliciously cute biscuits that I greatly enjoyed.

IMG_9112

The last package was a little later but well worth it. I just got back from doing the grocery shopping when I spotted that there was a large Express Post bag on the shelf in the garage – turns out the postman left it there on Friday! Reading that it was addressed to ‘Confessions of a Glutton’, I eagerly took it inside and ripped it open with great anticipation.

It was a gorgeously packed box by Natasha at Playing House in Adelaide, full of moustache-chocolate-pops!

IMG_9216The ‘mos came in Choc-Peanut Butter, Pink Chocolate with Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache, and Dark Chocolate Freckle. My favourite had to be the Pink Chocolate with Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache – the ganache inside had the perfect balance of sweet and tart. Tash had also enclosed a cute note to apologise for the delay in posting and said that when she sold cupcakes at the markets, she had a competition called ‘Snap a Stache’, where people would send in photos of themselves with a chocolate ‘mo to win a dozen cupcakes. What a brilliant idea!

So which ‘mo suits me the best? 😉

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This has been a wonderful event thanks to its creators Sara (Belly Rumbles) and Amanda (Chew Town). Looking forward to another round of The Sweet Swap some time in the near future! 🙂

23 Comments Add yours

  1. Tina @ bitemeshowme says:

    love the sound of your hokey pokey honeycomb! it looks unreal too!

  2. Have the same problem with making sweets. Always find I make far more than I can manage or ever want to eat.

    Love your mustache photos! Very funny 🙂

  3. I fell in love with hokey pokey upon first taste, so this is pretty much perfection!

  4. Em says:

    I LOVE honeycomb, so am a little jealous of those that received this! 😉

    1. haha it’s easy enough to make yourself at home! I can warn you that you’ll make way more than you can eat yourself though (or maybe not? :P)

  5. Alana says:

    Hahahah I TOTALLY feel you re: being scared of other bloggers reviewing your food! Looks like you did really well though, your hokey pokey looks so great. 🙂

  6. I love making honeycomb, the science of it is magic. Totally delicious drizzling it with chocolate, nom.

    1. So true! And the bitterness of the dark chocolate really gave it an edge as well, I found.

  7. irene says:

    I think the sagu keju is from Stephanie from Fluffy Makan! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the heads up, Irene! 🙂

  8. Ooooo I really wish I had the chance to try your honeycomb! I’ve been thinking I’d like to try and make it sometime soon. Bookmarking for future reference. Thanks for taking part in The Sweet Swap this year!

    1. Thank you so much for co-organising it! It would have been a massive project 🙂

  9. thehungrymum says:

    How much fun was the Sweet Swap? I loved it – looking for inspiration, creating something for other fodies, and yes! receiving delish treats in the post. Will def make this honeycomb – yum. Those mo lollipops are so fab 🙂

    1. It was so much fun! Let’s hope all the excitement happens again next year 🙂

  10. Hi Cath!
    Sorry its taken me so long to come visit!! Thank you so much for your lovely honeycomb it was absolutely divine!!! I couldnt stop eating it!! Well done my dear! I will definately be borrowing your recipe in the future and I’m sure itll bring me lovely memories of the sweet package I received from you! xx

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! Unfortunately the weather was quite humid the weekend I made it so it all stuck together – but good to hear it made it to you unscathed! I hope you enjoyed the rest of The Sweet Swap 🙂 x

  11. milkteaxx says:

    im looking for ideas to send stuff overseas, this is a change from my normal cookies! thx!

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