Honeycomb Crunch Cake
By: Aileen Anastacio
A light, spongy chiffon cake, layered and iced with softly whipped cream, and topped with crunchy honeycomb coffee candy. Such an interesting mix of textures!
Makes 1 10-inch cake Prep Time 25 minutes Baking Time 30 minutes
For the cake
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup plus
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup corn oil
5 eggs, separated
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 cups honeycomb candy
For the honeycomb
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup strong coffee
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons glucose
1 1/4 tablespoons baking soda
For the icing
3 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 10-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. (Learn how to line a pan here.)
2 In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3 In a separate bowl, whisk together corn oil, egg yolks, water, and vanilla extract. Add to the dry mixture and mix until well combined and smooth.
4 In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium-high and gradually add the remaining sugar. Whip until glossy and stiff.
5 Gradually fold the whipped egg whites to the batter, making sure it is well blended.
6 Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Do not prick.
7 Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
8 Make the honeycomb: Line a baking sheet with a nonstick mat or parchment paper. In a large, heavy-bottomed nonstick saucepan, combine sugar, coffee, honey, light corn syrup, and glucose.
9 Bring to a boil until candy thermometer registers 290ºF and sugar begins to caramelize or turn amber in color.
10 Add the baking soda by sifting it over the mixture for even distribution. Using a wooden spoon, stir in gently to keep the mixture from deflating. The mixture will foam up.
11 Pour the mixture into the prepared baking sheet and let cool completely. Break into pieces.
12 Make the icing: In an electric mixer, whip cream to soft peaks. Gradually add in sugar, whipping until stiff.
13 Assemble the cake: Slice cake in half horizontally. Place the bottom half on a cake board or cake tray/stand. Place about 1 cup icing over the cake then spread evenly using an offset spatula. Add a layer of honeycomb pieces, about 1 1/2 cups, then top with the other cake half.
14 Ice the cake with whipped cream.
15 Stack the remaining honeycomb pieces on top of the cake to finish.
• Before you even start preparing the cake, make sure that your oven is at the right temperature (verify with an oven thermometer).
• Use fresh eggs and keep them at room temperature.
• Before adding the sugar, make sure you whip the egg whites until they’re frothy with small bubbles.
• When you add the sugar into the whipped egg whites, do so one tablespoon at a time and whip until the mixture is glossy and stiff.
• Use a wire whisk when folding the whipped whites with the batter, or better yet, your hands—this way, you can feel if the mixture’s been mixed well already. Do this slowly to prevent the whites from losing its volume.
• Try to make the honeycomb in a cool or air-conditioned area. Humidity causes the candy crunch to “weep” and become sticky. If you prefer, you can purchase readymade honeycomb at Sweetcraft. Look for “sugar crunch.” (SweetCraft is located at #373 Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City; tel nos.: 532-1595, 571-8008, or check out SweetCraft’s facebook page) .
• When the honeycomb mixture is ready, pour it into a greased baking pan and leave it. Do not level it off using a spatula or tap it to make the mixture spread out—just let it be. Once cooled, break it into pieces and keep in an airtight container to prevent it from melting.