By Samantha Coutts - Delicious Team
375g sheet frozen all-butter puff pastry (we used Carême – 52cm x 26cm sheet), thawed
1/2 cup (180g) honey, warmed, plus extra to drizzle
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk
1 tbs vanilla extract
2 titanium-strength gelatine leaves
2 cups (500ml) pure (thin) cream
50g unsalted butter, chopped
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1/4 cup (90g) honey
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease 2 baking trays and line with baking paper, then grease a 22cm square cake pan and line with baking paper, leaving 5cm overhanging each side.
2. Cut the pastry sheet into 2 squares and place on the prepared trays. Brush both the pastry sheets generously with honey, then cover each sheet with a piece of baking paper and place another baking tray on each to weigh down and keep flat while baking (work in batches if you don’t have enough baking trays).
3. Bake, swapping trays halfway, for 40-45 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through. Remove the weights and the top sheets of baking paper, then brush the pastry with more honey. Bake, checking every 3-5 minutes (be careful, as the honey can burn easily), for a further 10 minutes or until crisp, golden and glossy. Set the pastry sheets aside to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, to make the custard, place the cornflour and the sugar in a heatproof bowl. Place the milk and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to just below boiling. Gradually whisk the warm milk into the cornflour mixture until smooth.
5. Meanwhile, soak gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to soften.
6. Return milk mixture to saucepan and place over medium heat. Add cream, then bring to the boil, whisking until thickened. Squeeze the excess water from gelatine, then add to the pan with the butter. Whisk until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and whisk in egg yolks until smooth and combined.
7. Using a serrated knife, trim the pastry to fit the prepared pan. Place 1 piece, honey-side up, in base of pan. Pour the custard over pastry base, then set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly. Place remaining pastry piece, honey-side up, on top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight or until firm.
8. For the honeycomb, grease a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan and line with baking paper. Place sugar, honey and 2 tbs water in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, for 5 minutes or until deep golden and it reaches 154°C on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat and allow bubbles to subside. Working quickly, add bicarb, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine (honeycomb will foam). Quickly pour into the prepared pan and set aside to cool completely. When ready to serve, remove honeycomb from pan and roughly chop.
9. Using a serrated knife, cut the vanilla slice into pieces. Drizzle with extra honey and top with honeycomb to serve.