Science was my weakest subject in school. Although I had not yet decided on an occupation, I knew that it would be in a creative field, to which science would be irrelevent. As it stands, I was wrong. Science and creativity are two sides of the coin that is cooking. Modern cooks understand this.
Despite my lack of interest in hypothesis and theories, the experiments captured my attention. One in particular was the effect of carbon dioxide when combining baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) with an acid. The voluminous foam that billowed out of the beaker and all over the lab table delighted and fascinated me.
I find myself now, many years later, reliving that experience. This time, the results are edible and delicious.
Because the final steps must be executed rapidly, before you start cooking the sugar have ready: a baking sheet that has been well greased or lined with a silpat, a whisk and the premeasured baking soda.
Spread the sugar out in an even layer in the bottom of a large saucepan. Drizzle the water and honey over the sugar and place on a burner over high heat. Cook, without stirring, until it reaches 300F. You will observe the sugar melting, then the syrup forming small, tight bubbles, then the bubbles will become larger and looser and finally, the syrup will begin to take on an amber color. When it reaches 300F., immediately remove it from the heat. Quickly add the baking soda and whisk just until the baking soda is mixed in. In one quick motion, dump the foaming syrup onto the prepared baking sheet. Do not spread or disturb, as this will cause it to deflate. Let it stand until cool to the touch, about 10 minutes. Break or cut into pieces. Transfer immediately to an airtight container to preserve the crispness.