• Can you complete the challenge? (Camellia Aebischer)Source: Camellia Aebischer
Ppopgi is a retro Korean honeycomb candy that’s had a huge resurgence thanks to the popular series Squid Game.
By
Camellia Ling Aebischer

15 Oct 2021 - 11:14 AM  UPDATED 15 Oct 2021 - 3:55 PM

Combining lollies and toys is a tactic as old as time almost. From Push Pops to Chupa Chip Melody Pops, Pez, sherbert bracelets, Kinder Surprise and even Fads – whose toy status is debatable – there is no shortage.

For Korean kids growing up, one of these throwback sweets were wrapped with the ppopgi - a sweet honeycomb candy made by street vendors that’s pressed into a round disc with a shape indented in the centre. Children must crack away from the outside edge of the shape cleanly around the indented line to ‘win’ the game.

A successful ppopgi should be evenly bubbled all the way through making it a pleasant light, crunchy sweet.

The treat has been lying dormant for some time with only a slight resurgence from Korean Youtuber Maangchi, until recently. It’s been brought back to life by Netflix’s popular Squid Game series, in a macabre resurgence that’s seen content creators flocking to make their own to beat the challenge depicted in the second episode. (No more spoilers, promise!)

Well, you know what they say, if you can’t beat 'em, join 'em. So, here we are. A recipe to channel Squid Game’s ppopgi.

One quick and very important tip before you go in, make sure you let the toffee cool slightly before adding the bicarb or it will burn and split too quickly – trust me, it took a few goes to get this Goldilocks moment just right.

You'll need a metal ladle and something to stir the sugar that won't burn like a wooden chopstick or metal skewer.

How to make ppopgi (dalgona)

Makes 1

You’ll need a heatproof metal ladle and a wooden chopstick for this recipe. 

Place your ladle over medium heat on the smallest burner of your stove. Add:

  • 1 tbsp white sugar

Cook, stirring constantly until all the sugar is melted and the colour turns light golden. Make sure the sugar doesn’t burn at the edges or the bottom of your honeycomb will taste bitter.

Remove the sugar from the heat and cool, stirring for about 30-60 seconds, or until it begins to thicken slightly.

Add:

  • 1 small pinch of bicarb soda

Stir the baking soda in with the chopstick until it’s evenly distributed and your honeycomb is light brown and foamy. Pour out onto an oiled piece of baking paper on a flat surface.

Place another sheet of oiled baking paper on top and press slightly with a flat object (a cake tin works a treat here).

Remove the baking paper and gently press in your desired cookie cutter shape to form an indent. Remove and cool a few more minutes until completely hardened.

Uh oh...

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