Ppopgi are made with a shape stamped into the middle and the goal is to eat around the outline – if you can nibble the honeycomb or scratch it with a needle into the shape without it cracking, you can treat yourself to another one!
- butter, for greasing
- 115 g (4 oz/½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- First, set up a stamping station. Cut two sheets of baking paper the same size as a large baking sheet. Use one piece of paper to line the baking sheet and grease the paper well with butter. Grease one side of the other piece of baking paper with butter and set aside. Find a heavy object with a flat surface, such as a wooden chopping board or a couple of heavy cookbooks. You will also need a few cookie cutters in different shapes, ready for stamping.
- To make the honeycomb, heat the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to melt. Swirl the pan around so the sugar melts evenly and doesn’t brown too quickly.
- Once the sugar has melted and turned a light golden colour, remove it from the heat. Add the bicarbonate of soda and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until it stops foaming and bubbling. The honeycomb should be a light amber colour.
- Immediately pour the honeycomb onto the prepared baking sheet in four equal circles about 5 cm (2 in) in diameter. Leave at least 5 cm (2 in) of space between each circle to allow for spreading. Place the second sheet of baking paper over the honeycomb, greased side down, then place a chopping board on top for 5 seconds to weigh down the mixture. Remove the board and the top sheet of baking paper, then use various cookie cutters to stamp different shapes into the honeycomb, being careful not to cut all the way through. Work quickly, while the honeycomb is still malleable.
- Set aside to cool and harden, then eat the honeycomb immediately or store it in an airtight container. Be sure to layer the honeycomb with baking paper to prevent the candies from sticking together.
• Get creative with this recipe by sprinkling some granulated sugar, toasted sesame seeds or finely crushed nuts onto the baking sheet before pouring the honeycomb. You can also pour the honeycomb over bamboo skewers to make lollipops!
Recipe and images from Little Korea Iconic Dishes and Cult Recipes by Billy Law, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99