2 weeks, 4 attempts and tonnes of sticky, gooey caramel later, I finally cracked the honeycomb recipe. You would have thought that a recipe which only has 3 ingredients and takes 20 minutes to make would not have caused so much aggravation, but boy did this cause me to shed tears!
Many recipes for honeycomb, or Hokey Pokey, to use it’s proper Cornish name, (other names include cinder toffee, sea foam and puff candy) uses a ratio of 4 tbsp of golden syrup to every 100 grams of sugar. In there lies the problem, every time I used this recipe, the results were sticky masses of golden caramel, which ended up everywhere, instead of where it was supposed to go – in my tummy.
So what was I doing wrong, why wouldn’t it set properly? Should I put it in the fridge (2nd attempt)? Should I cook the sugar mixture longer (3rd attempt)? Tried that, didn’t work. On the plus side, I know that my smoke alarm is in good working order.
Airing out my frustrations to my friends, one of them by chance asked if I was using too much sugar. I said no, but I did wonder if perhaps there was too much golden syrup. So, being the determined, some might say stubborn sort, I made another batch, this time halving the amount of syrup. Would you believe it, it worked!
- 100g white caster sugar
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- Tip: boil a kettle full of water – trust me, it will save you alot of time and effort later!
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan (I used a stainless steel pan – don’t use your best or most expensive pan for this!), place the sugar and then the golden syrup. If you wish, you can stir the ingredients together.
- Cook on a high flame or temperature until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is bubbling rapidly. The colour of the mixture will darken, it is important that you must not stir it. If one area of the mixture is getting darker, then swirl the pan carefully until the colour evens up.
- After a cooking time of about 10 mins, and the sugar has fully dissolved, turn off the heat and immediately add the bicarbonate of soda.
- Using a metal whisk, stir the mixture for about 5 seconds and then immediately pour the contents of the pan onto a silicone sheet or a greased baking pan. Set aside to cool.
- Return the pan to the stove as soon as possible, add the whisk, then pour the hot water from the kettle into the pan. Be careful not to splash either the hot water or sugar mix on to you. This should remove the worse of the sugar mix, and then you should only have to gently clean the pan and whisk.
- When the honeycomb has hardened and cooled slightly, turn out on to a sheet of greased proof paper, and place on a wire rack to help the honeycomb to crisp up.
- After a few minutes, when the honeycomb has fully cooled, it is ready to break up and serve.
I was so proud of my golden disk of honeycomb, that it seemed a shame to have to break it up. I rather alarmingly quickly got over it, when I couldn’t find my heavy, metal meat mallet. It is so rare to get the chance to break things up, and now it seemed my chance had gone. So I experimented – first with the back of spoon, not very effective, then a pestle,
effective but not that satisfying. Then finally my trusty rolling pin.
Bish, bash, bosh!
It is true, you can have too much fun with a rolling pin. And yes, I scare myself sometimes too! If only I had thought of using my hammer …
If you try this recipe, please let me know how it turned out for you. Store the honeycomb in an airtight container, wrapped in grease proof paper. It should last for about a week.
Take care, until next time 🙂