Growing up, we called this honeycomb but I’ve heard it called cinder toffee, hokey pokey, puff candy and even sponge toffee. No matter what you call it, this is a bomb of sugary delight and fabulous on a cold night, in front of the fire with a cuppa.
You know the orange, toffee-like centre of a crunchy bar that just melts in your mouth and then goes super sticky? Well, that’s what we are making.
It’s actually really simple to make and very quick, although you do have to be patient and wait on things setting oh and did I mention it’s pure sugar? This is a big pile of empty calories that will rot your teeth… but oh my god it’s so tasty!!!
First things first though, we are going to be working with CRAZY hot,
burny, molten lava-like sugar. BE CAREFUL!
- 5 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 250ml water
- 650g granulated sugar
- 340g golden syrup
The science bit
This sweet delight gets called honey comb because of the bubbly texture, you don’t actually need to add honey to the recipe. I use golden syrup cause the taste an colour work really well and honey can burn really quickly.
Talking of burning, we are basically melting the sugar and then heating it to crazy temperatures,150ºC or hard crack to be precise. The water helps to stop the sugar burning, but the amount of water in the finished toffee also dictates the texture of the finished product:
- 113ºC (85% sugar) makes fudge,
- 118ºC makes tablet (a traditional Scottish sweet – see my recipe)
- 132ºC (90% sugar) makes chewy toffee and
- 149ºC and above (nearly 100% sugar) makes hard sweeties.
We are going for hard sweeties as we want the crunchy texture.
Another note about water, or humidity to be precise, open a window while you are cooking this as the high humidity of the kitchen will make your honeycomb sink while it’s cooling.
Ok Let’s make sweeties
Grease and line a (roughly) 23-x-33 cm baking tray with greaseproof paper (grease the paper as well, trust me).
And make sure the paper comes up higher than the sides by a few
Sieve the baking soda and cream of tartar together in
Continue boiling until your temp hits 150ºC then remove the pot from the heat and QUICKLY sieve in the baking soda and cream of tartar mixture and stir quickly to make sure it has been incorporated, but stop once it’s no longer visible.
QUICKLY pour and scrape the now frothing contents of the pot into your baking tray and let it set. Try to do this without screaming, panicking or dumping the now volcano like pot and running away.
Do not touch it, stir it, try to spread it. Don’t even try to tip the tray, just leave it where it naturally sits. Did I emphasise enough that you need to be quick? It takes seconds for this to turn into a volcano of froth as the baking soda erupts but it also takes seconds for you to knock the air out, hence quickly and do not touch.
Now you have to leave it alone and let it cool for around 2 hours until it is solid. Really, I know it’s tempting to touch it and test if it’s set, don’t do it, it’s bloody hot!!!
After 2 hours smash it into bite-sized pieces and enjoy or you know be virtuous and give it away (but nobody likes virtuous I don’t eat sweeties types). It’s extra awesome dipped in chocolate, or so I’ve been told, cause you know I don’t eat unhealthy things so I wouldn’t know.
My body is a temple.
Oh sorry no, amusement park, my body is an amusement park, I always mix those two up.