Honeycomb, aka Cinder Toffee or Hokey Pokey, is delicious and so much fun to make. Not only that, it’s full of educational facts, making this Double Chocolate Honeycomb the perfect off-school activity to engage with kids. We can’t claim we knew all about it before Clare Heal created this recipe and shared this fascinating information with us.
Fact: all those crunchy bubbles in the honeycomb are created when baking soda is added to a hot sugar mixture, creating carbon dioxide. The gas forces the mixture to expand into a sugary foam which hardens as it cools. It’s pretty impressive to watch and makes a great combined cookery-and-science lesson in one. You often get chocolate coated honeycomb, but this Double Chocolate Honeycomb includes a little Food Thoughts Organic Cacao Powder in the mix, so it delivers a delicious chocolatey taste throughout too.
It’s not a difficult recipe, but there are a few things to pay attention to. If you don’t get the sugar mixture hot enough to start with, it will be chewy rather than crunchy when it sets. And if you use too much baking soda, the bubbles will escape before the sugar hardens, making your honeycomb very flat. Too much cacao powder makes the bubbles too weak to hold the gas and will also lead to deflated honeycomb. Above all, be careful around hot sugar!
This is an excellent idea as a home baked Christmas gift, or gift for any time of the year. Double Chocolate Honeycomb is easy to make, very entertaining for kids and adults and the outcome is intensely delicious! Happy gift making
You will need
- 50g golden syrup
- 300g white caster sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1½ tbsp Food Thoughts Organic Cacao Powder
- ¾ tbsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- Food Thoughts Luxury Dark, Oat Mylk or White Chocolate Chips (optional)
Line a 20cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Weigh the golden syrup and sugar into a medium sized pan, preferably one with a shiny or white bottom, and add the water. Stir everything together then place the pan on the hob and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Meanwhile put the Food Thoughts Organic Cacao Powder (or Food Thoughts Organic Cocoa Powder) in a small bowl with the bicarb.
Once there are no more visible grains of sugar, increase the heat under the pan and let the mixture boil and bubble. If you have a sugar thermometer, aim for 140°C. If not, wait until the bubbles start to move slower and become less foamy. At the same time, the colour will begin to change from the pale gold of the syrup to a richer, darker orange as the sugar begins to caramelise. (A note on sugar: you can use golden caster sugar or even a proportion of demerara, both of which will give a slightly more complex flavour to your honeycomb. But using white sugar makes it much easier to tell what’s happening with the caramelisation so if this is your first time making honeycomb then maybe stick to that.)
The caramelisation probably won’t happen evenly, so swirl the pan gently to disperse the colour. Once it is all amber, take the pan off the heat and, working quickly, add the cacao (or cocoa) and bicarb, whisking quickly but efficiently to distribute it evenly. Pour into the lined tin and let it cool completely (about 30 mins) then bash with something heavy to break into shards.
Melt your choice of Food Thoughts Luxury Dark, Oat Mylk or White Chocolate Chips, depending on your diet requirements (or use all three!) and dip the shards in. Place on a rack or tray until the chocolate hardens then place into an airtight container where they will keep for at least a week.
If you don’t fully cover each piece, the airtight bit is particularly important as sugar is hygroscopic - it absorbs moisture from the air – so unless your honeycomb is protected, it will go a bit soggy after a couple of days. Perhaps it’s best to eat it before that happens? Yes, that seems much the safest option…