Honeycomb, cinder toffee…

By Anna, 27 October, 2009 7:35 pm


I’m sure there are lots of names for it. This is one of Nigella’s recipes and she calls it ‘hokey pokey’, so there you are. Make up a name and this is it.

We always called it honeycomb. Of course it has nothing to do with honey, but rather a lot to do with sugar and golden syrup. Fat free though – yes, really! Fat free! Unless you dip it in chocolate, but that’s a different matter.

Sweet, crunchy but chewy. And easy? Easy?! If you have 10 mins to spare and want to give someone a present that isn’t a box of dusty chocolates from the shop, then this is a choice to consider.

First, do yourself a favour and measure out 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).  Also, get an 8″ square tin out and butter it well.

Put 200g caster sugar and 4 tablespoons of golden syrup in a saucepan.


Stir it around to vaguely incorporate it,


then put the pan on a low-medium heat to melt. Don’t stir it from now on. Swirl if you must, but no stirring.

See? It’s just melting in the bottom right…


Melting well now (this is a matter of a couple of minutes, incidentally)


So now you let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, until it’s darker – about the colour of maple sugar – don’t let it get too dark though. ‘Twill burn.

You can’t see the true colour very well in this pic, because the bubbles are lighter, but allow me to assure you, it was darker.


Now whip it off the heat and thrust the tblsp of biacrb in and whisk it in rapidly, but calmly. This is hot sugar – over enthusiastic stirring results in scars.

Poooooooof! Swell! Flump! *insert other words that indicate the chemical reaction*


Pour/scrape the sugary lava into the greased tin



and allow it to set.

It will firm up as it cools, but that might take a couple..a few hours. Mine firmed up pretty quickly, but I declared it ‘done’ after the most intensive pestering from Alex. Is it done yet is it done yet is it done yet. You get the picture.

Fiddle around with it by easing the sides of the tin apart slightly, sticking a palette knife down the side then turning it over and thrusting it out of the tin on to a cutting board. There’s nothing to stop you cutting it in the tin, but I like this tin dude, so I’m not cutting anything in it!

Sweeeeeeeeeeeet. (Man, it’s sweet)


Crunchy (Crunchie) …sweeeeeeeeeet


Chop it, splinter it, lick it off the board, I don’t mind one bit. Nigella suggests sprinkling it on to, or spooning through, ice cream. Whatever – as long as you don’t sprinkle it on roast chicken, I don’t think you can go wrong.

If you’re in a homemade sweetie mood, have a look at the Brown sugar fudge



PRINT THIS RECIPE (opens in a new window)

200g caster sugar
4 tblsp golden syrup
1 tblsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

8″ square tin, well buttered

Combine the sugar and syrup in a saucepan.
Put the saucepan on a low-medium heat and allow it to melt. Do not stir at all. Evermore.
Allow it to simmer for 3-4 mins until it darkens a little – no darker than maple syrup though.

Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the bicarb.
Pour it into the well greased tin and leave to cool and set. Something in the region of 3 hours.
Chop, splinter and cut with a knife. Store in an airtight tin. (ha! store it! right! )

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59 Responses to “Honeycomb, cinder toffee…”

  1. melissa says:

    I made this earlier on today and it tasted horrendous! Just salty and fizzy (as are my burps incidentaly, haha!) I had to throw the whole batch as I couldn’t let anyone else eat it. Are you sure it shouldn’t be one teaspoon and not a tablespoon?

  2. Anon says:

    Yeah, I agree with the 2 previous comments and looking at the nigella recipe, she states that it should be 1 and a half TEASPOONS of bicarb and although this is for 100g of sugar and 4 tablespooons of syrup, you don’t actually need to double the amount of bicarb when doubling up the recipe itself!

  3. Romina says:

    I made it only with half of the recipe(thank God) and i had to trow it away because it tasted awful( because of the carb ) it is too much bicarbonate for the recipe and it is sour . Too bad i didn t read the commenta first

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am going to try making it this afternoon. I made a batch last week, although not with Nigella’s recipe. It was bloody awful!
    I agree with the bicarb, I think 1 tblspn is too much.

  5. Jill says:

    OMG I have just made a batch and piled on the bicarb on the spoon…so have to wait till it sets to find out if it is as horrid as everyone says….oh no…

  6. Jill says:

    Omg! I have just made it with a tablespoon of bicarb – and I am waiting for it to set atm….but having just read all the comments I am not looking forward to trying it!
    Oh well I will have to try again with less bicarb this time !

  7. Fran says:

    I have just made it with the ingredients as stated about and OMG it is wonderful

  8. Ian says:

    Have no scales. How do I measure 100g of sugar. And do I double up on ingredients to make double the amount?

  9. amazing says:

    very good and amazing just the getting it out the tin part i struggled on sadly so very good and quit but maybe give tips on how to get it out that would maybe help :)

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