Oh honey, oh sugar sugar

By the time it gets to Friday in the office, my coworkers and I are usually at our wit’s end with boredom, so eager for the weekend that we’re almost salivating with desire (eww, now there’s a mental image!) and shooting emails back and forth, desperate for some form of amusing distraction. Occasionally, when I know I’ll be baking on the weekend, I’ll run an event on the Friday afternoon known as “Friday Afternoon Shenanigans” – an event that invites my coworkers to prepare for the weekend by exercising the sillier sides of their brains, and generally sharing a laugh.

After not having run the event for the past month, this Friday I shared the definitive guide on “How To: Smell Like A Fish“, which caused such confusion that I thought it the perfect opportunity to reinstate this event and make a triumphant come-back. The resulting request for people to submit the title of a “most unlikely ‘how to’ list” yielded a few responses, but only 3 that were received within the specified time frame, so I decided that I’d gift all three of them with a mini basket of goodies! For the basket, I created 3 different boiled sugar delights – the marshmallows you’ve already seen, so I now present you with the home made honeycomb!

Golden, crisp and crunchy – these explosive sweets are sure to be a hit!

Haalo runs one of my absolute favourite food blogs on the internet – Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once, and when she posted this recipe for honeycomb I was impressed and slightly bemused in equal parts – impressed, because her sugary sweets looked so amazing, and bemused because earlier that day I’d gone grocery shopping and come home with a tub of liquid glucose, not having any idea what it was for! I took the fact that I’d seen this recipe and bought the glucose on the same day as a sign that this was something I was meant to make, but my overwhelming fear of boiled sugar (not unlike my fear of cupcakes) meant that I just couldn’t muster up the courage to try them.

However, holding my shiny new sugar thermometer in my hands on Friday night, I felt a sudden rush of optimism – even though this recipe didn’t specify temperatures, dangnammit, I was going to give it a shot!

Haalo’s straight-forward instructions made the recipe a cinch to follow, yet for some reason I underestimated just how explosive the reaction of bi-carb (baking) soda and the molten sugars would be…which resulted in me squealing like a maniac at 1am in the morning (which is when I chose to give this a try!) and stirring like mad to try and prevent the bubbling mixture from overflowing over the sides of the pot.

Me: EeeurrgggghAAARrgghg-Saaaaaavemeeeeeee!

Mom: (rushing into the kitchen from the lounge, having been woken from her nap) What? What’s wrong? What’s going on? Are you hurt?

Me: Bicarb-Spoldey-ARGH!

Mom: (taking a long look at me) You are an idiot. (walks back into the lounge and grumbles as she collapses on the couch)

About 10 seconds later, I gave up, grabbed both handles of the pot and dashed over to my lined lasagne tin and dumped the lot in, taking a step back and eyeing the tin with awe and shock as I watched the sugar mixture morph and grow, taking on shapes not unlike a swamp monster struggling from the murky depths of a lagoon. Once it appeared to stop moving, I cautiously prodded it with my wooden spoon, letting out a slight squeal as it quickly deflated like a popped balloon. Fearing wht my curiosity might lead me to do, I forced myself out of the room and sat down to watch a movie as the sugar set, dashing back into the kitchen once the credits rolled onto the screen.

I eyeballed the golden lump, grabbed it from the tin, applied pressure and *SNAP*! I popped the freshly broken piece into my mouth and closed my eyes as the sugar fizzled and disintegrated into nothing on my tongue. I can’t tell you how much better this honeycomb is than the store bought ‘Crunchie’ chocolate bars (bars of honeycomb coated in chocolate), and it was also superb crushed and sprinkled into a bowl of vanilla ice cream that I had the next afternoon!

So, if you feel the need for a little sugary something as well as some kitchen magic, I definetely recommend giving this recipe a try :)

Home Made Honeycomb (from Haalo & AWW)

1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1/3 cup liquid glucose (can replace with light coloured corn syrup)
2 tbsp monofloral honey (ironbark, leatherwood, red gum etc)
1/4 cup water
2 tsp bi-carb (baking) soda, sifted

1. In a high-sided large saucepan add the sugar, glucose, honey and water and stir over a gently heat until sugar has dissolved.

2. Continue to cook until the mixture turns a golden brown colour – this should take about 15 minutes.

3. While the sugars are cooking prepare your tray. I line my tray (20x30cm or 8×12 inch and a good 2-3 inches in depth) with double thickness aluminium foil and extend it generously over the tray edges. Put this tray on a larger cookie sheet as a protection measure to catch any over-runs should the tray not be high enough.

4. Make sure the bi-carb is well sifted and when the sugar is ready, place this into the saucepan. Stir quickly to combine, you’ll immediately notice the mixture become a lot lightly in colour and start to rise – it’s texture will change to something resembling spun sugar. Keep stirring and when the mixture is approaching the top of the saucepan begin pouring it out onto the tray – the reaction will continue in the tray where it will keep rising. There’s no need to smooth the mix out – it’s best that you just leave it.

5. Let it set in the pan for about an hour – it will drop down somewhat as it cools.

6. Remove from tray and break it up into pieces to enjoy on it’s own, dipped/coated in chocolate or smashed and mixed into some vanilla ice cream :)

Look at all those caverns…anyone feel like a spot of spelunking?

[tags]boiled sugar, candy, sugar, honeycomb, recipes, sweets[/tags]

Others who have tried this recipe:


  1. omgosh, it looks heavenly ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ
    i first knew honeycomb from nigella’s tv show, she calls it hokey pokey, i think this is a good version next to that ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. oh no! I cant find any corn syrup or liquid glucose(?) at the place im in. Is there any other substitute for it? I do have molasses though. I just bought a bottle for gingerbread cookies! Can this be used? Or will plain suger, water syrup mixture be ok?

  3. I’ve no corn syrup here. And they do not sell it around the neighbourhood. Is there any other substitute for it? I’m stuck here with my laptop in the kitchen, help my sugar-water mixture will work. Help! ๐Ÿ˜

  4. Nazia – Hehehe, thanks honey :)

    Amanda – Unfortunately not, but water and sugar should be fine so long as you’re careful about washing down any sugar crystals so that the mixture doesn’t crystallize!

  5. I’m actually kind of upset. I just tried making this, and I followed the instructions exactly. Or at least I thought so. It turned out to be chewy, super sticky, and not edible. I don’t know what I did, but the mixture never really solidified. Some advice would be great because I was really excited about it, but it didn’t turn out well at all. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

  6. Wait, never mind. I used a site (Hey, that tastes good) for reading the ingredients, and this site for the description. They put “2 T baking soda”. “T” is for tablespoon, so I just thought this recipe had an incredible amount of baking soda. Rather than double check on this site like I should have. That’s probably what screwed it up. I hate wasting ingredients ๐Ÿ‘ฟ Oh well, hopefully they’ll fix it.

  7. Alexandria – The amount of bicarb used shouldn’t affect it in the way you’ve described. If it’s chewy/sticky and didn’t really set then it sounds as though you did not cook the sugar long enough (as it really needs to get to hard ball stage or beyond)

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