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25 mins

Handmade Gifts from the Kitchen
PREPARATION: 25 minutes, plus setting
COOKING: 10 minutes MAKES: 350g (12oz)

This recipe brings out the child in me: I still love watching the mixture fizz and bubble – volcano-like – as the bicarbonate of soda reacts with the hot sugar syrup to make this wonderful honeycomb.

Posted by Aurum Press Published See Aurum Press's 78 projects » © 2023 Alison Walker / Jacqui Small · Reproduced with permission. · Handmade Gifts from the Kitchen by Alison Walker, £20 Jacqui Small.
  • Step 1

    Grease a 16cm x 28cm (6¼in x 11in) traybake tin. Make sure you can leave it somewhere undisturbed as you don’t want to move it until the hokey pokey is set.

  • Step 2

    Heat the syrup, sugar and butter in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan until the sugar is dissolved. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down the sides of the pan to dissolve any stray sugar crystals that may cause the sugar syrup to crystallise while cooking.

  • Step 3

    Bring the sugar mixture to the boil and boil steadily until a sugar thermometer reads 138°C/280°F (the soft crack stage). Alternatively, drop a teaspoon of the mixture into a bowl of cold water. Bring it together with your fingers – it should form firm but pliable threads.

  • Step 4

    Take off the heat and immediately stir in the bicarbonate of soda followed by the vinegar – it will fizz and bubble up, so take care.

  • Step 5

    Quickly turn into the prepared tin, pouring in one layer from the top to the bottom of the tin – don’t be tempted to smooth out with a spoon or shake the pan to level the mixture because this will burst all the precious bubbles you have just created. Leave to set without moving.

  • Step 6

    Break into pieces and dip into melted chocolate, if you like. These treats start to get sticky after a couple of days but will keep for up to two weeks if completely covered in chocolate.

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