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Honeycomb Toffee

Honeycomb crunchy caramel Our best-selling ice cream in our shops is Honeycomb crunchy caramel (this ice cream flavour originates in New Zealand, where they call it “hokey pokey“), and last night I set about final testing on the recipe for the crunchy bits that make it so distinctive. Known also as “cinder toffee” and “sponge candy,” it is as actually quite easy to make.

By the way, if anyone knows who invented the candy, please pass it on!

There are so many ways to make this, and if you want to explore other recipes, you’ll find variations here, here, here and here.

Here’s what works for me, and it lasts fairly well without going soggy.

Honeycomb Caramel Candy


  • Honey comb toffee candy400g sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 40ml golden syrup (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

What to do:

  1. Combine the water, golden syrup and sugar and cook over medium heat without stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Turn up the heat until the mixture becomes the deep golden colour of honeycomb, stirring if it cooks unevenly.
  3. Stir in the baking soda, until it is fully combined, but don’t over-mix! It will froth up and more than triple in volume.
  4. Immediately pour out onto a non-stick baking mat or greased baking sheet.
  5. Allow to cool fully.
  6. Break into pieces and enjoy!

Note: 1. For those scientifically minded, the sugar mixture should reach hard crack stage, which you can test by using a candy thermometer or spooning a few drops into a glass of cold water, where it should immediately harden and break easily when you take it out. That being said, I find that once the colour is right, the temperature is right!

2. Make sure there are no lumps in the baking soda, or it might not dissolve fully!

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13 Responses to “Honeycomb Toffee”

  1. November 14th, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Sarah Bell says:

    I love honeycomb ice cream so will have to have a go at making this. In Northern Ireland we have a company that make it and call it “Pooh Bear” ice cream.

  2. November 14th, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Lisa says:

    Yum! That looks great!
    Do you just add this to vanilla ice cream?

  3. November 15th, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Kieran says:

    I know, it’s called so many things! Yes, you can just add it to a vanilla ice cream base, although we put in some caramel as well. I’ll try to post a recipe soon.

  4. November 15th, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    Michael Natkin says:

    Looks great! Do you know if there is an American substitution for golden syrup?

    Michael Natkin
    The Herbivoracious Blog

  5. November 15th, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    Kieran says:

    I think you should be able to substitute dark corn syrup for golden syrup.

  6. November 15th, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Tusk says:

    The Golden Syrup would be called Corn Syrup in the US.

    Honeycomb Toffee is a lot like a style of Peanut Brittle. Without the peanuts of course. Also really good with black or regular walnuts.

  7. November 18th, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    Rose says:

    This beautiful crunchy item sounds delicious. maybe over the holidays…

  8. November 19th, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Lisa says:

    I’ve had no trouble finding Golden Syrup here in the States at larger markets (along with Marmite!)

  9. November 21st, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    kathy says:

    Golden syrup is corn syrup in the US. I’ve made a recipe just like this in the microwave as its easier than over a stove.
    Variation: I heat just below the hard crack stage and pour over popcorn for a great caramel corn.

  10. November 30th, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Tusk says:

    No, not great caramel corn. THE BEST caramel corn. If you pour it over the popcorn, then bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring often, it gets in all the nooks and crannies. Seals the popcorn pretty well…

    Then make ice cream with it. Yum.

  11. December 9th, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Tracy says:

    I just found your blog and I love reading it. I’ve only been to Ireland once but I’d love to go back! We did some great shopping in Killarney.

    I’m going to have to try making that candy. I don’t know who invented it but I know another name for it. In Milwaukee, where I used to live, a store called it “Fairy Food.”

  12. July 8th, 2008 at 6:16 am

    Martin says:

    “Hard crack stage” – is this when the caramel changes from foaming white to liquid amber?

  13. July 8th, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Kieran says:

    It’s really about the consistency, Martin. Hard crack is when you drop a bit of it in a glass of water and it immediately hardens and is easy to break. On a candy thermometer it would be 149 – 154C (300° F–310° F).

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Kieran Murphy is a director of Murphys Ice Cream living in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

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Murphys Ice Cream

Murphys Ice Cream has shops in Dingle, Killarney and Dublin 2 (Wicklow Street).