… And that’s what it’s all about”. Well I wasn’t dancing around the kitchen to this tune as I made Nigella Lawson‘s Hokey-Pokey honeycomb on the weekend – a thank you gift for some lovely friends. This final batch was my third attempt at it, and even then I think it can still be improved.
It’s really quite simple to make, but the secret is all in the cooking. The first batch turned out like flat soft taffy, so I double checked the recipe and gave it another go – even opening a new packet of baking soda, in case mine was a little on the old side and not giving my sugar mix enough “whooshing air” as Nigella describes it. But the second batch turned out exactly the same… no smashing shards of golden honeycomb, just flat sticky taffy. Hmmm.
At a loss now, I decide to phone-a-foodie-friend who tells me I need to cook the sugar mix for longer, to allow it to really caramelise. The recipe says the sugar syrup mix should bubble away for 3 minutes but I recommend at least 6 minutes – it really needs to turn the colour of dark maple syrup.
My first two attempts were not in vain (apart from sampling waaay too much) – I managed to salvage some pieces, chop them up and mix them through vanilla ice cream. “Oh Hokey, hokey-pokey…“.
Makes: 125g; Prep time: 5 minutes; Cook time: 5-10 minutes
100g caster sugar
4 x 15ml Tbsp golden syrup
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
– Put the sugar and syrup into a saucepan and stir together to mix. You mustn’t stir once the pan’s on the heat, though
– Place the pan on the heat and let the mixture first melt, then turn to goo and then to a bubbling mass the colour of maple syrup – this will take 6 minutes or so
– Off the heat, whisk in the bicarbonate of soda and watch the syrup turn into a whooshing cloud of aerated pale gold. Turn this immediately onto a piece of reusable baking parchment or greased foil
– Leave until set and then bash at it, so that it splinters into many glinting pieces