Hokey pokey (or honeycomb, as it’s often referred to in other parts of the world) is one of New Zealand’s favourite candies and one that’s been around for generations. I remember making it at primary school (we’re talking early ’70s here folks!) at one of our weekly Home Economics classes. I particularly recall being in awe of its metamorphosis from simple sugar syrup to frothy, aerated crunchy confection.
In New Zealand we’re obsessed with the stuff. You most commonly see hokey pokey in the form of our much loved Cadbury Crunchie Bar (hokey pokey dipped in milk chocolate) and our iconic Tip Top Hokey Pokey ice cream. And, it’s for home-made Hokey Pokey Ice Cream that I’ve made this particular batch. In the meantime, I felt it deserved a post all of its own.
Thanks to the trusty old NZ Edmonds Cookbook for this recipe, as featured on Chelsea.co.nz. It’s simple and easy to make, though you do need to watch that the caramel doesn’t burn (trust me I know…). You also need to move really quickly once you add the baking soda as it froths up super quickly and starts setting almost immediately. After you’ve navigated those challenges though, all you have to worry about is not eating the whole lot in one sitting! As if…..
- 5 Tbsp white granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp Golden Syrup
- 1 tsp baking soda, sifted
- Put sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan.
- Heat gently, stirring constantly (a silicon spoon works best) until the sugar dissolves.
- Increase the heat a little and bring to the boil. Boil for around two minutes*. Stir occasionally, if necessary, to prevent burning. As soon as it reaches a deeper amber colour (like a new copper penny), remove from heat immediately.
- Sprinkle in the baking soda. Stir quickly to combine (or you’ll end up with yucky soda lumps) until mixture froths up rapidly!
- Dump immediately into a buttered tin (don’t pat the mixture down, as it needs to retain the air bubbles inside). Leave until cold and hard then break into pieces (I find applying the tip of a sharp knife vertically down through the mixture creates a nice clean break, without collapsing the aerated holes).
- Store in an airtight container (or it will start to soften and go sticky) in your pantry .