Sunday, November 22, 2009

November 22, 2009: 'Honey'comb

Our recent Soulmama post generated some speculation about vegan honeycomb. What's commonly called honeycomb here in Australia bears only a passing resemblance to the wax-and-honey structures built by bees - this crunchy, airy, sugary confection is known elsewhere as sponge or cinder toffee, yellow man, puff candy, hokey pokey or sea foam. In fact, I was pretty sure that this stuff doesn't usually even require honey! Indeed, the first recipe I came across was completely vegan. I guess the milk chocolate that commercial honeycomb is typically covered is the major vegan impediment.

If I'd bothered to read further I would have realised that this Sunday, when Melbourne was pelted with a volume of rain it rarely sees, provided very nearly the worst conditions for honeycombin'. It seems that these ideally-rigid sugar sponges will happily soak up any available moisture in the air, rapidly reducing themselves to a sticky mess unless they're prepared and stored in the driest of conditions. Whoops. At least they still taste good. Especially when coated in comparatively bitter dark chocolate.

(based on a recipe contributed to All Recipes by Nicola)

1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 tablespoon agave nectar (or just use more golden syrup; I was all out)
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 heaped teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Paper-line and grease a small baking tray. Set aside a small cup of tap water.

Heat the golden syrup, agave nectar (if using) and sugar in a medium-large saucepan. Bring them to the boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes. You need to get the sugar to a toffee-making stage - test it by spilling a drop of the syrup into the water cup; it's ready when the sugar cools into a brittle toffee drop.

Take the sugar syrup off the heat. Add the bicarb soda and stir it all together vigorously - it will froth up a lot! Spread the mixture into the cake tin as quickly as you can, as it will harden rapidly. Allow the honeycomb to set completely at room temperature and store it in a dry place.


  1. we made honeycomb in science in high school - like you said, it's called honeycomb because of its structure, not because it contains bee baby food. i made myself so sick eating my science experiment though that i can't touch the stuff!

  2. wow that is amazing - have never tried it but always meant to - now I want to