Wednesday, 2 December 2009

At Home: Honeycomb

I've always wanted to try making honeycomb. On a weekend escape to Brighton, I popped into the excellent Steamer Trading kitchen shop in the Lanes and picked up a sugar thermometer for under a fiver. The ingredients for honeycomb are simple enough (basically, sugar), but the key is getting it to the right temperature.

For such a simple sweet, there are an awful lot of recipes out there. Some use honey, others liquid glucose, and the old Gary Rhodes recipe I chose from More Rhodes Around Britain uses a knob of butter.

I should start by telling you all how quick it is to make. Once the sugars (225g caster, 225g demerara, 50g golden syrup) have melted with 2 tbsp water, it's just a matter of popping in the thermometer and patiently watching the mercury rise. Once the bubbling caramel reaches 138-140 degrees centigrade, you stir in the tbsp bicarbonate of soda, let it fizz and rise, and pour the mixture into a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper to cool. Simple. It took 20 minutes at the most.

Adding a knob (10-15g) of butter is unusual, but the result was delicious. It was softer than standard honeycomb, but still crunchy and crumbly, with a spicy rich flavour.

A cheap, quick treat, and a lovely homemade gift for Christmas stockings and hampers. Pop a sugar thermometer in the stocking and hamper too, with the recipe written out on the gift label, and they can have a go at making it themselves. (Remember to store the honeycomb in an airtight container so it doesn't lose its crunch.)


  1. I can vouch for its deliciousness! If I get a sugar thermometer for Christmas (I've dropped enough hints) then I'm going to have a go.

  2. Nice. I love the Steamer Trading Company in Brighton. I bought a baseball bat style pepper grinder that I love even though it refuses to work. Honey comb looks a lot of fun. Might make some over Christmas.

  3. Did you try the honeycomb? Going to try panforte again this weekend. Last made it at Cucina Caldesi in 2006, and have not been able to make anything that matched the original since.