Today I have a sweet treat to share with you. See how to make cinder toffee with this easy honeycomb recipe.
It is coming to the time of year of Halloween and Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Night) here in the UK where I associate yummy sweet treats. Cinder toffee is one of those treats, a bubbly, crunchie sweet with a delicious taste. You may also know it as honeycomb, hokey pokey and even sponge toffee as well as the famous chocolate bar ‘Crunchie’. Whatever the name for it, the basic recipe is the same, which is where we have this easy honeycomb recipe.
I have attempted this recipe in the past, but always got the measurements of ingredients slightly wrong, resulting in a gooey mess. Luckily this easy honeycomb recipe came to the rescue and a successful cinder toffee was made. I have used Thinly Spread’s recipe as a base, just altering the amount of bicarbonate of soda. Previously I have added way too much bicarbonate of soda, which gives the great volcano experience but leaves a horrible taste in the honeycomb. Therefore, I reduced the amount slightly and it was a perfect balance of volcano and no taste of the bicarb.
Making Cinder Toffee
The process of making the cinder toffee is fairly straight forward and there are only three ingredients to it. However, the difficulty comes with heating the sugar and getting it to the optimum temperature. It is a great science experiment too, with how the sugar and bicarbonate of soda react together.
Now, a word of warning, the sugar gets VERY HOT, so if you want to make this with children, then they should be at a distance. Using a sugar thermometer or a food thermometer that goes high enough can help with achieving the best temperature to make a successful honeycomb.
You also have to work quickly once the sugar gets to temperature, as the reaction with the bicarbonate of soda happens more or less instantly. So don’t take your eye off it when making! I would also advise having everything ready and waiting to go before you even start making the cinder toffee. This will help the process of making that much easier.
As the sugar and bicarbonate of soda react, the mixture will expand like a volcano, so make sure the pan that you are using is deep enough. You don’t want the hot sticky mess going onto the hob, as it will be a nightmare to clean off. You also don’t want to get burnt with the hot sugar either!
Easy Honeycomb Recipe
As I have said, this is an easy recipe to replicate and only has three key ingredients to it. It is quick to make and can be enjoyed the same day. A perfect sweet treat for Halloween and Bonfire night. So, let’s get baking!
What you need:
You will need the following ingredients and items for this easy honeycomb recipe. Some items on the list are affiliate links and will be marked with an asterisk (*).
- 200g Golden Caster Sugar
- 100g Golden Syrup
- 1 1/2tsp – 2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- Deep Baking Tin* – this is similar to the one I used
- Sugar thermometer*
- Greaseproof paper
- Butter for greasing
- Large Heavy-bottom saucepan
Step 1 – Prepare and measure
The first thing to do is prepare everything that you need to make the delicious cinder toffee. Start by greasing and lining a deep baking tin (I think mine is a 20cm one). I like to grease the tin, then place greaseproof paper so that it sticks to the sides better. As this can be quite sticky, I also like to add a bit of butter onto the greaseproof paper as well. Make sure that the greaseproof paper comes over the top of the tin. This will make it easier to remove when set.
You also want to measure out the ingredients. I like to do this first, rather than measure out into the pan. That way you can be more accurate with the measurements, and remove any of the ingredients should you overpour.
Step 2 – Heat Sugar & Golden Syrup
The next step is to begin heating the sugar and golden syrup together. Place the sugar into the heavy-bottom saucepan followed by the golden syrup. I like to mix the two before heating, however, you can just leave them as they are in the pan.
Begin gently heating over low-medium heat. The most important bit in this step is to not stir as it dissolves. I repeat DO NOT STIR. You can gently swirl the pan now and then to help the process, but stirring can cause the sugar to crystalise.
Step 3 – Bring to a Boil
When the sugar and golden syrup have fully dissolved, you can then crank up the heat. You want to get the sugar hot and bubbly at this point. Use a thermometer to determine the temperature of the sugar. You want to continue to boil until the sugar reaches 140°C/300°F. The sugar mixture will begin to caramelise and turn a golden brown.
You may notice that the edges turn a darker colour, but don’t worry too much as it shouldn’t taint the cinder toffee. If the sugar becomes a deeper brown, then it has been heated too much and burnt. You will probably want to start again if this happens. The burnt caramel will, well, taste burnt and not that pleasant.
Once it reaches temperature, it is time to create the volcano.
Step 4 – Add Bicarbonate of Soda
Grab your measuring spoon add in the bicarbonate of soda. I added 1 ½ teaspoon. And the honeycomb came out great!
After adding in the bicarbonate of soda, grab your whisk, and begin mixing the two. Even from adding in the bicarbonate, you will have seen a bit of a reaction, with stirring it, you will see the full reaction. Make sure all the lumps of bicarbonate are incorporated into the mixture. Remember to work quickly with this, as the sugar will begin cooling and setting.
Step 5 – Pour into baking Pan
Add the expanding mixture into the pre-lined and waiting baking tin. You may find that the mixture comes out in clumps, but don’t worry it will merge once in the tray.
You can scrap the edges of the pan to get the mixture out, but just be mindful that this part may have already begun to set and may have a different consistency.
Once in the baking tin, allow the mixture to completely cool. It will begin to harden in this process, and should only take a short amount of time to do so.
Step 6 – Break into Pieces
After the honeycomb has fully hardened and set, remove it from the baking tin. Set it on a chopping board with the greaseproof paper still underneath to catch any crumbs.
Then, you can break it into smaller pieces. I use a mixture of a rolling pin and a sharp knife. I found the rolling pin didn’t do as much damage as I thought it would. The sharp point of the knife worked the best for me. Then the cinder toffee is ready to enjoy, and that is the easy honeycomb recipe complete!
You can store these in an airtight container for up to a week.
Easy Honeycomb recipe – Alternative ways to Enjoy
If you like ‘Crunchies’, then you can replicate these by covering the honeycomb pieces in yummy chocolate. All you have to do is melt down your preferred chocolate, and then pour or dip the honeycomb pieces into it. Delicious!
If you wanted to make these into fingers, then you could always use a special chocolate bar mould, or something similar, allowing the honeycomb to cool and set in these. Either enjoy as they are, or cover in chocolate again.
If you are an ice-cream sundae lover, then you can incorporate the smaller pieces into your ice cream. Simply mix them in, layer them or sprinkle on top. You could add them to any topping really, in buttercream for delicious cupcakes, or on top of a yummy cheesecake. The possibilities are endless. Whichever way you choose to enjoy the cinder toffee, it will be delicious!
Let me know what you think of this easy honeycomb recipe, and whether you will be giving it a try. Have you already made honeycomb before and fancy sharing your tips, then place them in the comments below!
Stay tuned for next week’s post, as it is another great sweet treat for this time of year!
Easy Honeycomb Recipe – Video
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Easy Honeycomb / Cinder Toffee
- Heavy-based saucepan with deep sides
- Deep baking tin
- Greasproof paper
- Sugar Thermometer
- 200 g Golden Caster Sugar
- 100 g Golden Syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- Butter for greasing
- Grease and line a deep baking tin with greaseproof paper. Grease the paper with butter also.
- Place the sugar and golden syrup into a large heavy-based saucepan. You can stir together or leave as is.
- Begin gently heating the sugar and golden syrup until they dissolve. DO NOT STIR. You can swirl the pan now and then gently.
- Turn the heat up when dissolved to bring the liquid to a boil/bubbling. Keep heating until the mixture reaches 140°C/300°F. The caramel will begin turning a golden brown colour.
- Add in the bicarbonate of soda and whisk quickly to combine the two. The reaction will be instant and the mixture will foam up like a volcano.
- Pour immediately into the waiting baking tin and leave to cool.
- When set, break into chunks and enjoy! It can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week.