How to make honeycomb

The alchemy of turning sugar and honey into crunchy, bubbly burnt-toffee heaven is surprisingly simple.
Alicia Taylor

The key to making perfect honeycomb is working quickly. Once you add the bicarbonate of soda to the syrup, the mixture will foam up dramatically – make sure to transfer it quickly to a prepared oven tray to cool as this will help to achieve the desired textured, bubbly finish. It’s also important to heat the syrup to the right temperature (155°C as per our recipe below) to result in the signature light golden colour of honeycomb.

This recipe comes courtesy of Tahlia Collins, a talented young chef who works with Hugh Wennerbom at The Argyle Inn in Taralga, NSW, where they serve honeycomb petits fours.

What you’ll need

A sugar thermometer, such as the Avanti Sugar and Deep Fry Thermometer, is essential for making honeycomb. Using a thermometer will accurately indicate when to add the bicarbonate of soda to the honey caramel – it’s important for it to be added at the exactly the right temperature.

The type of honey you use will give different results. It’s best to go for a good-quality raw, runny honey with subtle floral notes, which isn’t too sweet or overpowering.

How to make honeycomb, step by step

Step 1 Line an oven tray with lightly greased baking paper and set aside in a warm place. Combine 265gm sugar, 187gm glucose and 97gm honey in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and brushing down side of pan with a clean, wet pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals. Then cook, without stirring, until syrup reaches 155°C on a sugar thermometer (8-12 minutes).

Step 1.

(Photo: Alicia Taylor)

Step 2 Remove syrup from heat and, working quickly, whisk in 24gm bicarbonate of soda (be careful, hot syrup will start to foam up), then keep whisking for 3 seconds to combine.

Step 3 Immediately pour mixture onto prepared tray (be careful, the mixture will be extremely hot; pour it away from you). Leave to cool without moving or touching the tray (this will help preserve the bubbles) until honeycomb is firm and set (1-2 hours).

Step 3.

(Photo: Alicia Taylor)

Step 4 Once honeycomb is cool, break into small pieces or cut with a serrated knife. Honeycomb will keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

For chocolate-coated honeycomb, melt 500gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) and 100gm cocoa butter in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water until melted (5-7 minutes), then stir to combine. Dip honeycomb pieces into chocolate and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper or a wire rack to set (2 hours).

Note: Chocolate honeycomb will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. If the weather is humid, keep frozen in an airtight container.

Chocolate-covered honeycomb.

(Photo: Alicia Taylor)

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