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.
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 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 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.