Instructables

Honeycomb Candy

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Honeycomb - a sweet, sweet candy treat from the bees.  Easy to make and even easier to eat, honeycomb candy is the perfect thing to satisfy you're craving for that instant sugar rush.

This candy is actually the product of an acid-base reaction like your elementary school volcano project. The sodium bicarbonate and the acid in the honey and the brown sugar cause your sugary mixture to bubble up and create all those little delicious nooks and crannies that give honeycomb its unique texture.


CA Chemistry Standard: Students know the observable properties of acids, bases, and salt solutions.

Learning objective: By making honeycomb, students will identify and describe the properties of acids and bases in a delicious candy reaction.
 
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Step 1: Supplies

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I kind of made up this recipe based on what we had on hand.  Here is how I measured it out:

63 grams honey (3 tablespoons)
100 grams brown sugar (1/2 cup)
5 grams baking soda (1 teaspoon)

Also make sure to have a candy thermometer on hand!


Step 2: Mix and Heat

Combine the honey and sugar with a couple tablespoon of water in a large pan (it's going to expand a lot!) and cook over a medium high heat and cook until it reaches 300F (150C), stirring only occasionally and very gently, and wiping down the sides with a rubber spatula.


Step 3: Add the Magic

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When to candy has reached the proper temperature, remove it from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda.  It should start to foam up a lot!  

When the baking soda is thoroughly incorporated, spread out onto waxed paper or buttered foil and spread.

Allow it to cool and harden completely, then break into chunks.

Store candy in a super air-tight container.  Honeycomb candy is hygroscopic, meaning it takes in moisture from the air.  Unattended candy will get sticky quick!  Another great way to prevent this is to coat the pieces in chocolate - yum!


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JimMcKeeth2 years ago
We made two double batches tonight, with chocolate covering of course. The first batch was a full 300 degrees, and we didn't remove it from the heat before adding the baking soda (instead removed it immediately after). It was a little done. Once the baking soda is added it cooks really fast. When we put it on the wax paper it melted the wax paper and fused to it and the counter top. Really hard to get apart. Ended up tossing a lot of it (quite sad actually). 

The second batch was 285 degrees and we removed it from the heat before adding the baking soda, then we poured it into a well greased (non-stick spray) casserole dish. The dish gives it a little more height. Once it cooled it easily broke apart and came out. Plus the color and flavor was better. 

Recommendations
 * Could be heated anywhere between 285 and 300 degrees.
 * Remove from heat immediately before adding baking soda!
 * Pour into a well greased (non-stick spray) casserole pan to cool.

We melted chocolate in a double boiler and dipped the pieces. Much better that way. It was a huge hit with everyone in the family. 

One warning though: 285 degrees is really hot. Be careful not to get any on you. My teenage son got a little on his hand and got a good burn out of it. If it drips on the floor just let the dog at it once it cools. She did a better job then I did with the spatula. 
scoochmaroo (author) 2 years ago
I don't think honey is traditionally used in this recipe, and can be easily substituted with molasses. As for maple syrup, I'm not sure, but it's worth a try! And yes, lemon juice will also react with the baking soda, but without a syrupy binding agent, you're just making sweet foamy baking soda!
My mom won't let me make it is it good
jamesdude1 year ago
i tried making it, and overcooked it a bit. still tasted great though. i think 300F might be a bit too much, or maybe i did something else wrong. next time ill stop at 280 or so.
valkgurl2 years ago
Somewhere in PA there is a factory that makes this and sells the "off cuts" as "scrap bags". A friend went there.

I am kinda sad / kinda happy that I DON'T know where that factory is.

You can mail order it from a bunch of places tho. The dark choc covering is the BEST if you are a First Timer. TOPS grocerys back East might have it--think I have gotten it there if you go to one of the bigger stores they have awesome candy depts.
Is the baking soda actually reacting to the 3 tablespoons of honey, or is it possible to simply not add the honey? The scientist and vegan inside me want to know... If it is reacting to the acid, I imagine a small amount of lemon juice would be more/as effective.

Very cool. I had always wondered how Violet Crumble, etc. are made. I'd like to try this with peanut butter, chocolate, lemon, orange, mint..... must find my candy thermometer!
I'm sure it would taste similar-ish without the honey. I used to work for a chocolatier and we never used honey - just a megaton of sugar (and, oddly, gelatin - which I know wouldn't work for you as a vegan). I don't think there'd be any harm in giving it a try.
thanks, that makes sense to me. I cannot imagine that the honey would act as an acid or a binder, given that it is the raising of the temperature of the sugar that creates the texture. I doubt the big manufacturers use honey either, given the greater expense.
Well, only one way to find out!
parkerpe2 years ago
This looks delicious! I was wondering whether I could substitute pure maple syrup for the honey. We just made a bunch of maple syrup last month and this looks like a non pancake-related use for it.
Ugh I'm so jealous! I moved from Michigan to Arizona and real maple syrup is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO expensive out here! And don't even think about trying to get molasses! I guess it's agave nectar for me! lol
spartana2 years ago
This is locally known in New Zealand as "hokey pokey" :D
But we use golden syrup and granulated sugar instead of honey and brown sugar, I am going to have to try this variation. :)
That wouldn't be... Lyle's Golden Syrup, would it?
yes
I don't think we have that brand here, but I would think it would be the same product :)
Hi Spartana

What's golden syrup? Is that Corn Syrup?
Hiya, from a little reading, golden syrup is made from sugar cane or sugar beets. The way I would describe it is a milder tasting and lighter coloured version of treacle. I haven't personally come across corn syrup so I don't know if you are able to substitute the two.
$tarbucks2 years ago
Wow oh my God that is perfect. Use to be my favorite candy in elementary school. Thank you much.
Mine Too. I believe it was called Sponge Toffee though, and was sold in 3X3 squares about 3/4 of an inch thick.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
in england it is sold in a wrapped bar and is called crunchie
johng12 years ago
Here in northern Illinois it is called sponge candy and it comes in chunks covered in either milk chocolate or (the best!) dark chocolate. The only place I can find it is at (believe it or not) Farm & Fleet, and they only get it at Christmas time, so when its gone, its gone until next Christmas. And it goes all too quickly. Thank you! Now I won't have to wait until December. And I will save a little money too!
taria johng12 years ago
if you leave near the Nauvoo area, they have a little store called the fudge factory that makes and sells this all the time year round and wouldn't ever tell me how they made it. -evil grin- now I know!!! -insert evil laugh here-
grelllove012 years ago
mine turned out salty with a chemical after taste. it tasted good at 1st but then it turned bad. did this happen to anyone else?
scoochmaroo (author)  grelllove012 years ago
This to me says either too much baking soda, or the soda didn't get mixed in well enough, or scorched a little bit in the process. But salty + chemical taste usually comes from baking soda in my experience.
thanks that helps
turbobug2 years ago
Of course you can use maple syrup but then it would be my maple foam ibble you would be making

just saying
turbobug2 years ago
Of course you can use maple syrup but then it would be my maple foam ibble you would be making

just saying
Like the way you explain the chemistry, always good to trick the kids into learning something.

Thanks for sharing.
scoochmaroo (author)  Dream Dragon2 years ago
Thanks Dream Dragon!
kdallmer2 years ago
Cabury Crunchie! Wonder if you could place this in a candy bar shaped mold ( silicon)
Jayefuu2 years ago
Nice photos scooch! I love this stuff.
astrong02 years ago
Isn't this inside of Violet Crunch?!?!? anybody from the UK Canada or Jackson hole, Wy. will know of what i speak.
Fo55ilise2 years ago
Slightly too much of the Baking Soda can make the finished honeycomb (Cinder Toffee) very bland.

It is normal to add a small quantity of Cream of Tartar to counter this and bring the 'Toffee' flavour out better.
This looks so good! I was going to write a sponge candy ible but now I don't have to :)
The recipe I have uses light corn syrup so yours probably has a better honey taste.
acosully2 years ago
ive purchased little chocolate covered pieces of this in the bulk bins at the produce market of all places. there it costs like $6 a pound and normally im too cheap to pay that. now theres nothing to stop me from making it at home, thanks a bunch!
Sponge Taffy here in Canada, no matter what it's called it's the best sugar fix ever!
ludo2 years ago
Violet Crumble (and Crunchie) bars still ubiquitous in Australia. Every supermarket, convenience store, grocery and petrol station has them.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violet_Crumble
frodosmom2 years ago
There used to be a candy bar call Violet Crumble, I think from Austrailia, that was just like this, honeycomb covered in chocolate.
They sell that here in Southern California - at the local Gas station... I'm gonna have to get myself some tomorrow now that you reminded me of it...
It's still here mate :)
That is awesome. I wish I could eat them again, but sugar is my worst enemy now.
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