How to Make Hokey Pokey Candy

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About: I love cooking and craft-work. I write a blog about the cooking part, and add in my travel experiences.

You may know the name hokey pokey from a dance you did around a campfire when you were a kid. It's not only a dance, but it's a well-loved candy from New Zealand. I've discovered in my travels that there is a kind of candy called honeycomb in the UK that is similar, but it doesn't seem to be as ubiquitous as in NZ. There, you find it everywhere : coated in chocolate, in ice-cream, and made at home, and in school science labs all over the country.

The science lab bit is because of the fantastic foaming reaction between the hot caramel syrup and baking soda that you add at the end to make the holes in the candy.

It only has three ingredients, and takes only five minutes to make.

It's lots of fun to make with kids!

Step 1: Ingredients for Making Hokey Pokey

As I mentioned in the introduction, there are only three ingredients in this candy:

140g/ 10 tablespoons of granulated sugar

50g/ 4 Tablespoons of golden syrup

2 teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate

Step 2: Heating the Sugar

Grease a cookie tray with sides or a large cake tin with butter.

Place the sugar and golden syrup in a medium-sized pot.

Step 3: Melting the Sugar

Heat on the stove-top on a medium-low heat, stirring constantly.

Step 4: Keep Stirring!

The sugar will melt and start to bubble. Keep stirring it for 5 minutes until the mixture turns a light amber colour like you see in the photo. If you have a candy thermometer, I couple of people have said that you will know when it's ready when the temperature reaches between 145 - 150 deg C. (That's between 293 - 302 degrees F, according to Google).

Thanks to ROF and Mimikry for that hint!

Step 5: The Exciting Bit

Add the sodium bicarbonate, while stirring constantly.

Step 6: Watch the Foam!

Watch it foam up! As soon as it becomes foamy, scrape it evenly into a greased dish and leave it to harden.

Do not try to smooth it out in the dish, otherwise you will flatten it and destroy the air-pockets inside the candy. (learned from experience....)

Do NOT touch it before it hardens as it will stick to your fingers and burn them.


Step 7: Now It's Ready to Eat

Once it cools you can break it into pieces with your hands .

Hokey pokey will keep in an airtight container for at least a week.

Soak the utensils you have used in water immediately so that the candy comes off easily when you wash them.

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32 Discussions

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Suejack61

3 months ago

We call this sponge toffee in my neck of the woods. Can't wait to try this recipe!

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ItaliankiwiblogSuejack61

Reply 3 months ago

That's a name I hadn't heard of yet. I love it! It's describes the candy really well!

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annhamel

3 months ago

Also love it dipped in chocolate. In Chicagoland it is called Fairy Food.

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Italiankiwiblogannhamel

Reply 3 months ago

That's such a great name for it! It's sold dipped in chocolate as a candy bar in NZ . It's incredibly popular!

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Momos75GREYL0CK

Answer 3 months ago

This sweet is also known in Hungary, it’s made with honey instead of golden syrup. It seems the world is small. :-)

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ItaliankiwiblogMomos75

Reply 3 months ago

It sure does! I didn't know that golden syrup existed outside NZ, Australia and the UK. that's very interesting!

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ItaliankiwiblogGREYL0CK

Answer 3 months ago

I'd love to know if it works with dulce de leche. It's an interesting idea.

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LVB

3 months ago

I used to make this years ago, and it is indeed great stuff, and your instructions are perfect. The only questionable piece of information in your 'ible is the claim that it "will keep in an airtight container for at least a week." That may be true, but only if you happen to live in a house in which the occupants have a reasonable degree of self-control. ;-)

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ItaliankiwiblogLVB

Reply 3 months ago

Thank you so much! Actually, it's never lasted more than a day in our house, so I took a guess at the week-long storage. I'm sure nobody will call me out on it as there won't be any left in a very short time if they make it. LOL!!
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Italiankiwiblogseamster

Reply 3 months ago

Thank you so much! I'd love to enter, but I don't live in the U.S.A., so unfortunately I can't....

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seamsterItaliankiwiblog

Reply 3 months ago

There are a handful of countries that have laws that make their residents unable to enter contests like this, but most are okay! Be sure to check the official rules linked on the contest page to double check. If you're in France as your profile says, you should be okay to enter : )

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Italiankiwiblogseamster

Reply 3 months ago

Oh really? Thank you!! I'll have another look (and yes, I am in France). :)

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rof

3 months ago

One of the problems with this treat, is that if you over cook the sugar syrup, the finsihed item goes bitter - if you under cook it remains sticky !! Digital cooking thermometers are all around so use one to gently get the sugar syrup to 145 C ( 293 F !!) before taking it off the heat and adding the bicarbonate. And as AndrewA above says - that is hot and lava like so be careful.

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Italiankiwiblogrof

Reply 3 months ago

That's a good idea. Thanks for the temperature it should be at. I learnt to make it from my mother years ago, so have always done it by eye. I need to get myself a candy thermometer one of these days!

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calpos

3 months ago

Great 'ible. This recipe is the base for the peanut brittle my mother made. Just add a good handful of raw, shelled peanuts at the start of cooking, and continue to cook until the peanuts also turn a nice golden brown. Then add the soda and get ready to pour - it's pretty hectic at the end!

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smikette

3 months ago

we call that sponge toffee here in canada. we can even buy a chocolate coated sponge toffee bar called Crunchie. both are delish!

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Italiankiwiblogsmikette

Reply 3 months ago

Oh that's interesting! the Crunchie bar is very popular in New Zealand too!