Honeycomb Candy

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Introduction: Honeycomb Candy

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.

Step 1: Supplies

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

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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    68 Discussions

    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. 

    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!

    mine didn't turn out right at ALL. First, i don't have a candy thermometer which makes it harder. Second of all, mine turn out to be salty and very gooey, It didn't turn into honeycomb at all. if you have the same situation, plz tell me what to do

    Is it ok if I may use white sugar instead?

    I've made honeycomb treats several times following this recipe, with a few minor tweaks and it always comes out great! A tad bit sticky sometimes (I blame that on the non-usage of a thermometer, only eye-o-meter) but I'm still working on it. Great job!

    Made some a few hours ago, DAMN it's good!

    Might try adding some mint oil or???

    I just made this, but it nearly pulled out the filling in my tooth. It seems like there's too much honey! Did anyone else have this issue?

    image.jpg

    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.

    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!

    2 replies

    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!

    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.

    1 reply

    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

    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. :)

    3 replies