chocolate covered cinder toffee (honeycomb)

chocolate covered cinder toffee
Chocolate covered cinder toffee (known in some parts as honeycomb, puff candy, hokey-pokey, yellowman or seafoam,  but not to be confused with bonfire toffee) brings out my inner child. I love this stuff and could eat it all year around, not just on Bonfire Night. Making it is part cookery and part science project; (I get particularly excited when you add the bicarb to the sugar syrup and it all froths up . . . see what I mean about pleasing my inner child?) Anyway there is much fun to be had by all, and (my favourite type of science, kitchen science) you can eat the results! A really good explanation for the science and magic bit can be found on The Guardian website.

unadorned and hardened cinder toffee (honeycomb)
I like to coat my cinder toffee with melted chocolate, for a homemade Crunchie bar. You may think this is a case of gilding the lily. I prefer to think of it just a little enhancement for one of life's simpler pleasures.

Skill level: Messy

200g caster sugar
6 tbsp golden syrup
2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
butter (for greasing the baking tin)
equal parts dark and milk chocolate, melted
1 shallow square baking tin
greaseproof paper (for lining the tin - optional)
1 large, deep saucepan
1 metal whisk
1 wooden spoon


  1. Grease a baking tin with butter, then line with a strip of grease-proof paper wide enough to cover the bottom of the tin, long enough to come up and over the sides.
  2. Put sugar in a small to medium-sized pan. Drizzle over the golden syrup. An easy way to get the golden syrup out of the syrup tin is by using a metal tablespoon which has been held under a hot running tap.
  3. Heat on low to medium, gently bringing the mixture to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer for up to 5 minutes or until mixture darkens. Do not stir, although you can shake the pan a couple of times in a swirling motion to make sure all the sugar has melted.
  4. When the mixture is brown, remove from the heat.
  5. Add the bicarbonate of soda, swirling the pan as you do so. The mixture will begin to froth up. Stir with the whisk and then pour into the prepared baking tin.
  6. Set the tin aside to cool; (not in the fridge). When cold, lift out of the tin and crack into pieces with the wooden spoon.
  7. Melt equal amounts of dark and milk chocolate, then drizzle over the hardened cinder toffee pieces for an instant Crunchie bar. Allow the chocolate to cool Don't put the coated toffee in the fridge as the chocolate will lose its gloss.
  • Crush the cinder toffee into smaller pieces or granules and sprinkle over vanilla ice cream, iced cakes or over the cream on the top of a trifle (which may be a little more exciting than the traditional flaked almonds!). I tend to add it my late father, Henry's favourite indulgent ice-cream sundae too.

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