Honeycomb (sponge toffee?) Technique Tips

Joined Dec 1, 2010
I'm struggling with a honeycomb (I think you guys in America call it sponge toffee?) recipe at work. Our spec is 400g sugar, 40g honey, 500ml water and half a tablespoon bicarb. I can get close to the result I am trying to achieve, but it's extremely inconsistent. The basic process I'm using is:

1. Combine sugar, water and honey in a stainless steel pan

2. Heat to around 155 centigrade (by eye!)

3. Whisk in half a tablespoon of bicarb

4. Pour into metal tray lined with baking paper

Guessing the temperature by eye is proving extremely difficult, I think I may have to invest in a sugar thermometer. However I've noticed that usually the sugar mix seems to be overcooked in some parts of the pan and under in others. This also comes out in the final honeycomb as a kind of swirled light/dark pattern. I'm using the heaviest-bottomed pan available, and obviously cannot stir the mix. Any suggestions?

Also, the honeycomb tends to sink in the metal tray. I've got a feeling this is too much bicarb, causing the mix to rise too much, to the point it is unable to support it's own weight - breaking it open reveals large oval shaped squashed bubbles. However, I made one the other day with hardly any bicarb - the bubbles were tiny - yet it still sunk.

It seems like there are so many variables to control in this recipe, and it's proving almost impossible to figure out which ones are affecting the final result.

Any other general tips/suggestions much welcomed!


Joined Mar 2, 2006
Hello Merry Chef.

First , get the thermometer.

Second when you get to your target temp, put the bottom of your pot into a large bowl of water to stop the cooking, wipe it carefully and don't burn yourself.

third if you are getting dark portions you need to stir it a bit and may have hot spots on your burner or your pot may not be thick/heavy enough. Also your pot will continue to cook unless you stop it by using the water trick I mentioned.

Lastly, add the bicarbonate when the mix has cooled significantly, heat does not drive the reaction the acidity of the carmalized sugar does., When the sugar is cooler it will trap the gas bubbles better.
Joined Jan 5, 2007
We call it puff candy in Scotland.

Most mums learn to make it when children are in nursery school!

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