Chocolate “Crunchie” Bites (Or, Honeycomb/Cinder Toffee)

Apparently, these go by several names. I’ve always known them as “that bit inside a crunchie bar” or honeycomb (no, not the bee stuff!). They can also be called cinder toffee, and, it seems, “hokey pokey” which I thought was a kid’s party song, but oh well.

I actually bought some chocolate-coated-honeycomb last week at the West Midlands Vegan Festival which inspired me to make this! I’ve made it before as a child, with my mum, but not for a long time! It’s actually pretty simple if you make sure you have everything set up already.

You only need five ingredients – sugar, golden syrup, bicarbonate of soda, and chocolate. Some people use a sugar thermometer, but you don’t need one – I don’t have one! You need to prepare a bit beforehand: Get your tray that you want your honeycomb to go into ready – I used a 10×15 inch roasting tin. Line it with baking paper and then grease that with a bit of margarine or oil – you don’t want the paper sticking to the toffee!

Next, get all your ingredients ready, except the chocolate. Once you get started, it happens fairly quickly. I’ve put together a little picture guide to how you make it!

Chocolate Crunchie Bites

Ingredients

  • 200g golden syrup
  • 400g sugar
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 heaped tsp bicarb of soda
  • 400g chocolate

Directions

First, mix together your golden syrup, sugar, and vinegar in a large saucepan over a very low heat. Stir this with a wooden spoon until it is melting and is more liquid than solid.  Note: It’s good to use a wooden spoon as the sugar gets very hot, and a silicone/plastic spoon might not be able to handle it. Similarly, a metal spoon will get too hot and the handle will burn your hands!

Once the sugar has dissolved, remove your spoon, and turn the heat up. and let the mixture come to a boil. You need to boil this until it darkens in colour, which takes about 5 minutes depending on your stove. The sugar needs to reach the “hard crack” stage, this is 150C if you are using a thermometer. If not an easy way to test is by getting a jug of ice water ready. I did not have any ice (it’s October, why would I have ice?) so used frozen peas instead to cool my water down, ha!

Using a long fork or spoon, dip the handle carefully into the sugar mixture and then immediately put it into the ice water. Give it 10 seconds and then pull it out and test it. If the mixture is hot enough, it’ll have set solid and you’ll be able to “snap” it off like a boiled sweet. If it’s not and it’s just sticky, keep on cooking your mixture!

At this point, make sure your bicarb of soda is ready! If you let your sugar cook too long it will burn and taste nasty.

Once your mixture is hot enough, quickly add the bicarb of soda and mix very quickly. The mixture will soon increase in size a lot. You don’t want to mix too much – just enough to get all the bicarb stirred in so you don’t get any nasty packets.

Immediately pour the mixture into your prepared tin, and set aside on the countertop to cool.

You want to clean your saucepan now. The easiest way to do this is by boiling the kettle and filling the saucepan with boiling water. Then, the sugar will melt and you can scrub it off quickly.

Leave the honeycomb to set for at least 2 hours, until the top is hard to touch. Then prepare your chocolate. Break it into pieces, and melt it – I did mine in the microwave.

Remove the honeycomb from the tin. It should have shrunk a little while it cooled. Make sure it’s all set – if it’s not, leave it a while longer until it is.

Next, break it into bitesized pieces! Either just smash it with your hands, or use a serrated knife (like a bread knife) to help you cut it. Taste some if you like, it’s nice!

The next step is to dip your honeycomb in the melted chocolate. I did not get a photo of this as it was rather messy. But, use a spoon and a fork to dip, and place it on a tray in the fridge to set. Once it’s set – you’re all done, chocolate crunchie bites!

Keep in the fridge so the chocolate does not melt.

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