Saturday, 26 September 2015

Honeycomb Ice Cream

Yay! The freezer seems to (finally) be fixed! (firmly crosses fingers and places them behind back).... I can't believe how many months we have been struggling to keep it going.... emptying it.... filling it.... emptying it again..... as it limped from one defrosting disaster to the next. I am pretty sure it is doing what it should be doing now, but the trouble is I am not sure I trust it. It has let me down too many times recently and it is going to have to earn my confidence back!

Of course the first thing that has to be done to celebrate (and test) a working freezer is make some ice cream! I have so missed home-made ice cream for the last few months and typically, it had to be during the summer that we experienced ice cream famine..... How unfair is that?

To make up for lost time, we are going to have to go ice cream crazy...... First up.... a churned honeycomb ice cream made in the ice cream maker. Right freezer.... can you handle it?

I have had a hankering for honeycomb ice cream for ages. There seem to be lots of versions in the shops these days and some of them are totally amazing. I needed to know whether I could make anything near as good a rival....

Okay..... so I have never made honeycomb either, but who ever lets a little skill-gap get in the way when it comes to ice cream?

Having done some good ol' internet research, it seems there are a million and one different honeycomb recipes out there. They vary in boiling temperature from 138 C to 150 +. Some use syrup, some honey, some brown sugar, some white sugar.... Some use butter, some don't..... some have water, some leave it out.... but for sure they all have a happy dose of bicarbonate of soda to make the mixture magically explode volcanically upwards in the pan to produce zillions of tiny airy bubbles and that wonderful honeycomb texture.

Figuring you can combine the rest of the ingredients to taste, I decided to make it up as I went and tempted my daughter to join me in a kitchen science lesson! Honeycomb (or as it is known elsewhere in the world : cinder toffee or hokey pokey) works because the intense heat of the sugar makes the bicarbonate of soda break down, releasing carbon dioxide instantly, which in turn bubbles and expands the sugar into a molten sugary foam. It will rot your teeth for sure, but occasionally, the sheer joy of eating a piece of caramelly, sticky, crunchy, air-bubble filled toffee, is worth the risk.... When you eat it, the toffee seems to melt around the bubbles of air so that it dissolves into creamy, syrupy sweetness on the tongue.

Stir tiny little broken pieces of it into home-made, rich vanilla ice cream and you have heaven in a cone!

The texture of this ice cream is amazing..... decadent, velvety, and perfectly creamy. With each mouthful, you get little pockets of honeycomb explosion on the tongue to excite and energise the taste buds. Although you can eat the ice-cream as soon as it is frozen..... don't! Patience is worth every extra minute on this one..... leave to mature in the freezer for at least 24 hours and the honeycomb will soften and begin to meld with the ice cream making it more rounded and mellow..... Divine!

Oh..... and leave it too long when you are trying to take photos and you can enjoy the most amazing creamy toffee puddle!

I am sharing this delicious ice cream with :

Fabulous Foodie Fridays with Lauren at Create Bake Make.

Cook Blog Share with Becki at This Is Not My Home.

Gluten Free Fridays with Vegetarian Mamma.

Free From Fridays at the Free From Farmhouse.

Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too.

Honeycomb Ice Cream (churned)  makes about 650 ml


300 ml double cream
200 ml full fat milk
100g caster sugar
3 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla paste
75g honeycomb (bought or home-made - see below)

Honeycomb (makes more than you need!)
30 ml water
170g golden caster sugar
50g runny honey
30g golden syrup
30g unsalted butter (optional)
pinch fine sea salt
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
butter or vegetable oil for greasing


  1. Pour the cream and milk into a large saucepan and heat on a medium heat. Heat until it is just boiling.
  2. Meanwhile, place the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until thick and pale.
  3. When the milk-cream has just reached boiling point, remove from the heat. Very gradually add a little at a time to the sugar-egg mix, whisking continuously. It is essential that you add the cream slowly and whisk continuously to avoid the mixture curdling or scrambling.
  4. Give the saucepan a wash.
  5. When all the ingredients are fully combined, pour the mixture back into the clean pan through a sieve to remove any bits.
  6. Heat over a low heat, stirring continuously until the batter thickens to a light custard consistency and coats the back of the spoon. 
  7. Pour the batter into a container, place cling film over the top and leave to cool. When it has cooled enough, place in the fridge to chill completely before churning.
  8. Whilst the custard is chilling, make the honeycomb : Prepare a deep 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) tray or cake tin (I used a silicone one) by greasing well with either butter or vegetable oil (do not line with paper). 
  9. Put the water, sugar, honey, golden syrup, butter and salt in a large heavy-based saucepan. Place over a low heat, stirring occasionally to allow the sugar to completely dissolve.
  10. Meanwhile, measure the bicarbonate of soda into a small dish and crush or sift any lumps. Place nearby so that it is quickly and easily accessible when you need it. Also ensure you have ready a whisk for mixing the bicarb in when the time comes.
  11. When the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to medium and bring the sugar mixture to the boil. Using a sugar thermometer, heat the mixture to 140 C. Watch very carefully as you do not want the sugar to burn.
  12. When the mixture reaches the correct temperature, immediately remove from the heat and add the bicarbonate of soda. Briefly whisk the bicarb through the mixture straight away to distribute. The mixture should expand and froth vigorously. Do not over-whisk.
  13. Quickly pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Do not stir or disturb the mixture as this will knock out some of the air bubbles. Leave to cool completely.
  14. When cold and set, remove the honeycomb from the tin and smash into small pieces with a rolling pin (in between baking paper). Set aside.
  15. To churn the ice cream - Take the completely chilled ice cream batter from the fridge and churn using an ice cream maker by the manufacturer's instructions.
  16. When the churning process is complete, fold the honeycomb pieces through the ice cream whilst it is still soft enough to do so.
  17. Spoon the finished ice cream into an airtight container and place in the freezer to allow to  harden. Although you can eat it soft straight away, this is an ice cream which benefits from 24 hours in the freezer.... It seems to allow the honeycomb to mellow into the creaminess a little better.
    (If you don't have an ice cream maker, place the mixture at stage 15 into a shallow container and freeze until mushy. Then turn into a chilled bowl and beat until the ice crystals are broken down. Return to the freezer and freeze again until mushy. Repeat the whisking, add the honeycomb and freeze a final time)

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  1. That looks amazing! I've never made honeycomb but this certainly tempts me! #recipeoftheweek

    1. Thank you so much. It was surprisingly easily to make and lots of fun watching it bubble up!

  2. If you ever go mad and make too much of this to fit in your freezer then I'd be happy to help out. Caramelly type ice creams are my favourite :)

    1. Ha ha! Thanks Laura.... Not much chance of any leftovers though! Sorry xx

  3. Oh I wish I had an icecream maker, this sounds amazing!

    1. Thanks Charlotte. I love my ice cream maker. Worth every penny!!

  4. Yum! Love love love this....[eyes ice cream maker on the kitchen counter!]

    1. Thanks CC.... It's a good thing to love! Go grab that ice cream maker and get churning!!

  5. I *love* honeycomb and this looks delicious. Thank you for linking to #cookblogshare

  6. I've always wanted to try making honeycomb - yours looks fab! I would devour this ice cream :)

    1. Thanks Kat... I'm amazed you haven't made honeycomb. It's such fun when it 'explodes'! Definitely give it a go xx

  7. now this looks divine!.... I adore honeycomb and The Viking would fight me for this, which I guess means I have to make it! Never made honeycomb either, so i have to give this a go x

    1. Thanks Dom. It seems lots of people haven't made honeycomb.... Me neither until this ice cream. it definitely makes for fun kitchen playtime. I think everyone should make it at least once!

  8. I think celebrating your freezer working again with ice cream is a great idea! I am a huge fan of honeycomb and this looks fantastic! Thanks for linking up with us for Fabulous Foodie Fridays, I hope you had a great weekend :)

    1. Thank you Lauren. I am just relieved the freezer is fixed. And being almost empty, there's lots of room for ice cream!!

  9. I love honeycomb and didn't realise how easy it is to make until I tried it. #freefromfridays

    1. I agree! I was amazed at how straight forward it was!!

  10. Ooo you've done it again!! I would love to make this...Funnily enough I have been working on a dairy-free honeycombe icecream with no refined sugar. It needs work but it might get there one day!!! ;)

    1. Wow! Dairy free, no refined sugar honeycomb ice cream? That sounds amazing! Good luck and let me know when you get there! xx

  11. This looks interesting, I have never had honeycomb.. I looked at the Italian translation for it but I have come accross this yet.. after so many years in the UK I often find that there are still many words I don't know!
    You have done well at making your own ice cream and it looks so creamy!

    1. Thanks Alida. Honeycomb is incredibly sweet, but with a distinctive warming caramel backdrop. Ice cream tempers the sweetness well.
      I always think of your ice cream post when I make ice cream to see if it passes the test!
      As for language..... I have lived here all my life and still come across words I don't know!!

  12. I made honeycomb with a friend some years back and it was fun if a little unsettling at how quickly it set - am sure your daughter loved it - the ice cream looks fantastic and fingers crossed that your freezer treats the ice cream with the respect it deserves

    1. I know! There was a really panicky fast bit in the middle of the process... but exciting at the same time!
      The ice cream was really creamy.... I am gradually rekindling confidence in the freezer though.... fingers crossed indeed!


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