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Candy Recipe: Chocolate Covered Honeycomb

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Honeycomb (also known as Cinder Toffee) is one of those quintessential British candies which has made its mark everywhere but the U.S. Here in Australia, people tend to either love them or hate them, and those in the “love it” camp have their favourite brand. Violet Crumble is perhaps the most well-known of the commercial honeycombs available.

Every time I’ve offered to bring someone a sweet treat from from Down Under, it’s either the Violet Crumble or the Crunchie they beg for. Honeycomb is essentially basic toffee which has baking soda added to it. The baking soda and molten sugar react, creating a volcanic eruption of sugary golden edible styrofoam. You can eat it as is, but dipping the irregular chunks into chocolate is delicious. You can also smash it up and mix it into cookies, top cupcakes with it, stir it through ice cream and sprinkle it on top of a chocolate cake for a whole new eating experience.

Here is a (mostly) foolproof recipe if you want to try your hand at making some. Be warned that this stuff is addictive, so best to make one batch at a time!

Chocolate Covered Honeycomb Recipe

(recipe originally appeared in The Age, Oct 2003)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons corn syrup (or golden syrup)
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) sifted into 1 tablespoon of water
  • Dark chocolate/chocolate bark, for melting

Line a rectangular Pyrex dish (or similar) with baking paper, ensuring the paper comes up a few inches over the edges of the dish.

Use a pot bigger than you think you need. Over medium heat, melt the sugar and syrup in a pan for about 5 minutes, stirring gently. Increase the heat to boiling as the mixture becomes more liquid and the sugar dissolves. Once the entire surface is boiling gently, cook without stirring for about 10 minutes until you achieve a golden brown colour. Quickly sprinkle the dissolved bicarbonate of soda over as wide an area as possible and stir through as quickly but gently as you can – be sure to take only a few seconds, or you’ll lose the volume. Don’t worry if tiny specks of baking soda remain – it won’t really affect the final product. The mixture will froth up in a volcanic-like eruption and the trick is to combine the bicarb while bursting the bubbles as little as possible.

Pour into your dish and leave to harden.

One hardened break into large pieces and dip carefully into melted dark chocolate. Using a fork, tap the edge of the block so that excess chocolate runs off and into the bowl. Place onto a clean sheet of baking paper to harden. When done, store in an air tight container – do not place in fridge or near moisture as it will weep and melt into an mess.


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28 Responses to “Candy Recipe: Chocolate Covered Honeycomb”

  1. 1
    BookGirl says:

    This is an extremely popular treat in Buffalo, NY – we call it sponge candy. We do a version with orange chocolate too – I never took to it though – tastes like baby aspirin.

  2. 2
    Ani says:

    Back home we call this Sea Foam. :) I’ll have to try it.

  3. 3
    ajewel says:

    In PA & Ohio it’s called sponge candy too – I freakin LOVE that stuff!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. 4
    Julie says:

    Though I’m always loathe to choose a favorite anything, much less candy, I have to admit that chocolate-covered honeycomb candy might be my #1 choice. It’s the flavor AND texture together that really get me. Sigh. Even looking at this picture makes me salivate. Thank god I can get all the Violet Crumbles and Crunchies I want right here in good ol’ Tucson, Arizona! Or, I can make this…or beg someone to make it FOR me! :D

  5. 5
    DAVID KLEIN says:


  6. 6
    MichelleG says:

    LOL, I stand corrected! Seems like honeycomb *is* available state-side, just more as a regional treat rather than a commonly-available supermarket treat. One wonders why some of these companies haven’t taken their treats to the big time…


  7. 7
    HeyItsFree says:

    Ahhh, thanks for the memories! When I lived in Australia, I absolutely loved that stuff for about five days and then got totally sick of it :)

  8. 8
    star says:

    oh my gosh you are awesome! ever since we visited london i’ve been obsessed with crunchies! yay! when i get brave enough i’ll give this a go.

  9. 9
    Sea Hag says:

    I tried Violet Crumble once and I thought it was really filthy. I’m a freak for all things sugar but this was just too much for me.

  10. 10
    MaryNurse says:

    Bissenger’s Candy in St. Louis does a variation on this called ‘Molasses Puff’, and I’m seriously addicted to the stuff. The molasses-candy flavor goes nicely with the chocolate, especially the dark chocolate version. (They make it with milk chocolate, too.) I like it better than the plain honeycomb flavor. It’s worth hunting down and trying.

  11. 11
    Bear says:

    I tried a violet crumble once here in the US.

    My reaction was “Tastes like a block of butter dipped in chocolate” Nasty nasty stuff.. far too rich and this is from somone who, as a kid, would put white sugar in milk.. :P

  12. 12
    u8mypinkcookies says:

    I love MALTESERS!!

  13. 13
    Angela says:

    I too love honeycomb and have recently attempted to make my own at home but would love ideas on the best way to clean up afterwards, I tend to leave my pot and utensils to harden and then soak them, or am I better to put them into water straight away?

  14. 14
    MichelleG says:

    Hi Angela,

    The best way to wash up is to put the utensils in the pot, fill the pot with water and then put it on the stove. Boil the water and it will “lift off” anything which is still stuck on.


  15. 15
    Shelly says:

    I can’t wait to try this. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Crunchies – I have to say getting it from Europe is much better than anything in the states. Even Cadburry’s chocolate from Europe is MUCH better. Thank heavens we have a British import’s store out here in SC.
    Thanks so much for your wonderfully descriptive directions. My business revolves around chocolate lollipops, with a few other treats and I have thought to add this to my chocolate arsenal …mmm thanks!
    Confectionately yours,

  16. 16
    Juliet says:

    I LOVE crunchie bars! They’re pretty expensive over here in Minnesota, USA, but I can get them at my local multi-cultural store. Love them!

  17. 17
    Chocolicious says:

    they sell chocolate covered “honeycomb” at the Sweet Factory (a candy store).

  18. 18
    RaveWolf says:

    Hi Guys,

    I Love Crunchies. For me it’s just around every corner…
    It’s practically a food group. Oh Sorry i’m from South Africa :)

    I know the US, UK and other 1st World Country’s aren’t everything and don’t have it all as it were. But it is nice to see other countries raving over South African stuff. South Africa has a lot to offer… I only wish that the world can put politics aside and see South Africa for the 1st World not(3rd) World country that it is.

    And… No… I don’t live in a Hut or have a Lion as a pet.
    I like the rest of the major cities, live in the concrete jungle, Ok maybe on the outskirts, but close enough :)


    Enjoy your Crunchies. :^}

  19. 19
    Trish says:

    We love both Crunchies and Violet Crumbles! I’ve got friends in both Canada and Australia who have sent my hubby and I (Hubby is an addict) these treats:) They use to have molasses candy at Hilliard’s in the Boston suburbs. They also have it down the street from where we live now (Phoenix, Az) at a candy shop but it is almost old and stale:(

    Ok, this isn’t candy but we also love Vegemite lol:) Have some in my fridge right now and we eat it on toast:) Love them Aussies and their yummy treats:)

  20. 20
    judy says:

    Back where I’m from we call these types of candy “chocolate ass chunks”, because the candies were routinely delivered to the market on the back of a donkey. You could get two chocolate ass chunks for a dime on a saturday at market. Back then they didn’t put wax into the chocolate, and it tasted so much better! However, the chocalate ass chunks did tend to melt and smear on our hands and mouth. Such a delicious chocolaty chunky treat!

  21. 21
    Bonnie says:

    That candy definitely belongs in the weirdly named candy category. Sounds like we might have a competition between this and Vuvuzela Balls!

  22. 22
    Lone says:

    Thank God I found this side. Ages ago I lived in Australia for almost two years and I got addicted to Violet Crumble. Here in Denmark you can’t get anything like it. I usually ask friends going to the UK to by me Crunchies. They’re almost as good. But I will definitely try to make it myself!! :-))

  23. 23
    Nancy says:

    Molasses Puffs have been around St Louis for years and years… I remember as a little girl standing in front of the candy case just dreaming about the puffs in dark chocolate…
    Mavrakos and Karl Bissinger’s were the 2 places we always got them from…
    Sadly only Bissinger’s is left.
    ok, now I’m drooling!!! ;)

  24. 24
    Dody says:

    Molasses honeycombs in dark chocolate,yumm, will slice your tongue if you suck on them but ooooo so worth it,we get them at “Candy Craft” near Albany, New York, wonderful!

  25. 25
    BB says:

    My friend made some a few days ago so I decided to use this recipe.

  26. 26
    Leah says:

    I found these gems at a grocery store called ‘Sprouts’, and was curious to see what they were made out of because they are SO good. I can’t eat a lot of it, which makes it seem even more like a satisfying treat I’m giving myself instead of wolfing down sub-par chocolate novelties. I’m excited to see what seems to be a pretty simple recipe and can’t wait to try it out!

  27. 27
    HLSK says:

    My sisters I used to get this stuff at candy counters in the department stores as a child, it was called both honeycomb and seafoam. We loveed it, one of MY all time favorites. But can’t I find it anymore; department sores don’t have candy counters now a days.
    Then my mom went to Australia and brought me back a violet crumble bar and I loved it. I was so excited to see that nestle made it so I tried to find some around here, I live in Idaho, but I never could find any. I looked on line but it is so expensive to buy that way, so I gave up.
    I just stumbled across this recipe. I don’t know why I never thought about making it, before now and I cant wait to try it looks like it will be great. Thanks!!

  28. 28
    David Jordan says:

    A meat pie, a Big M and a Violet Crumble are how I choose to remember Australia.

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