Do the Hokey Pokey … Ice Cream that is

On how to make hokey pokey ice cream with toffee bits from scratch.

Summer is on its way out so the need for cool desserts has begun to subside. Alas, it’s time to bid adieu to the ice cream maker attachment for a year. But a challenge was set by my husband two days ago. “Replicate hokey pokey ice cream” was the request. What the heck is hokey pokey ice cream? Well it depends on who you ask. If you ask my husband he will say that it’s vanilla ice cream with chewy toffee bits spread throughout the mixture. If you ask ANYONE ELSE ON THIS PLANET they will tell you it’s vanilla ice cream with hokey pokey aka honeycomb candy spread throughout. I found countless recipes online talking about preparing honeycomb and mixing it throughout vanilla ice cream. Ok, I might not be telling the full story here. There is this one product on the market in Australia that happens to be called hokey pokey ice cream which does reference toffee bits. Streets describes the flavor as “Creamy vanilla and honeycomb swirled with reduced fat ice cream with crunchy toffee bits. Made with wholesome dairy milk and a smile in every spoonful”. Ok, challenge set, no specific recipes with toffee bits around so it was time to get creative.

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How to make Honeycomb

Honeycomb is a well known candy in Australia and in the UK. For many people it’s synonymous with a Crunchie or Violet Crumble chocolate bar. It’s not that popular here in the United States and most people don’t really know what it is or what it tastes like. It has a distinct almost burnt caramel flavor with a dry crunchy texture. Why do I like it? It’s an essential ingredient in the creation of Bills Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb Butter. “Those hotcakes sound amazing.”, I hear you saying. Don’t worry, a blog post about those delicious hotcakes and said butter will arrive shortly. When I do get the urge for these hotcakes the inevitable question is “Where will I get the honeycomb from?” There are two options, each with  pros and cons.

Option 1 – Buy a bunch of crunchie bars from the nearby supermarket or specialty grocery store and “extract” the honeycomb by shaving off the chocolate with a knife. Side note: Just wanted to give a shout out to my local deli/cafe/food store called Depanneur  who stock crunchies. I’ve seen crunchies in lots of corner stores and supermarkets in New York these days. If you’re in NYC I’m confident that you can find it. Here are some photos of my handywork with Crunchie bars in the past.

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  • PROS – Low risk and can be a time saver.
  • CONS – Waste of money plus these are chocolate bars so there’s a bit of effort involved in scraping off the outer chocolate layer to get what you’re after. Hmm, what would you do with all that delicious “unnecessary” chocolate I wonder? Now Bills recipe (for example) says that for a decadent treat why not use the crunchie bars as is but honestly it’s just too rich. Also, I want to re-create Bills dish. I don’t want chocolate honeycomb butter, I want honeycomb cutter.

Option 2 – Make it from scratch which is what this post is all about.

  • PROS – You have the satisfaction of knowing that you created all components of your dish from scratch and you have lots of spare honeycomb candy lying around.
  • CONS – High risk and multiple attempts may be necessary. Also, be careful when making your honeycomb. The sugar will get incredibly hot and will burn if not handled properly. Oh and your dentist is gonna hate you.

Ok. Let’s get cracking and make us some honeycomb.

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