Jul 072012

Honeycomb ice cream is the very favourite flavour of a friend of ours, so this honeycomb ice cream slice, or semi-freddo, seemed a suitable house warming gift for his move into a house which already has all the kitchen gadgets, towels and cushions it could ever want.


Honeycomb ice cream isn’t actually made with real honeycomb as made by bees, but with cinder toffee, also known as hokey pokey, puff candy and sea foam, depending on where you’re from!

Semi-freddo is an Italian dessert and translates as “half cold”. In fact, it’s fully frozen, but its use of whipped cream or whipped egg whites means it doesn’t freeze as hard as traditional ice creams. My usual solution to keep ice cream soft is to include booze, but this is a great non-alcoholic alternative.

For both the cinder toffee and the ice cream, we used this recipe from BBC Good Food, minus the pineapple.

Having never made cinder toffee before, we had a couple of failures before getting it right. The first batch never hardened, a result we think of undercooking the caramel. The second batch we burned, and threw away before even mixing in the bicarbonate of soda. The third batch worked like a charm, made by heating the sugar more slowly and using a cold water test to check the caramel was ready.

Because of the two failed batches, we halved the amounts when making the third batch, intending to make more if it succeeded and waste less ingredients if it failed. In the end, we didn’t make more, so our ice cream didn’t have quite as much honeycomb in it as the original recipe.

I’d suggest making the volumes in the recipe below, then using about two thirds of the honeycomb in the ice cream and munching the rest while you work…

We really liked the hint of caramel flavour in the ice cream base too, which came from the use of condensed milk. It was also an incredibly quick and easy ice cream base to make, and created a light and airy result without the use of an ice cream machine.


Honeycomb Ice Cream

100g caster sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
A small bowl of cold water
568ml double cream
250ml condensed milk

Tip: If you don’t have the time or inclination to make the cinder toffee, you could subsitite a Crunchie bar or shop-bought cinder toffee instead.


To make the cinder toffee:

  • Put the sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan and melt over a gentle heat. Continue to heat until it starts to bubble and take on a darker colour, taking care not to let it burn.

HoneycombIceCream-0948 HoneycombIceCream-0952

  • Test whether it’s ready by letting a drop fall into the bowl of cold water. Pick it out with your fingers. If you can squeeze it, the caramel is not yet ready. If it has hardened into a brittle caramel, it’s ready.
  • Add the bicarbonate of soda, mix vigorously.

HoneycombIceCream-0957 HoneycombIceCream-0958

  • Immediately pour onto a sheet of baking paper while it is still frothy.

HoneycombIceCream-0960 HoneycombIceCream-0962

  • Leave to cool and set.

To make the ice cream:

  • Break up the cinder toffee into small pieces. I would use about two thirds of it for the ice cream. The rest can be stored in an airtight container for at least a week.

HoneycombIceCream-0965 HoneycombIceCream-0971

  • Whisk the cream until it is thick but still a little floppy.


  • Add the condensed milk and whisk again until it holds its shape.
  • Fold in the honeycomb pieces.

HoneycombIceCream-0976 HoneycombIceCream-0978

  • Spoon into a freezer container or a loaf tin lined with clingfilm and freeze overnight.

HoneycombIceCream-0979 HoneycombIceCream-0984

  • Turn the ice cream out of the container or tin (peel off the clingfilm) and slice to serve.

HoneycombIceCream-0985 HoneycombIceCream-0986

This recipe is really, really simple (once you master the cinder toffee and don’t let our initial failures on that front put you off) and absolutely delicious. It’s also an ideal recipe for those without an ice cream machine.


We also made a rich bitter chocolate ice cream, which contrasted nicely with the honeycomb. I’ll be blogging the recipe soon.

This is my entry into July’s Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream.


© 2006 - 2014 Kavita Favelle Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha