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.
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.
Immediately pour onto a sheet of baking paper while it is still frothy.
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.
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.
Spoon into a freezer container or a loaf tin lined with clingfilm and freeze overnight.
Turn the ice cream out of the container or tin (peel off the clingfilm) and slice to serve.
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.
Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!14 Comments to "Honeycomb Ice Cream Slice"
Hi Kavey LOVE this post .. pics are great the the recipe is so straight forward.
also .. I might be missing something . .. what is July’s challenge?
I can see you found it! 🙂
Oh my, I think I’m in love! I think I made cinder toffee once, but have never made a semifreddo. They seem to be cropping up everywhere this week. This is definitely one to bookmark.
Yes, I hadn’t been sure what they were, but was confused as took the translation too literally, but had always been served properly frozen things, not half frozen ones. So discovering that, these days at least, it was simply a use of whipped cream to fold in air and keep the whole thing soft, was a bit of a revelation!
Another good post Kavey. And what a great housewarming present! Love honeycomb, I too needed to redo my first attempt. I was using a sugar thermometer and misread it, duh! Never set. Second batch worked fine, yummy stuff it was too. Nice photo series btw.
Found the water ball test v easy and benefit of being really quick too. Thanks Ailbhe!
I love making honeycomb especially when you add the bicarb and it bubbles and froths like crazy. This ice cream semi freddo both looks and I bet tastes fantastic. Also love how you have used a no churn recipe although I am undecided about what method to choose myself yet!
Variety is the spice of life, go for whatever technique you like, good to offer lots of different ideas! 😀
Oh, that just looks delicious. I am quite jealous of your heat proof spatula as well, I’ve never had a decent one that hasn’t cracked or melted!
I am not sure where we got this one!
this looks wonderful. I think i would find it hard not to eat all the honeycomb before it went into the semifreddo! I have made a honey semifreddo in the past but will bookmark this recipe as I love it!
If you make the amount of honeycomb in the recipe (our pictures show half) you’ll have plenty for the recipe plus some to munch on too!
This looks amazing. You have way more patience than I do though. If the cinder toffee hadn’t of worked out the first time, I would have given up a headed to the Tesco for the Crunchie bar.
If it hadn’t been intended as a gift, we might have done too, but really wanted it all to be home made!