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Cinder Toffee, Smothered in Chocolate

Cinder toffee is similar to the Crunchie bar we have in the UK, but also quite different in texture.  It’s quite messy to make and you really have to be quick with it or it solidifies so quickly that you can’t get it out of the pan.   Be prepared to work quickly.

There is a lot of science involved in cinder toffee, or honeycomb toffee as it is also sometimes known.  Sugar can be the ultimate comfort food with zero calories that are good for us, but still we enjoy eating it while our teeth suffer with the potential for future cavities.

Making cinder toffee is a little like the experiments we did at school, or the ones we buy our kids to show the volcano erupting when bicarbonate of soda is added to the mix.  This is made using high heat, so it’s not good for children to make it, but they can have lots of fun watching it being made.

I adapted this from a Nigella recipe that I found online, but added a little butter to make it slightly easier to work with.

Nigella calls it hokey pokey, but I guess we can all call it what we like.  There are hundreds of variations of the same recipe for cinder toffee, honeycomb and fizz in the mouth candy.

We know it more as the type of sweet that is like a Cadbury Crunchie.

It’s easy to make, though you might find some trouble in cleaning your pan afterwards, but soaking in water and washing up liquid should help with that.  Make sure you grease the cooking pan for your cinder toffee very very well, or it will stick like glue and you might need to cut it out.

Have your bicarb out and ready to be used.  There’s no time for weighing once your hot sugary mess is ready to use.

Cinder Toffee / Honeycomb

Lesley Smith
Course Baking


  • 200 g Caster Sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Golden Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 30 g Butter
  • 200 g Chocolate Bar


  • Weigh out your bicarb of soda and keep it separate. Make sure your tray is greased before you start to cook. Use a fairly large pan as when the mixture swells up, you could be surprised just how far it comes up the side of your pan.
  • Put butter, caster sugar and syrup into a very thick bottomed pan and heat it gently until the sugar dissolves completely. Turn up the heat at this point and boil it without stirring for a quick boil so that the mix goes darker while it simmers and just for a few minutes. Don't let the mixture go too dark or it will begin to burn. Don't take your eyes off the pan, or let children come near it as it is boiling sugar and sugar hurts if it comes into contact with any living thing.
  • Now for the science bit. Take it off the heat, put the bicarbonate of soda in and quickly but calmly stir the mixture. Don't be too vigorous or you might end up with a few sugar burns, and those hurt, believe me. The mix will swell up as the chemical reaction takes place. At this point, you'll be glad you didn't use a small pan. Keep children at a safe distance.
  • Pour the mixture into your pre-greased tin and leave it to set for a few hours. Depending on the size of tin you use, your cinder toffee could be ready to eat in minutes. If the layer in your tin is thick, it will take a fair while to cool.
  • Once it's cool, melt your chocolate in a microwave or double pan method (or just put a heat proof plate on the top of simmering water in a pan, and put the chocolate in the plate). Dip your cut up pieces of cinder toffee into the chocolate and leave to cool.