Last week of term and then school is out for the summer. Faced with a round of class parties, I promised to make something for my children that they could take in as their contribution. Honeycomb, or its better name, hokey pokey, is a cinch to make. The molten, bubbling sugar bit must be left to the grownups but once formed and cooled in a thick honeycomb sheet it's up to the kids to smash it up and dip the pieces in the melted chocolate.
Hokey pokey is great for such an occasion: it's different to all the cupcakes, crisps and biscuits, it's nut-free to keep within school guidelines and cheap to make. Sure, it's basically sugar, but this is an end-of-term treat, not one for the lunchboxes! And it should earn your kids some cache as it comes with just the right amount of nostalgic crunchy bar cool for all those brilliant and battle-scarred teachers to have with a cup of tea when the gates finally close.
(makes 25cm x 25cm sheet)
200g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp bicarbonate soda
150g milk chocolate
Splash of vegetable oil for greasing
Prepare a baking tray with greaseproof paper that has been oiled lightly with vegetable oil.
Put the sugar and syrup in a heavy-bottomed and high-sided saucepan. Stir together.
Put the pan on the hob over a moderate heat - do not mix the mixture from now - and gradually bring to the boil. Boil for three or four minutes until the mixture begins to caramelise and turn golden brown.
Take the pan off the heat and quickly add the bicarbonate soda, watching as the mixture bubbles pale gold.
Immediately, and with care, pour the hokey pokey onto the baking tray and leave to cool and set.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a microwave or in a bowl over boiling water. When the hokey pokey is hard, smash it into random-sized pieces and dip into the melted chocolate.
Leave to set and store in a sealed tub. It's best eaten on the day (not usually a problem!).