What is hokey pokey?
Hokey pokey are small, crunchy pieces of caramel in the shape of a honeycomb. They are actually also called honeycomb toffee.
They are usually made from a mixture of brown sugar or sugar, corn syrup, molasses or golden syrup and baking soda. Vinegar or another acid can be added.
The mixture creates a chemical reaction forming carbon dioxide. A honeycomb-like structure is formed when the liquid sugar becomes caramel and hardens. In New Zealand, they are often served with vanilla ice cream.
The chemical reaction that occurs during the preparation is always surprising and greatly amuses children. Thus, New Zealand families regularly prepare them for a snack or dessert.
What is the origin of hokey pokey?
Hokey pokey comes from slang and refererd to ice cream in the 19th century, regardless of its flavor. Ice cream street vendors used the name hokey-pokey in Great Britain and New York City.
In 1930, a popular song in Liverpool in the UK was hokey pokey penny a lump. Other hypotheses suggest that the name could be derived from hocus-pocus. It could also come from the Italian oh che poco (“oh how little”), or ecco un poco (“here is a small piece”).
As the term became very popular, Richard and Linda Thompson made it a song about an ice cream seller in 1975. An ice cream company in New York State also bears this name. In the film Topsy Turvy by Mike Leigh, it is about hokey pokey.
How to prepare hokey pokey
Hokey pokey is quick and very simple to prepare. Simply pour the sugar and golden syrup into a thick-bottomed pan and heat the preparation until the sugar is completely dissolved.
When boiling, cook for a few more minutes, stirring, then add the baking soda off the heat, mixing quickly. The mixture will then be poured into a mold, previously greased with butter.
It will firm up as it cools and can then be removed from the mold and broken into small pieces to accompany a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream.
Golden Syrup is widely used in Anglo-Saxon countries. It is a syrup made from brown sugar. Its taste is less pronounced than honey and its flavor is unique. It pleasantly replaces honey or maple syrup and brings a lot of sweetness to pastries.
What are the variants of hokey pokey?
Hokey pokey used to have the shape of small solid caramel. Since 1980, the main brand that produces them, Tip-Top, has changed their shape to make small balls. There is also a chocolate variant.
In Northern Ireland, these caramels are produced by the Yellowman brand and therefore bear this name.
In the United States, in Wisconsin, they are called fairy food candy or angel food candy.
Honeycomb toffee is their South African, but also Australian, British, Irish, and Ohio name in the United States.
In Scotland, they take the name of puff candy.
In the United States, they are found under the name of old fashioned puff (Massachusetts), sea foam (Maine, Washington, Oregon, Utah, California and Michigan) or sponge candy (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, St. Paul, Minnesota, Wester New York, Northwest Pennsylvania).
In Canada, they are called sponge toffee and finally in South Korea, they are called dalgona.
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- ½ cup Golden Syrup
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- Unsalted butter (for the mold)
- Square pan (8 inches / 20 cm)
Grease an 8x8 inch (20 cm x 20 cm) pan with butter.
- Add the caster sugar and the Golden Syrup into a thick-bottomed non-stick saucepan.
- Heat gently, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.
- Increase the heat, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Remove from heat.
- Add the baking soda and stir very fast (the mixture will foam quickly).
Immediately pour into the mold.
- Let cool and set.
- Break into pieces.
- Serve as is or with vanilla ice cream.