My junior year of college I studied abroad in Australia and on my way back home I stopped in New Zealand for a week. I visited Auckland and Keri Keri on the North Island and in between visiting glow worm caves and sand-boarding (where you lay on a boogie board and slide down a huge sand dune), I discovered hokey pokey ice cream. My favorite dessert from my Foodbuzz 24x24 party was this hokey pokey ice cream. Hokey pokey is a sponge toffee or honeycomb that has a unique flavor and texture. Made with golden syrup, sugar and baking soda it makes for a pretty cool science experiment when you watch the baking soda do it's thing in the golden syrup/sugar mixture. When you add the baking soda to the hot golden syrup/sugar mixture it froths up and creates air pockets in the hokey pokey that give it that sponge toffee texture. Adding this crunchy, sweet candy to homemade vanilla ice cream reminds me why those New Zealand Kiwi's love this ice cream flavor so much. And if you are considering substituting the golden syrup for honey because they look similar, the golden syrup has a much stronger flavor and really makes this hokey pokey taste exactly like it did in New Zealand.
Hokey Pokey Ice Cream
makes 1.5 qts of ice cream
for the hokey pokey:
1 c. granulated sugar
7 tbsp golden syrup (pic; I found it in the baking section of the grocery store)
3 tsp baking soda
Heavily grease a large, shallow pan and set aside.
In a medium sized pot, bring sugar and golden syrup to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture starts boiling, turn to very low heat and simmer for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 4 minutes or until the mixture is a golden brown color, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Stir mixture quickly until it froths up and quickly pour it into the greased pan. Let the hokey pokey cool. Once it has cooled, you can place it in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to break it into pieces or break it by hand. Store in an airtight container.
for the vanilla ice cream:
1 c. whole milk
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 c. heavy cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or overnight. To finish the ice cream, freeze the ice cream according to your ice cream maker's manufacturer instructions. I added the hokey pokey pieces into the ice cream mixture 5 minutes before it was done mixing but it may be different depending on your ice cream maker.