Chocolate dipped hokey pokey

Photographer: Emma

The thought of homemade Hokey Pokey for me conjures up memories of science class where, armed with Bunsen burners, brown sugar, sticky golden syrup and baking soda, a class full of excited 14 year olds experience the wonder of chemistry in the kitchen.  And what better way to end an experiment than by eating the by-product!  Even to this day I am always amazed by the reaction that occurs when the baking soda is added to the golden syrup mixture.  Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda as it is commonly known, is an unstable molecule which breaks apart under heat to form carbon dioxide gas.  This carbon dioxide gas, which is formed when the baking soda is mixed with the boiling golden syrup, expands, creating little air pockets in the hokey pokey, much in same way that expanding gas from a volcano produces porous volcanic rock.

To add a twist to this traditional recipe and to balance out the sweetness I dipped each piece of Hokey Pokey in dark chocolate.  Packaged in cellophane and wrapped in a bow these would make a great gift.  However if you don’t feel like sharing then enjoy the Hokey Pokey by itself, or broken up into vanilla bean ice cream for a decadent after dinner treat.

* When making Hokey Pokey it is important to pay careful attention to the sugar/golden syrup mixture, making sure that it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pot.  Equally important is getting the mixture into the greased tin as quickly as possible once the baking soda has been added.  The slower you move, the harder it is to work with.  Store the Hokey Pokey in an airtight container as soon as it has cooled and set otherwise it will start to go sticky.


10 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp baking soda

150g dark chocolate


1. Grease or line a baking tray.
2. Combine the sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and over a medium heat bring it to the boil, stirring constantly.
3. Boil for 2 minutes, again stirring constantly.
4. Stir in the baking soda, whipping the mixture up quickly.
5. Spread the mixture onto the greased baking tray.
6. Leave to harden and as soon as the mixture has cooled break it into pieces and place it in an airtight container.
7. Melt the chocolate over a bain marie until smooth.
8. Dip each piece of Hokey Pokey into the chocolate and place on a sheet of baking paper until the chocolate has set.