Last month we got an email from someone at yolli.com asking if we'd like to try out their confectionery supplies. I'd never heard of them, so I followed the link, perused the site, and found they had ice cream supplies. But of course we would!
The site is out of the UK and so there were actually some items they were offering for sale that I had never heard of, including honeycomb pieces.
I asked my contact if she would mind sending me the honeycomb pieces and the chocolate brownie fudge cubes. She kindly obliged and a few weeks later I came home to a package of ice cream mix-ins.
I doubled a nice chocolate base from The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto: Bold, Fresh Flavors to Make at Home, divided the base, and froze each half with each of the mix-ins so I could try them out.
further research, I found these honeycomb pieces are actually a crumbled version of a type of toffee also known as sponge toffee or cinder toffee. Honeycomb toffee is a mix of sugars and baking soda, giving it a very airy feel, and a spongy or pumice-y look, as one might imagine. It somewhat reminded me of peanut brittle without the peanuts. It was sweet with a hint of that baking soda taste.
Mixing it in had interesting results. When I took the ice cream directly out of my machine, the honeycomb pieces had a nice crunch to them in the ice cream. However, after I put the ice cream in the freezer to ripen, and then scooped some, the honeycomb had dissolved, leaving only darker, sweeter spots of chocolate (see picture.) It wasn't bad, just not much of anything.
I suppose in the future I would suggest either putting them in ice cream you are going to eat right out of the machine or using them as a topping for interesting texture. (And as an added note, do not leave the remaining bag of honeycomb pieces on the counter for your three-year-old daughter to find and poke at while asking "what is this?" unless you want to be left with honeycomb powder!)
The fudge bits didn't do as much for me. They kind of reminded me of Tootsie Rolls. They gave a nice chewy texture to the mix-ins, but overall the taste wasn't too exiting to me, and the chocolate flavor wasn't as chocolately as the ice cream actually was, which was surprising with the fudge name.
Final verdict? While Yolli isn't known for it's ice cream supplies, but more for it's candy making supplies, I am not sure they would be my first stop shop for ice cream making, but I certainly wouldn't discount them for candy making. (Quite honestly, when I first went to their site, I was wishing I had a candy or baking blog so I would have an excuse to ask for samples of the cookie cutters or candy floss (aka. cotton candy) supplies or many of the other various supplies (ah, in my next blog/lifetime).