I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

July 20, 2011


What's on earth's that, you say?

Well let me explain....

I wanted to make some honeycomb that didn't actually contain honey. You see I've got a vegan dinner coming up and want something sweet to have with coffee at the end. I decided to use an old favourite instead, Golden Syrup. The flavour is slightly different than one made using honey, more 'Crunchie' than 'Violet Crumble' (Australian chocolate bars), but still yummy and exactly what I want. So to be true to my ingredients and for clarity, I've decided to name my confectionary Toffeecomb instead. You still get the general idea, and if not you can always ask :)

We grew up with golden syrup- my Dad always calls it Cockies Joy, thick spread on bread with butter, dripping down pancakes, and especially wonderful made into Golden Syrup Dumplings.... post coming soon!

Golden syrup is just water and sugar. No allergy issues or animal products here,thanks. I won't enter into the whole refined sugar debate etc,etc. Foods like this are 'sometimes' foods anyway and great for a bit of fun in the kitchen. It's great to make with the kiddies, as it has a cool science experiment vibe going once the bicarb is added and watching it foam up is really exciting!

1 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Golden Syrup
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons bicarb soda

First prepare a tray for your toffeecomb. Line a tray or pan with some baking paper and place it right next to the stove. Don't forget this step and remember just as you're ready to pour it into the dish or it will be messy and discouraging as all the fluffiness will be lost and you'll have to start again.

Place sugar, syrup, water and vinegar in a large saucepan.

Stir gently until combined and sugar has started to dissolve a little. Be careful not to splash any on the sides of the pan or it might crystallise later and ruin the effect. If needed run a wet cloth/finger/pastry brush around the edges to wash any sugar crystals down.

Put on a medium heat and boil gently for about 8 mins or until it reaches hard crack stage.

Quickly whisk the bicarb soda evenly through the mix, it will immediately foam up dramatically, and pour it straight into the pan .
Don't keep stirring or bumping the mix or all the lovely little gas bubbles will collapse. If any kiddies or curious husbands are helping, they need to be very careful as this is just frothy toffee, and will give very nasty burns if it gets on you.

As a chef, I have recieved burns of various natures and degrees, including steam burns, oil burns, water scalds, open flame burns, contact burns from hot surfaces, reflected burns from cooking on the chargrill for 6 hrs at a time leaving sunburn type burns, and sugar burns. The sugar burn was by far the worst burn of all as it just keep burning through the layers and when I stupidly I mean instinctively tried to brush it off with the other hand, it just stuck onto and burnt into that one as well! So, please take care my dearest Readers, I would hate to have any injuries to you on my conscience.

Leave it to cool down in the pan, then break it up and enjoy!

If you like you can smear one side of it with chocolate, or to keep it vegan, use Sweet William Chocolate that's gluten, lactose, nut and vegan friendly. I must admit that I was so excited with my pan of toffeecomb goodness that I started smashing away as soon as it was cool and set. It's much more sensible to apply the chocolate BEFORE you do this. Trust me on this.

Serve this with coffee as an sfter dinner treat, or just as a treat in general! Yummm....

So Dear Readers,

do you have a favourtie sweet spread from your childhood, and have you ever had any nasty kitchen burns?


  1. Oh yum hokey pokey! You know where I'm from now
    I used to love golden syrup on pikelets with loads of butter as a kid.
    And re: burns, oh yes. Working as a professional chef for nearly 10 years my arms were at one stage embarrassingly scared. Thankfully 5 years out of the kitchen and all but 1 or two are gone :-)

  2. I like Golden Syrup as well. Will try making this here soon.

  3. Hokey Pokey !!!!! :-) ...AND the promise of gluten free golden syrup dumplings! - life is good :-)
    I'm always burning myself, God knows what I'd look like if I was a professional...

  4. Hey, well done you! Violet Crumble bars (I don't think I ever tried a Crunchie), reworked in a super classy fashion! Thanks for the step by step tutorial too!

  5. i love honey comb, looks delicious. I ran out of honey and added a little golden syrup as well, worked a treat. I love the sound of golden syrup dumplings,can't wait for the post, my mum made me caramel dumplings, i love them!

  6. The last time I tried it, it kept cooking in the middle of the, now well insulated, foam and burnt.

    How did you stop that happening?

  7. Ooh I've always wanted to make this but assumed that it was really difficult. Just because I tend to think that anything that needs a sugar thermometer is hard! :P But this looks well worth the effort!

  8. Looks pretty crispy and crumbly! Love honeycomb. Touchwood I have not had any nasty kitchen burns thus far.

  9. That's a nice alternative to an espresso after dinner! :D

  10. Hi, you got me wondering if this could be made with Maple Syrup and how it would taste.

  11. I would have dunked the whole honeycomb in chocolate, never mind about smearing it! Hahahah.. brilliant :)

  12. oooh my goodness, I am beyond impressed! This looks fantastic! Ben would go mad for it :)
    Heidi xo

  13. Hello again Readers!
    Hokey pokey non honeycomb seems like a hit! We had heaps of fun with the instant fluffiness this makes, but beware to sift the bicarb first as I just got a little chunk of it-yuck! I had to have another extra nice piece to make up for it.

    Emma- Friends accross the waves! I know what you mean, I have a perfect Nike tick burn on my arm from the corner of a baking tray. littlej thinks it's sooo cool!

    Simcha- Me too!

    Ninehundred- I hope you like suet dumplings,and life can be blissfully sweet with golden syrup :)

    Celia- Thanks sweetie. Try a Crunchie just so you can see how superior the Violet Crumble bar is!

    Muppy- Glad it worked out for you. There's nothing quite like a dumpling....MMmmmmmm

    Lee- I made it 3 times without that problem, did you take it off the heat first? Maybe you needed to whisk a bit harder so more air got in? Maybe the syrup was just too hot to start with? Wish I could be more help, let me know how you go next time.

    Lorraine- I didn't use a sugar thermometer cause I couldn't find it in the drawer :) I guestimated when it was ready. I watched until the sugar was dissolved aand it turned clear then waited about 4 mins. Cheaty- cheaty!

    Chopinandmysaucepan- I loke mine without the chocolate best. Lucky you, don't jinx it!

    Kath- Much better as I avoid all caffeine after 6pm- sugar rush is better to sleep off than coffee rush!

    Anonymous- Hmm, now you got me wondering too! I think if it worked it would taste amazing, I'll give it a go!

    Msihua- Ummm.. there might have been non-blogged photos of dunking going on... but I defy you to prove it!

  14. I love golden syrup! I use it for Anzac biscuits mostly. My favourite spread as a child was Nutella, because I was never allowed to eat it, lol. I love your toffeecomb idea, I never really thought about honey in terms of vegans.

  15. I have not had honeycomb for a long time! That sweet crunch I so missed!