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Bicarbonate of Soda in Hokey Pokey

Asked by alimoons77. Answered on 19th April 2015

Full question

I had the humidity problem making the Hokey Pokey, which turned it sticky. However my hokey pokey tasted overwhelmingly like bicarbonate soda. The taste was terrible - am I doing something wrong? Should I use less baking soda?

Our answer

Nigella's Hokey Pokey recipe (from Nigella Express) is quite sensitive to humidity as it made almost completely from sugar. Sugar tends to attract water and in a humid environment it will attract and absorb water from the air and become soft or sticky.

The bicarboante of soda (baking soda) used is 1 1/2 teaspoons (a teaspoon being 5ml or 1/6 ounce) and this should be level teaspoons. It may be helpful to measure this out into a small bowl before you cook the sugar mixture, so you can add it all at once and not have to fiddle around with measurements while dealing with a hot syrup. The bicarboante of soda should be whisked in so it is distibuted evenly and you don't have any lumps of the soda in the candy. If the taste continues to be a problem then try reducing the bicarbonate of soda to 1 1/4 teaspoons or 1 teaspoon. However the finished Hokey Pokey may be slightly less airy with the reduced amount of leavening.

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