Cookbook Review: frankie magazine sweet treats

My rating: 4 1/2 stars

As a youngster in a migrant family, primary school fetes were completely foreign to me. Other kid’s parents made honey joys, toffees, rumballs, and fairy cakes. My parents sent me in with a packet of Marie biscuits. : (

Above: Chinese Family picnic from 1980s Oz. The gut belongs to my brother. It was all about chicken wings and potato salad made with canned mixed fruit…And no we did not eat the dogs

As I grew older I desperately tried to find recipes for toffee or hedgehog but couldn’t find anything! (Once I tried to make toffee by freezing honey).  I think these recipes were deemed far too simple for the nouveau publishers of the 80s. Now, at last, such foods are considered “retro” and dare I say cool. Well now the uber-cool publishers of frankie magazine have turned their hands to cookbooks and the results are amazing.

The styling of this book is ridonkulously hipster but somehow very unintimidating. The recipes are everything you wanted to eat at a school fete including…

Aussie toffee!!!



Truffles – I mean check out the styling – so gorgeous!

Musk sticks!! – I didn’t even know regular people could make these!

Peanut brittle – and check out the background in the photos – so cute

Toffee Apples – so beautiful

BUT query whether this is style without substance? How does this book cook?

Sweet Honeycomb by frankie magazine

  • 330 g caster sugar
  • 15 g bicarbonate soda
  • 130ml liquid glucose
  • 60 g honey
  • 1/4 cup water

NOTE: its kinda impossible to measure out the glucose and honey so I used guesstimations based off the jar size.

Stretch out 60 cm of baking paper and line your workbench. In a heavy-bottomed, large saucepan, over medium heat, mix together caster sugar, glucose, honey and water and bring to the boil. You want the mixture to become a caramel colour, so keep cooking until it looks golden.

Tip: It took about 6.5 minutes to get it to a caramel colour. Don’t be afraid to take it off the stove every so often because its hard to see the colour when there are lots of bubbles. Also when you are peering deep into a pot of boiling sugar, its hard not to think its going to explode in your face. I reckon take the pot off the stove for your sanity.

At 5 mins

At 6.5 minutes

Take mixture off the heat. Get yourself a whisk, pour in the bicarbonate of soda and beat quickly. The mixture will foam and double in size.

Ready steady go!

It grew and …

…grew some more!!!… ok the photos look the same but believe me when I say the mixture puffed up like magic

Turn the mixture out evenly on to your baking paper and wait for it to set.  This will take about 45 minutes.

NOTE: I got so super excited about taking photos of the honeycomb expanding (which takes less than 5 seconds) that I failed to really whisk in the bicarb – it all happened so fast !!!!!!

Once cool and set, split honeycomb into pieces and store in airtight container. Moisture will make you honeycomb soft so its important to keep it dry. Makes large slab.

OMG – this honeycomb actually tasted like honey! It was also super crunchy (not chewy) and tingled the tongue. It was more airy than a Violet Crumble but of a coarser crumb than a Crunchie bar. It didn’t have the generic sugar taste of those honeycombs. Seriously its a revelation to me that honeycomb should taste like honey and not just sugar. Yum oh.

This book/magazine is whimsical, sweet, urbane, gorgeous and different. Give this as a gift to your hipster girlfriend or your wannabe hipster younger brother. Better yet, give it as a gift to a new migrant family and bolster their kids schoolyard social standing!

Its more a high end magazine than a book which helps with the pricing. If you’ve seen frankie magazine, it may help to know that the production values are similar, buff heavy pages, cool fonts… This publication is under $20 so go and get it now! The only thing missing is a recipe for hedgehog :(

Nevertheless this book fills a unique gap in the market, it is really different and easy to follow. Even though there is no hedgehog, I have to give it 4 1/2 stars. It’s a stylish and whimsical treat.

Disclaimer: This book was received gratis from the publisher for review. This of course had no impact on the outcome of this review.


Always shop around. At time of post I found good prices at

Sweet Treats

Return to Home Page


  • June 13, 2011 - 9:47 pm | Permalink

    You keep making me add books to my to buy list! Terrible lok

    • Editor
      June 13, 2011 - 10:05 pm | Permalink

      This is on sale at borders now!

  • clarissaterry
    June 14, 2011 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    I think you have convinced me to purchase this book too. I may just want to add a little chocolate to my honeycomb though, just to be extra decadent!

    • Editor
      June 14, 2011 - 11:05 am | Permalink

      Yeah the honeycomb is really sweet. I think a thick layer of unsweetened or semi sweetened chocolate would have been a nice touch

  • June 14, 2011 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I picked this gem up a couple of weeks ago. Can’t wait to make some musk sticks!

    • Editor
      June 14, 2011 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Would love to hear how your musk sticks go! I’ve also got the partner book “afternoon tea” and will try to make something from that soon. Thanks chef chrissy!

  • Momo
    July 5, 2011 - 4:11 pm | Permalink

    It sounds like you had a battle in your kitchen

    • admin
      July 5, 2011 - 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your comment “Momo” : p

  • Pingback: COOKMYBOOKS.NET » My Favourite Cookbooks for Christmas 2011

  • kate
    October 9, 2014 - 5:21 am | Permalink

    What a gorgeous looking book! Does your bro know you put that pic of him in?

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *