It’s our ninth year running our Adventure Club, and over the past few years we’ve received more and more requests for vegan or dairy-free “exciting” flavors. For the Voyage, we’ll be turning a variety of our popular flavors vegan!
Hillside Hokey Pokey
Vanilla oat milk base + hokey pokey sponge candy
Seven years ago, we created a flavor, AK Honeycomb, as part of our Adventure Club lineup and it became a fast favorite that has reappeared in the shop every year since. Basically, it is a sweet cream base with chunks of our homemade ‘honeycomb candy’ inside. To turn this flavor fully vegan, we had to swap out the dairy base for a dairy-free one and tweak our candy recipe to remove the honey.
As we researched variations on this crunch candy, we remembered ‘hokey-pokey,’ a popular New Zealand treat that is essentially the same honeycomb candy but typically made with golden syrup instead of honey. The technique is the same: you heat sugar and syrup on the stovetop, add in baking soda, whisk to aerate, and watch as the magic unfolds! The mixture foams up rapidly thanks to the formation of carbon dioxide, and once you pour it into a pan and cool it, the candy shatters easily and resembles moon rock.
What’s the story behind the candy’s name, Hokey Pokey?
The term “Hokey Pokey" has tangled origins, possibly linked to both "hocus-pocus" magic and Italian ice cream vendors' calls of “oh che poco” (oh how little) or "ecco un poco" ("here is a little"). In New Zealand, “hokey pokey” was the name of honeycomb toffee invented in the late 1800s (video from the NZ archives), while in the US and Britain it was slang for all street vendor ice cream, especially sold in slabs between paper.
We called our flavor Hillside Hokey-Pokey as a tribute to the New Zealand candy but crafted in our neck of the woods. In New Zealand, Hokey Pokey ice cream is the country’s second most popular ice cream flavor (behind only Vanilla) so we suspect you might love this combination! We used our vanilla oat milk base as a neutral backdrop.
Want to try making hokey-pokey candy at home?
Here’s a home recipe right from the New Zealand Herald! (Our recipe is slightly modified for larger-scale production but it’s the same gist). Send us pictures if you make this!
Test Kitchen debates:
We debated whether to coat the hokey-pokey candy in chocolate before adding it to the ice cream but ultimately decided to let the caramel/cream elements of this flavor shine chocolate-free. Want us to try chocolate next time? Let us know!
Bonus: Sweet Tea Sorbet
Steeped with house ice tea blend from Summit Spice and Tea
Even in the depths of winter, we are starting to think of new seasonal flavors for summer, fall, and even next holiday season! Some of these will debut for Club members this spring, and then with your feedback we’ll perfect them to roll out again when more seasonally fitting.
This month’s bonus taster cup falls in that category – this is not a flavor we would typically serve in the winter, but we are ecstatic to have this developed for the middle of summer! Basically, we turned a glass of ice tea into a smooth and scoopable sorbet! This one would also be perfect as part of a float – maybe in a cup of lemonade, or even in a cup of actual iced tea for a meta delight.
This sorbet comes to you from the R&D portfolio of Baking Coordinator Sam. They explained:
“This flavor should probably be called Sweetened Tea Sorbet, as it is not as sweet as true southern sweet tea. I tried to capture the taste of a glass of classic ice tea with lemon, perfect for a summer day (though hopefully still tasty in January). Made with Summit Spice and Tea’s House Ice Tea blend, this flavor is nostalgic and refreshing!”