Bea Tollman's Honeycomb Ice Cream

A Crunchy, Chewy (and Famous) Family Favorite

“My children say that this is my signature dessert, and it is now a Red Carnation institution. We come from a long line of sweet eaters and ice cream connoisseurs. One day early in my cooking career, I mixed the two when we opened the Blue Fox Restaurant at The Oxford Hotel in Johannesburg, and this mouth-watering dessert took form. I have always had it on the hotel menus and a container of it is always in the freezer at home. My children and I have always enjoyed combining different chopped up chewy, crunchy ingredients with scrumptious ice cream flavors!” 
–Bea Tollman,
Celebrity Chef & Founder of Red Carnation Hotels

Beatrice Tollman, President, and founder of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, published a cookbook that is her memoir of “A Life in Food”. Her book is a celebration of recipes that have either been passed down in the family or discovered while traveling, and all have been perfected from her own personal experience and expertise in the kitchen. For the enthusiastic amateur cook, the recipes are relatively quick and simple to prepare with ingredients that are easily sourced.


1 cup (250 ml) corn syrup or glucose syrup
1 cup (250 g) granulated sugar
1 Tbsp (15 ml) white vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 ml) baking soda, sifted
1 quart (1 L) vanilla ice cream

Prep Time: 5-10m


Dissolve the syrup, sugar, and vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat.
Turn the heat up high and boil until the syrup turns to a light caramel color.
Take the pan off the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda.
Pour the mixture into a high-sided baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and greased with butter.
Leave to cool and harden; do not refrigerate.
Once hardened, this brittle, crunchy slab becomes your honeycomb base.
Slightly soften the vanilla ice cream in a chilled ceramic bowl.
Carefully break the honeycomb slab into various sizes, none more than 3/4 inch (2-cm) squares, and quickly fold half into the ice cream.
Pour the ice cream into a desired ice cream mold or back into the original ice cream container and freeze again.
Keep the remaining honeycomb in an airtight container to use as a topping when serving.
Serves 8

Cook Time: 10-15m

Total Time: 30-45m

Beatrice Tollman, or Bea as she is widely known, is the founder and president of Red Carnation Hotels, which has 17 four- and five-star properties in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the States.  Red Carnation, Grand European, Trafalgar, and Insight Vacations are just a few of the over 30 brands that make up the Travel Corporation (TTC).

Tollman, a self-taught chef, is deeply involved in the companies she runs. “The idea was that I would help my husband out at the beginning before going on to teach, but I ended up staying in the kitchen for 15 years.” An excellent cook, she has published five editions of her cookbook, “A Life in Food,” with many of the dishes appearing on her hotels’ menus, and on Uniworld’s as well.