In a medium saucepan stir together the white sugar, golden syrup and water. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil. Without stirring, heat until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads.
Remove from heat and stir in flavoured essence and food colouring, if desired. Pour onto a greased baking tray and dust the top with icing sugar. Let cool and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.