Monday, November 29, 2010

Sponge Toffee

When I was younger, I went to a lovely church in Ottawa that had the best annual Bazaar on the planet. On the candy and sweets table, there would always be bags huge hunks of sponge toffee on sale for 50 cents. I would inevitably buy several and gorge myself on the burnt sugary goodness.

You know what I mean by sponge toffee, right?

If not, you definitely know it as the sweet honeycomb filling of a Crunchie Bar.

The real question is did you know how insanely easy it is to make it yourself?


Well, it's insanely easy. You do need a thermometer for this, but I promise you, it's money well spent.

Canadian Living's Sponge Toffee


    2-1/2 cups (625 mL) granulated sugar 2/3 cup (150 mL) white corn syrup 1/3 cup (75 mL) water 4 tsp (18 mL) baking soda 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla


In 12-cup (3 L) saucepan, stir together sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat just until sugar dissolves. 

Bring to boil; cook, without stirring but brushing down side of pan occasionally with pastry brush dipped in cold water, until candy thermometer reaches hard-crack stage of 300°F (149°C), or when 1 tsp (5 mL) hot syrup dropped into cold water forms hard brittle threads, about 10 minutes. 

Remove from heat. Standing back and averting face, whisk in baking soda. (Caramel will bubble and sputter and increase in volume.) Whisk in vanilla.
This is why you need a very large pot!
Pour into greased foil-lined 13- x 9-inch (3.5 L) metal cake pan. Let cool in pan on rack without disturbing, about 2 hours. Break into 1-1/2-inch (4 cm) pieces. (Make-ahead: Store layered between waxed paper in airtight container for up to 1 month.)

Now you could just stop there, but like most candies, this one really benefits from a good dunking in tempered chocolate (another occasion to use your thermometer!). Tempered chocolate is chocolate that has been melted, cooled and reheated to specific temperatures. By going through this process, when the chocolate cools it develops that crisp snap that we associate with chocolate bars.

Or, if you only have a little chocolate, do a half dunk.

The recipe makes 48 pieces (or so), but really that depends on how you break them up. However many you make, do try to restrain yourself from eating them all!


The Fam said...

I love your new watermark on the photos. Good call.

Once again, another dish I want to make, but I will enjoy it merely in photo form. After wolfing down too many mincemeat tarts, I have to swear off sweats for at least a day or two.

Your lentil sausage dish looks incredible and I'll give it a try this week. I'm sure I could modify it with local beans and local sausage and make it with the 100 Mile Challenge as well.

I'm seriously your most ardent blogger fan.

Alyson said...

You're too kind Lindsay! Seriously.

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