January 03, 2012

Treat Bag Tuesdays - Sponge Toffee

Is it still Tuesday?  Yes.  At least, I hope it will still be by the time I get this post finished. 

We spent New Year's out of town visiting family (HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVERYONE!!!), and so I had to wait until today to start creating.  And just my luck, my first recipe this morning was a total flop. 

I wanted to make something quick, clever, and, since I'm craving warm weather and all that goes with it, something fruity. I decided to do a little internet search and came across something that grabbed my attention - jube jubes made out of applesauce and jello.  Totally cool right!!  Well, no.

I was so excited to see this creation that I mixed it all up, stuck it in the fridge to chill, and then decided to read the recipe reviews.  Oops.  Every. Single. One. Said. It. Sucked. 

I even went back, tossed it all back into the pan, added a little more of this and that, and tried to fix it, based on my candy making experience.  No luck.  It tasted great, but I was left with a sticky, gooey lump of candy that refused to set.  So now it sits on my counter, and I'm still deciding what to do with it. 

Sooooo, in the meantime, I had to think of another quick and clever recipe to come up with.  Ditching the internet, I scoured through my trusty recipe collection, and stumbled upon this gem. 

Along with many more, I got this recipe from my mom when I went to visit her over the Thanksgiving weekend this fall, and totally forgot I had it in my stash.  She used to make this for us when we were kids, and I haven't had it in AGES.

This is an impressive (and fairly easy) treat to make.  It looks like something a really experienced candy maker would make, but I swear, you can make it too.  The trick is to having everything set to go before you start cooking up your candy. 

Sponge Toffee

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 Tablespoon baking soda

Butter a 9x12 baking pan and set close to your stove where you'll be working (be sure to butter completely up the sides, right to the top).  Now measure out your baking soda, and place in a small bowl near your stove also.  Sift through the soda and press out any lumps. 

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and vinegar.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Keep at a low boil until the mixture reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer (hard-crack stage).  This will take about 15-25 minutes depending on your stove.  Don't be tempted to turn your element on high to speed up the process - it is very easy to scorch your sugar as it reaches the proper temperature.  Stay on the safe side and keep your element at low / medium-low.  Your mixture will become thicker and turn a deep amber colour.

Once your candy reaches 300 degrees, remove from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda.  Stir until the baking soda is completely dissolved - your mixture will start to puff up and increase in size (it will at least double, maybe even triple in size).  As soon as your baking soda is totally mixed in, pour the whole thing into your buttered pan. 
My too-small-pan-almost-overflowed moment...

The mixture will keep rising slightly once it is in your pan, and will probably reach the top edge.  (I misjudged and used a smaller pan - 8x8 - and it almost overflowed, ha ha).  Let your pan sit to cool completely - your mixture may lose abit of it's puff as it cools, but this is ok. 

Once your candy is completely cool, you can turn it over, pop it out of the pan, and break it into pieces.  The easiest way I found to do this is to simply take a butter knife, place it on top of the candy where you want it to break, and lightly tap the back end of it with your other hand.  It should snap apart easily. 

Now if you want to get REALLY impressive, you can dip these little babies into some milk chocolate.  I didn't have any on hand today, but if I did, I totally would've.  Wouldn't that make an awesome little gift, wrapped up in a pretty little cellophane bag??


Linking up to:

A Little InspirationTip Junkie handmade projectsfive days five ways | feature friday free for all

1 comment:

  1. Looks yummy! I will have to give this recipe a try sometime soon.


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