ChatterRecipe of the Month January 2011
Sponge Toffee or Honeycomb Candy
My sister and I grew up eating Cadbury’s chocolate, and one of her absolute favorites was the “Crunchie” bar – delicious honeycomb toffee covered in rich milk chocolate. So when an old friend of mine sent me this recipe just recently, it was a perfect birthday treat for my sister and this month’s bulletin.
Interestingly, it is called Sponge Toffee in Canada, Cinder Toffee in England (really? I never heard that before), Honeycomb in Australia (they got that from the English), and Sea Foam in California (you’re kidding?) This particular recipe is courtesy of Christine Cushing on the Canadian Food Network –http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/Dessert/recipe.html?dishid=6208
Vegetable Oil (to grease the pan)
Parchment Paper (for lining the baking tin)
2 ½ cups Granulated Sugar
2/3 of cup Light Corn Syrup
6 tablespoons Water
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Baking Soda
Chocolate (for covering the candy – optional)
Liberally grease a 10-inch round spring form cake pan with Vegetable Oil. Trace the bottom of the pan on a piece of Parchment Paper. Cut out the circle and line the bottom of the pan with it, then line the sides of the pan with a strip of parchment paper creating a collar that sits 1 to 2 inches taller than the top of the pan. Then grease the parchment paper. In a deep medium saucepan bring the Sugar, Corn Syrup, Water & Vanilla to a boil over medium-high heat (without stirring) and cook until the “hard crack” stage, i.e. until the temperature reads 300 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. This should take about 10 minutes. If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan during the cooking process, brush the sides of the pan with a clean pastry brush dipped in water. Remove from heat. Working quickly, add the Baking Soda and quickly incorporate into the sugar mixture whisking for about 5 seconds. The mixture will bubble up when you add the baking soda so be very careful not to touch the hot mixture. Immediately pour the hot toffee into the prepared pan. Allow it to cool and set completely before touching, then cut into pieces. It makes a huge mess but all the messy little crumbs can be saved as a topping for ice cream!
You can stop right here, but if you like your Chocolate, then consider also the option of covering the pieces of honeycomb candy. Some melt their chocolate in the Microwave, others use a double boiler, but simpler still, you can use a bowl and saucepan. Fill the bottom of the saucepan with some water and bring to a simmer. Place a stainless steel or Pyrex glass bowl over the saucepan making sure that the water does not touch the bowl. Put the coarsely chopped Chocolate(or chocolate chips) into the bowl and allow it to melt. When most of it is looking shiny, stir until smooth. Once the Chocolate has melted, you can dip the pieces of your Sponge Toffee to cover them and then lay them on some Parchment Paper to harden. Store at room temperature in airtight containers.