Sponge Candy is a very light and crunchy confection that has a melt-in-your mouth texture, with a taste of molasses. Depending on where you are it has lots of different names. For example, it’s also called honeycomb candy, sponge toffee, seafoam candy, hokey pokey, and fairy food candy. Sometimes sponge candy is served covered in chocolate. At other times, it served plain. However it’s served, Sponge Candy is a simple to make treat that will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth!
Ingredients for Sponge Candy:
Sponge Candy is so named because of its sponge like interior. I used the following simple ingredients: Corn syrup, light brown sugar, and baking soda (a.k.a. bicarbonate soda). In England, Sponge Candy is made with golden syrup, caster or superfine sugar, and baking soda. The brown sugar or golden syrup is what produces the molasses taste.
Making the Sponge Candy:
I started by stirring together the corn syrup and brown sugar in a large saucepan. Once the syrup and sugar were combined, I set the saucepan over medium heat. I let the mixture come to a boil without stirring it. I let it continue boiling undisturbed for about 10 minutes, until it reached 300° F on my instant read thermometer. At this point, I removed the saucepan from the heat, and added the baking soda. I quickly stirred the mixture with a silicon spatula until the baking soda was fully incorporated, about 5 seconds.
The addition of baking soda to the molten liquid causes a thermal decomposition of the baking soda, releasing carbon dioxide. It is this that produces the sponge-like texture of the candy. Some recipes also call for the addition of vinegar with the view that the reaction of the acid and the baking soda enhances the release of carbon dioxide. From my perspective, this isn’t necessary!
Once the baking soda was fully incorporated, I quickly dumped the candy onto a silicon lined baking sheet. It was about this time that the Master Taste Tester came into the kitchen. He took one look at the mass, and suggested that it looked like a cowpat in a field (British humor)!
I let the Sponge Candy cool completely for about an hour before breaking it into pieces using a meat mallet.
I ended up with perfect Sponge Candy that was light and crunchy, and melted in you mouth. Yum!