If you are not from western New York, you may not be too familiar with sponge candy. It is a light, honeycomb toffee covered in milk chocolate, and it is simply melts in your mouth. It’s delicious! Buffalo’s famous Watson’s Chocolates made sponge candy famous around the world. Many of my friends have been known to stuff their suitcases with sponge candy to bring to out of town relatives, because it is so hard to find in other parts of the country. If you can’t buy sponge candy where you live…why not make your own!
Making sponge candy is somewhat like a science experiment. You heat the sugar until it boils, then by adding baking soda, it bubbles up and becomes foamy. Let it sit and cool for a few hours, and you have yourself some sugary sponge! It really is fun to make, even though it can get pretty messy and sticky. Give it a try!
¼ tsp powdered gelatin
1 tsp water
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cups corn syrup
½ cup water
1 tbsp baking soda (sifted)
Grease a 9×9 pan with butter, then dust with flour. Tap out the excess flour.
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1 tsp of water and allow to bloom.
In a medium stock pot with high sides, combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup of water together. Heat over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan. Clip on a candy thermometer and heat to 310° F. (Watch it carefully so it doesn’t go above 310 degrees.) Do not stir after you have clipped the thermometer on, the sugar will stir itself.
When your sugar has reached 310 degrees F, remove the sugar from the heat and let sit for two minutes. The bubbling should subside. Add the gelatin and whisk. Be careful, as the sugar syrup will bubble up. Sprinkle baking soda over syrup and whisk vigorously. Return mixture to the heat and whisk for 30 seconds. The sugar will rise up in the pot, a lot!
Pour the sugar quickly into prepared pan. Do not spread the mixture, just let it settle into the pan. Allow to cool completely (about 2 hours or overnight) before removing from the pan.
Using a serrated knife, carefully cut into squares the best you can. You can try scoring the sponge with the knife, then breaking the pieces off. It is definitely a messy process! Save any extra pieces you have to sprinkle on ice cream!
Melt the milk chocolate in a double boiler, and gently dip the sponge candies in the chocolate. PLace the candy on a parchment lined baking sheet, and chill in the fridge until the chocolate is set.
Source: Wilde in the Kitchen