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Dec 5, 2009 02:01 PM

Help Problem Solving Sponge Toffee

Am not having much success making good sponge toffee. Two major issues:

1/ the bottom is more like hard candy -- it's not foaming up, it's staying a 1/4" glaze
2/ the foam layer is too shallow, only about 1/2"

Am using a 9x13" pan per the recipe but am considering a loaf pan to solve for both the above issues.

Also, the recipe I started with is equal parts Sugar and Corn Syrup + 1tbs BS & 1tbs Vinegar.

Would i have better success with the other common recipe version of: 2 1/2cups sugar + 2/3 corn syrup + 6 tbs water + 2 tbs bs?

tia for any advice,

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  1. Is sponge toffee anything like honeycomb candy the coffee crunch one puts on top of cakes? If so, do not despair. It takes some practice. After 6 batches, mine is far from ideal, but getting better. My recipe looks more like your second version--more sugar than corn syrup. The baking soda is added only at the very end, and vigorously stirred in, until all the caramel is a much lighter color. Then, just dump the foamy caramel in a heap on top of a grease baking pan or a silicone sheet. Don't spread it out.

    1. Would think more BS would produce an airier finished product. Did you try the second version? I loooooove sponge toffee - it's not readily available in NY, if someone can contradict me pls let me know where you can get it - but have never made it because I know I would totally lose self-control if faced with an entire batch.

      1. wow, i tried to make honeycomb earlier (after seeing it in an old F Word episode) and it was total crap. seems we're all looking for someone to point us in the right direction.

        1. And here's another formula, bring the sugar, vinegar, corn or golden syrup and water to a boil after the sugar has gently melted and boil until it reaches hard-crack, 310**, add BS and stir just til mixed in, try to burst the bubbles as little as possible. Pour into buttered pan and do not spread out, this breaks the bubbles further.
          use an 8-inch square pan.

          2 cups granulated sugar
          4 tablespoons white vinegar
          3 tablespoons light corn syrup or golden syrup
          2 cups water
          1 teaspoon baking soda, sifted

          I know that golden syrup is not that easily had in the US but the flavor and color is better than that of corn syrup, even though there's not much of it in this recipe.
          **The original recipe calls for 285F, I think that's incorrect. Hard crack is more like 300-310F and 320F for toffee.

          I like this toffee dipped in chocolate.

          5 Replies
          1. re: bushwickgirl

            I wish you could buy it in the States the way my dad used to get it for me in Canada - in a block a bit bigger than a pound of butter. You hacked off slices. I love this stuff.

            1. re: buttertart

              Yes, I've only had it in the British Isles at Christmas or maybe in an occasional box of chocolates. So good, terrible that it's not popular here.
              I'm going to attempt it, I have pretty good luck with sugar, caramel and all things brittle and toffee. I'll let you know how it works out.
              Oh, BTW, how was the texture of yours, very crunchy or a bit softer? I remember it being quite crunchy; I'm just thinking about the crack stage temp.

              1. re: bushwickgirl

                It's (as far as I'm concerned) ideally sort of like eating stiffish sweet and very slightly bitter (like molasses bitter) styrofoam, not crisp really. An old-fashioned place in Davenport, Iowa (and Moline, IL), Lagomarcino's, makes the choc dipped stuff and it's great - but I like plain better - my sister-in-law wangled a bag of it plain from them for me one Christmas, the only plain stuff I've seen in the States in ages.

                1. re: buttertart

                  OK, looks like upper end of soft crack stage, maybe 290-295F. Possibly what you tasted was caramelized sugar. Mmm.
                  OK, thanks.

                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    The soda contributes to the taste as well, kind of a chemical bite.

          2. Sometimes when you have the bottom like hard candy it's because the pan is either glass or the pan is not cooling properly. So to solve this use a metal pan and let it cool by raising it on some cans - it will cool quicker.

            2 Replies
              1. re: oasisblossom

                Nice idea. Sponge Candy is a local specialty of Buffalo NY. I've made it a few times. My biggest problems are 1) getting it spread in the pan before it starts hardening and 2) cutting it evenly. In Buffalo chocolate shops, it comes in very square pieces. When I make it, it breaks into irregular shards.