Sponge Candy is a simple and delicious treat that brings back memories of grandmother’s kitchen and the corner sweet shop. (Just like these old-school dessert recipes!) However you might know this classic by a different name; Cinder Toffee, Fairy Food, Seafoam Candy, Angel Food Candy, Honeycomb Hokey Pokey…the variations go on and on.
Though its name is divided, there are some things about which we can be certain. We’re all talking about an airy, crunchy confection that has a lovely molasses-y flavor. Follow along as we show you how to make it.
How to Make Sponge Candy
- 1-3 teaspoons butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (You can use white granulated sugar instead, if you like. Brown sugar will give you more of a molasses flavor.)
- 1 cup dark corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
Step 1: Grease Your Pan
Line a 13×9-in. baking pan with foil; generously grease the foil with butter and set the pan aside. Measure out your baking soda and have it ready to go.
Step 2: Heat Ingredients in a Large Saucepan
In a large (larger than you think you’ll need!) heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup and vinegar over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil.
Step 3: Cook Until It Reaches 300°
Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 300° (hard-crack stage).
Test Kitchen tip: Though a candy thermometer will give you the best results, if you don’t have one handy, there’s a simple way to tell if the mixture has reached the hard-crack stage: Carefully drop a tiny spoonful of the hot syrup into ice-cold water. Remove the candy from the water, if it snaps then you know it’s hot enough.
Step 4: Add Baking Soda and Stir, Stir, Stir!
Here’s the fun part. Remove from heat and add the baking soda, stirring rapidly. When you add the soda, the whole mixture will puff up—don’t be alarmed (this is where the “larger than you think you’ll need” saucepan comes in handy), and don’t stop stirring!
Step 5: Pour Into the Pan
Once combined, immediately pour into the prepared pan. Do not spread the candy (it won’t fill the pan), and do not scrape the saucepan. Let the candy cool, undisturbed. Basically, keep your hands off as much as possible. Any stirring, bumping, shaking, smoothing, etc., will pop the air bubbles that make the candy so wonderful.
Step 6: Get Crackin’
Once the candy is cool and set, use the foil to lift it out of the pan. Gently peel back the foil and break the candy into pieces. Store in an airtight container (moisture will make the candy soften and collapse).
Add a Chocolate-y Upgrade (Optional)
If you like, you can dip the candy in the chocolate coating of your choice—dark, milk, white or two-toned, it’s all delicious!
Whether you’re living with diabetes or just choose to eat low-carbohydrate meals, carbohydrates (also referred to as carbs) don’t need to be demonized or feared. Actually, complex carbohydrates contain fiber, which helps slow digestion and regulate blood sugar. While your favorite chips may not make this list, complex carbohydrates should be included in your diet. Subject matter experts weigh in on the top eight carbohydrates to keep on your menu rotation.