Cadbury’s gets the credit for spreading this crunchy sponge candy around the world in the early 1900’s, which is still very popular today.
Also known as seafoam candy, and cinder toffee.
It has had many incarnations over the years, and it is surprisingly easy to make at home.
And it is very popular, and will make you friends!
It is thought that the first candy was made by the ancient Egyptians.
Which I can believe, as every Egyptian I’ve known has had an incredible sweet tooth.
I recently had a painter doing some work for me who was Egyptian.
And he took five spoons of sugar in his mug of tea!
I was surprised that it remained a liquid!
Candy in those ancient days was decidedly less sweet, being made from honey, nuts and fruit.
But better for you I’m sure.
Most importantly, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
I thought this recipe was apt for a day like today.
I made this sponge candy specifically for the holidays as it always proves popular.
Today, we’re hosting 14 of our friends and family for Christmas lunch here in Amman.
I really love hosting and cooking for lots of people.
And especially on a day like today, there’s an extra sense of excitement around the meal.
What is Sponge Candy?
Sponge candy is a delicate, light toffee candy that is often covered with a layer of chocolate.
It kind of has the feel and look of a cross between honeycomb and sea foam, and tastes a bit like toasted molasses.
The texture is sort of like peanut brittle, but a little less crunchy.
It has a light and airy characteristic because of the baking soda used to make it.
Crunchy and extra sweet, when combined with dark chocolate it can be hard to resist!
You can also grind the candy up and use it as a wonderful topping on ice cream.
You will be happier than a kid in a candy store when eating this stuff!
Just a friendly warning that if you make this sponge candy, don’t expect it to sit in your house for long.
Our batch proved very popular with our visiting friends and family, and was finished in a few days.
What is Sponge Candy Made Of?
Sponge candy is an incredibly basic yet rewarding dish to make.
This homemade candy recipe is made up of 4 simple ingredients:
- Corn Syrup
- Baking Soda
I then also like to dip and coat the candy in creamy milk chocolate.
You can also experiment with different variations on the coating.
Try using different flavored chocolates that you can easily buy from the store.
Alternatively, you can flavor your own chocolate coating mixture.
One combination that I like it milk chocolate with salted caramel and sea salt flakes.
Where Did Sponge Candy Originate?
Sponge candy is a proud creation from the city of Buffalo, NY.
Although the history is slightly grey on how it was created, there is a generally recognised theory.
It most likely was discovered by accident, as most of the greatest inventions are.
While someone was trying to make sponge (the old fashioned kind), they would use baking soda to create the air in the sponge and control how much it rose with a cold surface.
The belief is that one day, someone confined this mixture to a box and the heat inside it caused it to rise to the sponge we know and love today.
There are many varieties that exist around the world:
- Honeycomb (Australia)
- Cinder Toffee (UK)
- Sea Foam (Pacific Northwest)
- Fairy Food (Chicago)
- Molasses Puff (St Louis)
How to Make Sponge Candy
To make sponge candy, it is a very simple process and one that you’ll really enjoy.
What you end up producing is a candy that looks like it would be complex and could only be made by professionals.
After making this you will see just how straightforward it actually is.
First, in a saucepan combine the sugar, dark corn syrup and vinegar over medium heat stirring until all of the ingredients have combined and sugar is dissolved.
Cooking without stirring and using a candy thermometer, heat the mixture to 300ºF (150ºC), remove from heat.
Now for the fun exciting part!
Immediately add the baking soda and stir well.
Now you will see that the mixture will begin to bubble.
Pour the mixture into pan and leave it to cool down completely.
It can be very sticky so just use cold water to clean up any messes.
Don’t panic if your mixture starts expanding bigger than your pan.
I had this happen the first time I tried making it.
But I just scraped off any additional mixture into another pan.
Is It Gluten-Free?
Excitingly for me and other people who can’t eat gluten, sponge candy is gluten-free!
It’s always thrilling to find a really delicious, sweet dessert that doesn’t contain gluten.
Equipment I Used
Sponge Candy Recipe
- Mix sugar, corn syrup, and white vinegar in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Without stirring continue to heat until temperature reaches 300ºF (150ºC) on a candy thermometer.
- Remove from the heat. Immediately add the baking soda and stir well.
- Pour into prepared pan. Cool completely.
- Once cool, lift candy out using the foil.
- Break candy into pieces. Cover with dark chocolate (optional). Milk chocolate is also an option.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.