January 2, 2009

Sponge candy

Every morning I wake up the first thing I notice is the way a fresh blanket of snow reflects light under the slats of my blinds. And every morning the first thing I do as I rise is peek through the same slats and with a giddy little grin turn and move on with my day. I've never seen so much snow and for so long. We're 80 cm over our average for the season and we're only a month in. Even though my main mode of transportation is my bike and the only way to get around now is my feet, the snow doesn't bother me as it should. It's like the weather gods are making up for all the snow-less Christmases and winters we've suffered through. I love it.

Because it's the beginning of the year and for no other specific reason I decided today was a good day to make sponge candy in the form of my favourite chocolate bar, the crunchie. I think they're delicious. I love that they are light and airy somehow both popping and melting on my tongue. Caramel air covered in chocolate...yummm. You want one?

Seriously, there is nothing complicated to this recipe so long as you know your way around sugar and how to use your brain. Something I couldn't seem to do to avoid what happened.

This is how the candy turned out. You'll notice it's about 1/4 of the size it should be with teeny little air bubbles. Not the texture I've been dreaming of.

Even as a first attempt I'll say I'm disappointed, and this is where I'll blame the recipe. Haha! Indeed it's not my fault at all (though common sense now tells me otherwise.) Still, I guarantee it will be gone by tomorrow evening.

Only in my post disappointment searching did I find that mixing the baking soda into the candy mixture is necessary. I also found a vinegar component added to most other recipes. I'm not sure this is significant, but it may help the structure to form a little better.

Sponge Candy

1 c. white sugar
4 T. white corn syrup
2t. baking soda slightly dissolved in 2 t. water
1c. dark chocolate

Line cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper, be sure to well oil the paper.

In a large pot combine sugar and syrup over medium heat. Turn down heat to maintain steady simmer. Cook until light yellow in colour about 300
ºf. As soon as the mixture turns colour sprinkle in the baking soda mixture. (Note: this is where I went wrong, the recipe I was following said NOT to mix! Mixing is necessary for even distribution, just be careful not to over mix, you want to keep the air bubbles.)

This is the yellow you need to achieve

Mixture should bubble up and increase in volume by four times. Take off heat and quickly pour mixture on prepared sheet.

Melt chocolate in a double-broiler and slather on sponge. Cool until set. Store in air tight container.

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