Sponge Toffee

Homemade Sponge Toffee Recipe: How to make sponge toffee, including some failed attempts and all the tricks to make it a success. The perfect sweet Christmas gift to make for friends and family.

Today I’m joining with some other great Canadian bloggers to share some great ideas for homemade Christmas gifts.  I thought I’d share a recipe for some homemade sponge toffee, because if your peeps are anything like mine the homemade gift they really want is something super yummy they can eat.

I’ve never made sponge toffee before, but broke out my trusty candy thermometer and decided to give it a try.  As with any candy recipe, the directions are really specific -it’s science after all, so no “a little bit of this, a little bit of that”  it’s more like a controlled chemistry experiment.

It was all going so well.  I made the candy after much research and followed all “the rules”:  300 degrees, no stirring after the sugar is disolved, add in the baking soda but don’t over stir.  I tasted a tiny little bit I’d put aside as a tester and thought it was perfect.

The candy takes a couple of hours to set, so after it was finally ready I tried a little of the edge -so, so good.  Sweet, crispy, lots of bubbles.

So, since the candy was for this blog post and I needed to get a photo in for the collage I set about dipping it in chocolate, setting up a picture, and working away.  As I worked away, I just might have nibbled away.  And as I nibbled the burnt taste of caramelized sugar gone too far became more and more pronounced.  I burnt it.

But, hey it was my first attempt.  Try, try again.  I had to run some errands so when I got home that night I attempted another batch.  This time I was super careful about the sugar -because it’s tricky to get it to 300 degrees (hard crack stage) without burning the sugar first.  And you have to get it up to 300 so that the toffee will set properly and be crispy.  The second time I turned the heat down a little and watched it like a hawk.  I even calibrated my thermometer.  I couldn’t recommend a recipe to you on the blog that didn’t work, so I had to figure this thing out.

Second batch and the mixture was still mostly clear by the time it got to 300, and tuned a little amber with the addition of the baking soda, just like my research told me it should and definitely not burnt this time.

But…you knew there was a but coming, it didn’t foam up like the first batch.

So, the next day when I got home that night I attempted batch number three.  It came out pretty much the same as the first batch.  Nice big bubbles and burnt.

I had the ingredients to do one more batch, so it was back to try, try again.  Batch number four I again cooked at a much lower heat, and again succeeded in not burning it, but again not as big of bubbles.

Here’s a side by side comparison, with the over done, slightly burnt batch on the left, and the better one on the right.

Homemade Sponge Toffee Recipe: How to make sponge toffee, including some failed attempts and all the tricks to make it a success. The perfect sweet Christmas gift to make for friends and family.

After attempt number four I was starting to doubt myself.  In fact I was thinking that after one full bottle of corn syrup and a bag of sugar that I should really be writing to you to save your time, and effort and invest the money for my four batches into a few Crunchie chocolate bars from the store -and if necessary rough them up a little, break them into pieces, tuck them into a cello bag with some ribbon and try to pass them off as your own to your friends and family.

But…

I brought my attempts over to some friends and they loved it -batches two and four that is.  They all really, really liked it, and declared it a win rather than a fail.  So you see it only takes one bottle of corn syrup, one bag of white sugar, and eight hours to make a lovely Christmas treat for your loved ones.

Homemade Sponge Toffee Recipe: How to make sponge toffee, including some failed attempts and all the tricks to make it a success. The perfect sweet Christmas gift to make for friends and family.

Seriously though, just turn down the heat after the sugar is dissolved and you’ll be fine -perhaps there’s a life lesson here for someone like me who’s always in a hurry, got a speeding ticket recently, and only cooks on high most of the time.  Patience is a virtue.

Homemade Sponge Toffee Recipe: How to make sponge toffee, including some failed attempts and all the tricks to make it a success. The perfect sweet Christmas gift to make for friends and family.

Sponge Toffee

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup white corn syrup (it's important to use white)
  • 4 tsp baking soda (make sure it's fresh)
  • Optional -melted chocolate for dipping

Instructions

  1. Measure and sift the baking soda into a small bowl and set aside. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking oil, and set aside.
  2. Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a very large saucepan. (When you add the baking soda at the end, the mixture will increase in volume and be very, very hot so a large pan is essential to keep it from over-flowing.)
  3. Cook over a high heat, and use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stop stirring the mixture. Occasionally brush down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to keep the mixture from crystallizing. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and cook until it just reaches 300 degrees F or hard crack stage. Be careful not to burn the sugar, if it starts to turn amber coloured at all, turn the heat down.
  5. When it comes to 300 degrees F, remove it from the heat and stir in the baking soda until just combined. Be careful not to over stir and deflate the mixture. Pour the hot candy into the prepared baking dish -taking care as it's very, very hot. Do not smooth it out, or push down the mixture with the spoon as it will deflate it.
  6. Let set for about two hours until the candy is hard. Remove from the baking dish, and use a sharp knife to break the candy into smaller pieces.
  7. Optional -dip the candy into melted chocolate.
  8. Be sure to store the candy in a sealed container, it should last for several days to a week.
http://www.lifeisaparty.ca/2015/sponge-toffee/

Homemade Sponge Toffee Recipe: How to make sponge toffee, including some failed attempts and all the tricks to make it a success. The perfect sweet Christmas gift to make for friends and family.

With homemade sponge toffee, life really is a party!

Now it’s time for some more DIY Christmas gift ideas from my Canadian blogging friends. Get ready for some wonderful handmade gift inspiration for your holidays!

10-More-DIY-Christmas-Gift-Ideas.jpg

From the top, they are:

DIY Cheeseboard from Vin’yet Etc.

Christmas Ornament from PMQ For Two

Sponge Toffee from Life Is A Party

Christmas Dog Bandana & Reindeer Treat Pouch from DIY Passion

DIY Christmas Sachets from New House New Home

Easy Sew Christmas Plaid Wine Gift Bag from Time With Thea

Movie Night in from The Inspired Home

Easy Infinity Scarf from The DIY Mommy

Homemade Orange Cream Milk Bath from Personally Andrea

Fabric Ball Christmas Decoration from Fresh Crush

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Comments

  1. I always burn the sugar too!!! Always rushing to get things done and it turns out badly. I make Almond Roca every year and inevitably burn at least one batch.

    Sponge toffee makes me think of my childhood! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. HaHa… too funny! I’m one of those strange birds that probably would have LOVED your “burnt” ones. Oh my, they look so lovely and I can totally relate… everything cooked on high is my motto! That scale, I think we could be IRL picking buddies! Swooning, from the yummy treat photos and that SCALE! <3

  3. Whoa! How have I never thought to make my own sponge toffee before? This looks amazing!

  4. oh boy… I wish i had never seen this post! 🙂 I love toffee I may need to gift this to myself.

  5. Haha Danyelle, you’re awesome, and I’m glad you persevered! It really does sound delicious, and anything dipped in chocolate is a win in my books. Candy thermometer is on my bucket list of things to buy… I keep thinking I’ll try some candy without one, but maybe not…

  6. It kind of broke my heart a little to throw out the burnt version…at least there was lots of the the good batches too. 😉

  7. You should try it!

  8. Definately pick up a candy thermometer, they’re cheap and handy…you know so you’re ready when ever the candy making urge strikes, haha.

  9. I used love sponge toffee as a child. I had no idea what the ingredients were. I am sure that your successful batches were much tastier than the store bought version. What a creative idea for a homemade candy gift!

  10. Thanks Thea, it’s sugar, sugar and more sugar, lol. Probably why it’s so yummy. 😉

  11. Uhm this looks delicious! I love gifting sweets for the holidays. Can’t wait to see what you do next 🙂

  12. Thanks Ariel

  13. i make English butter toffee every year from my grandma’s recipe she brought from Canada. this will make a great addition to the holiday tins!!
    any peanut brittle recipes??

  14. I love the English butter toffee too! There’s a recipe here for that, search under “Christmas Candy”, also a great little brittle recipe -I used Cashews and Coconut, but you switch it out for peanuts. So good…just search in the sidebar and enjoy!
    Dannyelle

  15. i have never heard of sponge toffee before! Putting this on my list of holiday goodies. Thank you for posting!

  16. JC, I think you’ll love it. Best of luck with it.
    Dannyelle

  17. susan armstrong says:

    Batch number one looks identical to every piece I have ever bought in Quebec! Coming from there, I know of what I speak. The “burnt” taste is right for sponge toffee, as are the large holes.

  18. Thanks Susan. I guess it’s a matter of personal taste; either way a pretty tasty treat.
    thanks, Dannyelle.

Speak Your Mind

*