Friday, September 24, 2010

Sponge Candy

For those familiar with Crunchie Bars, this is essentially the same thing.  The inside is a hard candy filled with lots of air holes.  The candy itself is water soluble, so it's hard but still chewable.  Coated in milk chocolate, this forms a tasty candy bar.

Crunchie Bars have long been my favorite candy bar.  Unfortunately, the silly yanks haven't figured out how to import them, so when I ran into this recipe I got giddy with excitement.  I made a double-batch, so keep that in mind when you look at the recipe and estimate the yield.


Ingredients


  • 2 tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1 cup Dark Corn Syrup
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 24 oz Milk Chocolate Chips (2 packages)
  • 2 tbsp Shortening

Directions


  1. Line a 13x9 dish with aluminum foil.  Brush with melted butter and set aside.
  2. In pot, mix corn syrup, sugar, and vinegar.  (Mixture will cook up approximately 4x, so make sure the pot is large enough)
  3. Cook on stove top over high heat until it reaches hard crack (300 F).  DO NOT STIR!
  4. Alright, light stirring very infrequently is ok, but just enough to prevent heat pockets.
    • Chemistry lesson #1: You're creating a super-saturated liquid, dissolving way more sugar into the corn syrup then it would hold at STP.  If you bang around the pan too much with stirring then you'll knock all that solute out of suspension, which will leave you as a sad panda.
  5. Pay attention: the temperature goes from 270 F to 300 F quickly!
  6. When the mixture reaches hard crack (300 F), dump in the baking soda and mix quickly, being cautious not to bang the pot around too much (see note above).
    • Chemistry lesson #2: Acetic acid (vinegar) + NaHCO3 (baking soda) = bubbles!
  7. Dump the mixture into the foil-lined dish.  Do not spread.  Let cool to room temperature.
  8. Once it's completely cooled, life the foil out of the dish and carefully peel back from the candy.
  9. Break the candy into pieces using a really sharp knife.  The sponge candy will shatter some, which is ok.
  10. Mix chocolate chips and shortening in a small pot.  Melt over low heat stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  11. Once the chocolate is melted, dip candy pieces in, coating completely.  Cool on wax paper.  (Caution: dipping is tougher then it looks)














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