Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sponge Toffee!!

Today I dug out the recipe for Sponge Toffee. We are so desparately in need of a trip to the grocery store that our cupboards are practically bare and I was craving something sweet! I raided the baking cupboard and found that all I had was corn syrup and sugar...perfect!

The recipe I acquired from Nigella Lawson, I really enjoy her cooking and her recipes, they're down to earth and simple! (the last cooking blog post on caramel pudding was also a recipe of hers) It took me a few tries to getting this just right, but otherwise it's straightforward :)

First have all your ingredients handy and ready to go before hand because once the sugar is cooked it's a "move quickly" type recipe.

Line a tray with tinfoil and grease. I use "high ratio shortening" from Bulk's the unhealthiest grossest thing on the planet BUT it leaves no taste behind so you don't eat the toffee with a "hint" of something on the also makes the BEST icing for decorating cakes (another story...) You can also use butter or margarine or vegetable shortening, or even cooking spray whatever you have around the house :) You can also use wax paper, but I found that the toffee would stick so badly and then you're left chewing on bits of paper *yuck*

Mix your sugar and corn syrup in a cooking pot (does not have to be a non stick pan) After working in a catering kitchen/bakery for years I don't measure I think Oliver ran away with my measuring spoons hence the no measuring tools....

Turn the heat to medium/high (or inbetween the #3-4 for those of us who have numbers on our stove) and let it come to a boil
*Very Important: Do Not Stir!!! You want those lovely sugar bubbles to form, and it's so hard to not stir it, but I promise you, if you leave it alone it will not stick to your pan and will turn out wonderfully :)

In the recipe that Nigella wrote, there is no real indicator as to when this is finished, you go by smell (you can smell a very very light "burnt" sugar smell) and sight (golden brown) I aim to get the mixture to 300F (Hard Rock - for you candy makers out there)

When the mixture reaches 300F remove from the heat and sprinkle the baking soda onto it.

Gently mix the baking soda in and the mixture will start to puff up like a big golden cloud. It's crucial to add the baking soda quickly...if you wait too long the bubbles that were forming when it was boiling quickly deflate and then you're toffee won't "puff" as much. The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp of baking soda, when I made this for the first time I used all of that amount and it made my tongue all fuzzy/burnt feeling so I only use 3/4 to 1 tsp and it works just fine. Also a neat trick...the fresher your baking soda the better this will work. storing your soda in an airtight container will keep it super fresh :)

Pour your puffy golen cloud of eewy gooey goodness onto the greased tinfoil in one giant blob. Don't flatten or spread out as that will also deflate the bubbles, just let it do it's own thing.

It hardens fairly quickly, after 15 or 20 minutes or so at room temperature you can smash the candy up and you're good to go!

Sponge Toffe Recipe by Nigella Lawson:

1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
4 Tbsp Golden Corn Syrup
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda

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