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CanadianBakin'

Sponge Toffee by Greweling

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Matthew - are you pouring it into a warmed pan and keeping it in a warmer place (the oven) while it cools?

No, I forgot to warm the pan beforehand. I did let it cool in front of the oven vent, with the oven turned on, though. Next time, I'll try it in a warmed pan in the oven, though I admit I find the idea counter-intuitive: wouldn't you want the sugar to harden as quickly as possible in order to trap the bubbles? I'm willing to defer to greater experience on this one, but I'd love to know the explanation...

This was advice that dhardy got from Greweling. Since you noticed the extra heat seems to increase the loft I wonder if that is the reason.

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After reading all the posts on Sponge Toffee, thought I'd give it a try. Used a recipe from the internet (corn syrup, sugar, vinegar and baking soda). I used my candy thermometer and a digital thermometer to check temperature. I think my candy thermometer was on the fritz as it was only at 250 while my digital got to 300 and then went a bit over. Took it off the heat, added baking soda and poured into a warmed foil-buttered pan. Then popped it in a pre-heated oven (170) and turn off oven. I made the mistake of opening the oven after about 15 minutes and it sank a bit in the middle, but then left it to cool in the oven. Here's the result.

Not particularly fond of the flavour (at least not what I remember sponge toffee tasting like). Perhaps if I used the recipe with vanilla that might make a difference or perhaps I cooked it a bit too long. Always fun to try new recipes though.photo.jpg

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This may be a strange question but does anybody know if incorporating food coloring into sponge candy will cause any problems? I'm thinking working in some black coloring paste would give it a lump of coal look for christmas, thought I'd ask in case someone has tried it and already knows it won't work. I'd prefer not to dip it dark chocolate for the color, I want the textured appearance as part of the finished pieces.

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This may be a strange question but does anybody know if incorporating food coloring into sponge candy will cause any problems? I'm thinking working in some black coloring paste would give it a lump of coal look for christmas, thought I'd ask in case someone has tried it and already knows it won't work. I'd prefer not to dip it dark chocolate for the color, I want the textured appearance as part of the finished pieces.

I suspect it would be OK - but might not come out as black as you hope. Only one way to find out!

Check this out. Looks like hard candy - if it work, yours will likely work.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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Sounds good to me, thanks Kerry. Now I just have to get enthusiastic enough to do it. The humbug has begun to take over a bit. :biggrin:

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I know this is an old post, but I’m hoping someone can help. I’ve made Greweling’s recipe from his 2013 version of Chocolates and Confections. The recipe is identical to the one Kerry posted earlier in this thread. I followed the recipe exactly (with the exception of using Karo corn syrup rather than glucose) with an accurate thermometer to the exact temperatures listed (184/140, add honey, cook to 302/150) poured it into a pan that had been in a 200F oven and let it cool several hours in the warm oven when it was off. The loft and fine structure was lovely. But it was sticky/syrupy on the bottom and it stuck very badly to our teeth. It’s also much lighter in color than I expected. 

 

In in my second attempt I used the exact same recipe, but used the temperatures listed in his C&C at Home book, taking it to 310/154. I also reduced the gelatin to 3.5 grams from 5g because the pro recipe calls for much, much more than the 1/4 tsp in at Home book. It is firmer on the bottom but still sticky. And it’s actually lighter in color than my first batch. Also, it still sticks to our teeth quite badly. 

 

Structure: 

 

7503AD2D-6A73-4A7B-A9A4-BD849311599A.thumb.jpeg.cbeab1dc0b5006d81723d50d8e7be55e.jpeg

 

Color of 1st batch (right) darker than second (left):

4EBB9EBC-6BCD-40C3-8DF3-A0E0DED2A4F9.thumb.jpeg.c9869bd54a4a52df69abeb0e29b351eb.jpeg

 

More pictures in next post. 

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I guess I can’t add more photos from my phone—they’re too big. But the bottom is soft. I can press my finger into it. 

 

Any ideas? It feels like the warm cool down could be an issue? Heat getting trapped at the bottom? Could the gelatin make it stick to the teeth? I just don’t know what to try next?

 

Thanks!

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8 minutes ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

Yes, I am—thanks :)  

It's the soda that makes it darken - and yours is strangely pale as you noted - made me wonder if perhaps baking powder had accidentally been put in the bulk bin instead of soda.

 

Your thermometer is accurate - I wonder what would happen if you went up a couple more degrees? Undercooking generally causes the issues with sticking to teeth for caramels - so perhaps applies here.

 

The gelatin in sponge just helps hold the structure - doesn't have anything to do with stick jaw. The warm cool down also helps hold the lofty structure. 

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I’ll try it again. And maybe get some new soda—but it is for sure baking soda. It could be old—would that affect it? It foams up really nicely, though and I haven’t had problems in other recipes :/ .

 

I do think that the gelatin and warm oven keep in from collapsing. I’ve noticed it even continues to grow slightly in the oven once I’ve poured it out and then only settles a tiny bit. It doesn’t sink in the middle, which is wonderful. 

 

I made sponge candy a couple of years ago and I remember it being much darker in color with larger bubbles. I found that recipe and with the exception of using slightly less gelatin and no honey at all, it was almost identical. So perplexing. 

 

Thanks for for your help, Kerry. I’ve been reading egullet for years to find answers to problems and only just now joined, and I feel like I need to say thank you for all of your good advice I’ve read over the years ;) .

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Batch #3 I used the C&C at Home recipe exactly. Although, 2 TBSP of baking soda was not 0.5 oz as listed, it was over 1 oz, so I just used 20g like the pro formula. 1/4 tsp gelatin was 0.8g rather than 5g for the other formula, but it was plenty to do the job. I bought new baking soda.  It foamed up so much it reached about 1.5” above the top of my 9x13 pan. Unfortunately, my daughter turned on the oven to make brownies while the batch was still cooling in the oven and baked it :( . Even baked it was sticky on the bottom. 

 

Batch #4, followed the At Home recipe with 20g of soda again, but cooked it to 156C instead of 154C. Used a half sheet pan instead of a 9x13. Opened the warm oven after 45-60

minutes cooling, left it for 30, then took it out, let it cool on parchment on a rack and then flipped it over to cool on the other side. No bottom stickiness this time, though I don’t know which variable was the solution. But honestly, I’ve used 6 lbs of sugar!!! I can’t keep making this stuff and tossing it. 

 

Better color and and less sticky on the teeth, but still the finer texture rather than great big bubble, which I prefer. I’ll take it. 

6887D702-E463-42B2-8BB3-F1E3D0411A75.jpeg.bf3588c39f36e6b524f7a2524b4f8024.jpeg

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can someone tell me what the difference between this and honeycomb is? I don't see how the gelatin is doing anything for the structure of this, either. Has anyone made the same recipe with and without it to see?

 

for what I'd call honeycomb, I just cook my sugar/water/glucose syrup/honey to 155C then dump in the baking soda, whisk, onto tray, cool. No problems :D

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As far as I know they are just different names for the same confection. 

 

This is is what I read about the gelatin: The gelatin acts to thicken the sugar syrup and form a matrix within the candy.  Once we add the baking soda to the gelatinized sugar syrup, the baking soda begins to break down and form carbon dioxide.  As the baking soda decomposes, it absorbs heat and cools the sugar syrup.  As the syrup cools, the gelatin begins to set, trapping the CO2bubbles in the candy.

 

That explanation can be found here: http://wildeinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2012/05/sponge-candy-faq-buffalo-giveaway.html?m=1

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I understand the principle, but I'm not seeing the results in the pictures up there!

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56 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

How much stirring are you doing?

 

I let the syrup cool for 2 minutes after reaching the final temperature, add the gelatin and stir until completely mixed in, then sift the baking soda over the top, whisking vigorously as it grows to distribute the soda evenly, pour into the warm pan and replace it in the warm oven. 

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Wonder if you stirred less with the soda - I know when I have had some lumps of soda that's where I get the really dark spots.

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36 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Wonder if you stirred less with the soda - I know when I have had some lumps of soda that's where I get the really dark spots.

I’ll try it, but I kind of like the finer texture as opposed to really dark, large pockets. 

 

Thanks!

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1 minute ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

I’ll try it, but I kind of like the finer texture as opposed to really dark, large pockets. 

 

Thanks!

How about more soda then 

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More experiments. I used the C&C at Home recipe with 2 full TBSP of baking soda (30g) and took it to 157C. I made one batch with gelatin (1/4 tsp in 1 tsp water) and one without. Everything else was exactly the same (same recipe, temperatures, warm pan and oven to cool). It’s amazing the difference such a tiny bit of gelatin makes. The family is split on who likes which better. I like the finer texture with gelatin, personally. 9B10B854-D35F-4630-86F5-0A606D83BC10.thumb.jpeg.ce722b3ebf555465c6147f67fa15c96d.jpeg

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My preference is for the top one, but that's what I always had as a kid. I assume that's no gelatin because that's how mine turns out without gelatin ;)

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35 minutes ago, keychris said:

My preference is for the top one, but that's what I always had as a kid. I assume that's no gelatin because that's how mine turns out without gelatin ;)

You are correct :). The top one is darker and crispier and fell a tiny bit as it cooled. The bottom one is lighter, rose higher and it kind of fizzes on your tongue as it melts. It is a lot more similar to a Violet Crumble type candy bar than the top. They both taste great :) .

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