Growing up in Buffalo, NY, sponge candy is undoubtedly sold at every chocolate shop. Never having lived anywhere else – I’ve just become accustomed to it. Unfortunately for most people – it is not made or available everywhere. You can check out the Wikipedia entry to find out the fun and cool names it goes by in other parts of the world – hockey pokey, sea foam or fairy food – anyone?
Well, it is sponge candy here is Western New York – and we always have it coated in chocolate. So one day while I was doing my weekly grocery shopping at Wegmans – I noticed a small cookbook entitled “Buffalo Cooks with Janice Okun”. And I knew Janice Okun to be the local food critic in the area – so when I stopped to peruse the book – I opened right up to the page with a sponge candy recipe, and the book immediately ended up in my cart without a second thought. I can’t wait to try more local recipes featured in this book!
So by now I’m sure you are wondering how you get those bubbles (aka sponge) in the candy, and surprising it is much easier than expected. When I read the recipe I immediately realized what makes the bubbles. It is just white vinegar and baking soda – just like the volcano that many of us made in elementary school.
Candy making can be tricky – so I was thrilled at how this turned out – it was perfect. Just a note though – it is best to make this when the humidity is low or it may become gummy. Also – use a candy thermometer to ensure the mixture reaches 300 degrees.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup dark corn syrup
- 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. baking soda
- 8-12 ounces bittersweet, semisweet or milk chocolate
1. Combine sugar, corn syrup and vinegar in a medium, heavy bottom saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
2. Continue cooking, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
3. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the baking soda and mix well.
4. Pour in a parchment and butter lined 9x9 inch square pan. Cool completely.
5. Break sponge into pieces with a large knife.
6. Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each increment, until completely melted.
7. Using a fork or tongs – dip into chocolate and place on parchment lined baking sheet to harden.
Source: Buffalo Cooks with Janice Okun