Sea Foam Candy (Sponge or Cinder Toffee)
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Why I Love This Recipe
My Auntie Patsy LOVES Sea Foam candy (for those living on the west coast of the U.S. of A). Sea Foam has many, many names though. It is known as Fairy Food or Angel Food Candy in Wisconsin and Sponge Candy in New York, Pennsylvania and Canada. Other parts of the globe refer to it as Cinder Toffee, Sponge Toffee, Honey Comb, Puff Candy, Hokey Pokey or Yellow Man. It is even sold commercially under the names of "Violet Crumble" in Australia (Though it doesn't contain violets in any way shape or form) and "Crunchie" in Britain.
Ingredients vary slightly from place to place. Most use Brown Sugar, Corn Syrup (Whether light or Dark) and Baking Soda... Those are the basic ingredients. Sometimes it's made with Honey; other times vinegar or Molasses are added to increase the acidity. Me, I use a combination of Granulated Sugar, Brown Sugar and light Corn Syrup with a little vanilla and the "ever present in order for this to work", Baking Soda. It ain't too pretty, but it sure is tasty.
Ingredients You'll Need
1 cup (200 g) Granulated sugar
3/4 cup (146 g) Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup (8 TB) Corn syrup
1/4 cup (4 TB) Water
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 TB Baking Soda
Line a 9x9 baking pan with aluminum foil, then lightly butter the foil and set aside.
In a LARGE (and I DO mean large) saucepan, cook the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium flame till the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.
Insert a thermometer, reduce heat to Medium-Low and continue cooking, without stirring, until it reaches hard crack stage. (300 F, 149 C)
(Be a little careful, cause it can scorch... Low and slow is the key to cooking the syrup to the proper temperature without burning it.)
If crystals begin building up on around the rim, simply brush the crystals down with a pastry brush dipped in warm water.
Once the syrup reaches 300 degrees, remove from the flame, stand back a little (cause it will sputter a little) and add the vanilla, then the Baking Soda (This is when the fun begins)
Begin stirring in the Baking Soda, don't be alarmed... The mixture will foam up FAST....
Stir 5 seconds - to distribute the Soda as thoroughly as possible, with your spatula and pour into the prepared baking pan.
Let it sit for two hours to allow it continue to puff and harden.
After it has cooled, you can break it into chunks and dip in melted chocolate if you like, to help make it look a little "prettier".
I don't normally do that, cause it's all about the Sea Foam, not about the chocolate...