Like so many people around the world, I am finding myself with a bit of free time on my hands. Rather than binge-watch Netflix or pass the time some other way, I decided to spend some of that time trying to become more familiar with a classic confectionery staple in Buffalo – sponge candy. For anyone unfamiliar, sponge candy is a sweet, airy, and crispy confection with an interior resembling a natural sponge. It is so beloved locally that you will find it in virtually all chocolate shops and grocery stores, nearly year-round. While it is almost exclusively referred to as sponge candy around here, you might know it as seafoam, sponge toffee, honeycomb toffee, or a variety of other names.
Making sponge candy can seem like a daunting task, but getting a good result is all about knowing the procedure and having the right tools for the job. With that said, on my first batch, I completely submerged my thermometer in the VERY HOT sugar syrup, resulting in slightly overcooked sugar syrup and a candied candy thermometer. Hopefully I candied my thermometer so you don’t have to.
tall, half hotel pan
heavy-bottomed, high sided pot
4 caramel rulers (optional)
Fan (for cooling)
1 sheet Gelatin
81g Baking Soda
*Additional water to bloom gelatin
- Line hotel pan with parchment paper. You want an extra two or three inches to hang out over the sides.
- Bloom gelatin sheet according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Measure out all ingredients. Glucose, sugar, and water go into a heavy-bottomed, high sided pot. Cook on medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Use a spatula and small container to scoop out any impurities in the sugar syrup.
- Use a candy thermometer and cook syrup until it reaches 302 degrees Fahrenheit. Pan will continue to cook syrup slightly. Note: Pull syrup at 308 degrees Fahrenheit for a stronger caramel flavor.
- Remove from heat and let sit for two minutes.
- Whisk in bloomed gelatin (being sure to squeeze out any extra water before adding).
- Sieve in baking soda and whisk until combined. Return syrup to heat and whisk for 30 seconds. The mixture will expand a bit.
- Use spatula to quickly pour mixture into prepared pan. DO NOT SPREAD.
- Place caramel rulers so they make a hashtag sigh when looking from above and place pan on top. Place fan in front and turn on. Leave undisturbed for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Cut into bite-sized pieces using a serrated knife. Note: The airy part that we think of when we think of sponge candy will be the center of your candy “loaf. The larger the batch you make the airier center you will have.
- Cover in tempered chocolate immediately as sponge candy will evaporate in humidity.
About Beth: Tomric’s Culinary Assistant
Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Beth has been with the Tomric family in some capacity for over two years. After graduated from the French Culinary Institute in 2008 with a Pastry diploma, she worked at several Buffalo-area bakeries before landing at Tomric.
Beth is well versed in all aspects of chocolate making and confections but has a particular affinity for bean to bar chocolate making. Her experience and talent are a vital asset to Tomric and our clients.