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Just over 10 years ago, I took my first trip out of the United States. I remember holding my shiny, new, blank passport in my hands, excited for the adventure I was going on. I saw my first sights of New York in the distance on a layover in Newark before flying off to Paris. We spent some time in Paris and a few other spots in France, and flew over to London for a weekend. It’s a trip I’ll never forget.

Back then, though, I wasn’t nearly into food as I am now. I really hope to go back one day to experience a lot of the food that I missed out on, but I have fond memories of paninis and crepes and the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever eaten. I also remember all of the different candy bars there were to try out when we were in London. I tried my first Flake, and I still wish I could find some more of those Coconut Rolos. I’m intrigued by the candy that you can find in other countries.

Sponge Toffee is a candy that originated in Britain, but is also popular in Australia and New Zealand. The honeycomb-like interior is made simply of sugar and golden syrup cooked together, and then baking soda works it’s magic, creating the holes and spaces in the candy. It almost feels like a science experiment when you are making it!! After cooling off, you break the candy into chunks and dip them in chocolate.

I’ll admit this wasn’t the easiest recipe for me, even though the ingredients are few and the instructions are short. First time around, I had a 2 1/2 year old distracting me, and I totally burnt the sugar. The second time, I think my candy thermometer must be a little bit off, because the candy still tasted a little bit burnt, although my husband said he couldn’t tell after I had dipped the chunks in the chocolate. We both definitely preferred the chocolate dipped candy to the plain toffee, and I know with some practice this could be a very fun recipe to work with!

Recipe Rating: 7 out of 10

Sponge Toffee
from Field Guide to Candy

makes about 24 pieces

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup (you can also substitute corn syrup or honey)
3 teaspoons baking soda
bittersweet chocolate

Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with foil and butter generously. Set aside.

Heat the sugar and syrup in a saucepan. (Make sure your saucepan is big enough for when you add the baking soda and it bubbles up.) Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until it reaches 285F.

Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Stir well so that all of the baking soda will dissolve. Be careful – the mixture will really bubble up and it is extremely hot.

Pour the mixture in the prepared pan to cool.

When cooled, break into pieces. Dip in tempered chocolate. Place on a piece of waxed paper to set.

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16 Responses to Cookbook of the Month Recipe – Sponge Toffee

  1. Bev Weidner says:

    Oh DEAR. My heart just stopped.

  2. Peggy says:

    Oh I’ve definitely got to bookmark this one! Sounds like such a tasty little indulgence!

  3. Kim says:

    These sponge candies are some of my favorites. Where did you find the Lyle’s Golden Syrup?

  4. Deborah says:

    Kim,

    I found mine at a local grocery store. I had to check 3 stores before I found it, though. It was by the corn syrup. The recipe says you can sub corn syrup or honey if you can’t find Lyle’s, though!

  5. Katrina says:

    I love the look of these! They sound so tasty. I’m currently in Switzerland working for five months (am originally from Canada) and am taking full advantage of trying all the different kinds of foods. Italy has my favorite main dish meals so far, but I love all the candies (especially homemade nougat) in France. I hope you make it back to Europe soon! You’ll love it so much more now that you’re a foodie!

  6. Trying food from other countries is such a fun experience. The first time I traveled out of the country was when I was in high school and I went to London and Scotland. Boy was I ecstatic to see a candy made from honey of the beautiful purple heather plant!

  7. This is like Crunchie (the candy bar in England). I remember them as a kid – yummy! Love when you can have fun with your food like this!

  8. Joanne says:

    There definitely is something fun about international candy! I’ve never had these before but I love toffee of any kind!

  9. alissa says:

    There is a roadside, fruit stand place here that sells this, I love it!

  10. I made honeycomb using pretty much exactly the same kind of recipe (a Nigella Lawson version) and it really is wonderful isnt it! So addictive but gorgeous to top off desserts and the such with, although my batch disappeared before we could do anything with it!

  11. In fact heres the recipe
    http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/hokey-pokey-36
    it doesnt require a thermometer and worked flawlessly for me so you might want to give it a whirl one day :)

  12. AussieinUSA says:

    a homemade Aussie Violet Crumble!! yummmmm

    Running home after work today and making these! Haven’t had a Violet Crumble or Crunchie in 13 years (since I left Oz).

    Thanks!

  13. grace says:

    some things simply aren’t worth fighting with a candy thermometer (and cleaning it), and i deem this probably not worthy. i’ll just have a butterfinger, right? :)

  14. Valerie M. says:

    I’ve had imported candy like this and LOVE it, but I’ve never made it. Sure want to now.

  15. Michele says:

    This is just sinful! However, in a VERY good way!! They are addicting but I made sure to make them to be able to share, otherwise I am sure I would have made myself sick from eating too many! lol However, I do plan to make these again for the holidays, which are sure to be a hit!

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