Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Old Fashioned Sponge Candy

This is also known as "angel candy" or "sea foam". It is a dramatic process and the results are unique. It is better to eat this candy freshly made, dipped in the kind of chocolate you really like. This candy is sold in central Wisconsin in all grocery stores and at all the "Fleet Farms". You may see this out West if you go to specialty candy shops. Maybe.

During Christmases past, when a big box of Christmas presents and goodies would arrive from 509 First Street, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the first thing our kids would want to do is see if Grandma Cera put in some angel candy.

My sweet daughter-in-law Amber helped me make this and I hope she and David carry on the tradition of having it every year for Christmas. I never really made this when our kids were growing up..except once..when I learned it at Relief Society in Green Bay, Wisconsin. That was when Molly and Megan were 3 and Larissa was one and zTommy was not even born yet!I found out shortly after that, that my mom knows how to make it. The recipe here is my mom's detailed recipe.

All I can add is that when your thermometer reaches 280 degrees, go ahead and turn off the heat...take it off your burner if your stove is electric. The temperature will continue to rise in an instant to 300 degrees....!! Just from the heat of the pot. Then add your baking soda. I did not have the 9 x 9 pan that is called for, so my candy spread a bit too far in my 9 x 13 pan . I also could have stirred it less...After your pour it, you still want to see very active foaming action.

So here are photos from last evening and the recipe!

Old Fashioned Sponge Candy
(I think it is better to make it on a clear day, not foggy or overcast.)
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda.

1. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and vinegar in a large 3 quart (or more)
pot (large to hold all the foaming action).
2. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, then cover pan for one minute
to allow steam to wash down the sugar crystals that cling to the side of the pan.
3. Uncover pan, inset candy thermometer-cook without stirring until it reaches
300 degrees ("hard crack" stage..when syrup dropped into cup of very
cold water separates into hard, brittle threads.)
4. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda quickly with a
few quick strokes with BIG spoon.
It is OK if some of white powder can be brushed off the
chunked up hardened candy later.
If you over stir, you lose the bubbles! And hence, the texture of the sponge
.Quickly pour this foaming mass out onto a buttered 9 x 9 x 2 pan
or 8 x 10 x 2 pan.
It is not necessary to spread will spread itself as it bubbles
and foams away.
You are pouring this from the bowl while it is still
in the peak of foaming action!!!!
5. Cool in pan on wire rack. DO NOT SHAKE OT TOUCH
OR WIGGLE UNTIL IT IS COOL.6. Break cooled sponge into pieces.
Dip into melted chocolate with tongs..lay on wax paper to cool.

The candy was cooled down and ready to break into chunks in less than an hour.