sponge toffee

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, 

stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?  

It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.  It came without 

packages, boxes or bags.  

And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.  

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.  

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.  

What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"

-Dr. Seuss

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with family and friends (and good food, of course).  

Sponge toffee is a Christmas tradition in Trevor's family.  For years his family has worked together to create a variety of sweets and goodies to share with family and friends.  They usually make turtles, toffee and sponge toffee.  Trev is in charge of the sponge toffee and has tweaked the recipe a bit over the years.  He's also made some important discoveries that contribute to his success:

  • Always use fresh vinegar and baking soda
  • Using real vanilla extract makes a difference to the flavour
  • Watch the temperature carefully and make sure to stir, it burns so easily
  • Make sure the sugar actually reaches hard-crack, otherwise the sponge toffee will be gummy inside
  • Sponge toffee dipped in chocolate makes a yummy homemade 'crunchie' bar
  • If at first you don't succeed, try, try again...everyone's bound to ruin a few batches

Sponge Toffee

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp baking soda

First prepare the pan by spraying it with cooing spray.  We use a large roasting pan (about 12"x16") with 4" sides.  (If you cut the recipe in half you could probably use a 9"x12" pan).  Combine the sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and vinegar in a large pot.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring very frequently, until the mixture reaches the hard-crack stage on the candy thermometer (about 300-310F).  Remove the mixture from the heat and sprinkle the baking soda and then stir vigorously to incorporate all of the baking soda.  The candy will start expanding as soon as you add the baking soda, so you have to move quickly.  Pour the candy into the prepared pan; it will continue to expand.  Allow the candy to completely cool before breaking it into pieces.  We usually put it outside on the deck to cool, the colder the weather, the better.