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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Recipe: Crunchie Bars

Crunchie Bars / Sponge Candy

Sometimes other people's recipes are so good, you just have to share (or you have people so enticed on Instagram that they're asking for the sugar fix by name). 

This recipe comes from Gothamist by way of my sister-in-law, who knows a good candy when she sees it.

In England, it's known as a Crunchie Bar (when it's covered in chocolate). In the U.S., it's known as Sponge Candy. And if you're from Buffalo, you know the original comes from Fowler's

Crunchie Bars / Sponge CandyWhichever variety you prefer, this is a great candy to make if you want to boost your confidence working with molten sugar syrup. And watch out when you add the baking soda! When I say it quadruples in volume, I'm not joking.

YieldA lot!

Prep Time30 minutes

  • Honey - 75g
  • Light Corn Syrup or Glucose - 140g
  • White Granulated Sugar - 400g 
  • Baking Soda - 20g

1. Line a sheet pan (one with a lip) with parchment paper or a silpat. If you are using parchment, lightly oil the paper using a neutral flavored oil like canola oil (do not use olive oil).

2. Combine the honey, corn syrup and sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. When you add the baking soda, the volume will nearly quadruple, so you need considerable excess capacity. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and place the saucepan over medium/high heat.

3. Heat the mixture until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer (the sugar will have begun to caramelize, turning a light amber color). Do not stir the mixture as it heats as this can cause the sugar to recrystalize.

4. When the sugar mixture reaches the appropriate temperature, remove the saucepan from the heat and quickly add the baking soda, whisking vigorously to combine the ingredients before the caramel mixture cools. The mixture will foam up dramatically. Quickly pour the foamed mixture onto the prepared sheet pan. Do not try to spread the mixture or shake the sheet pan after the initial pour. You want to preserve all of the air bubble created by the baking soda.

5. Allow the candy to cool completely, approximately one hour.

6. Break the candy into pieces (a quick hit with a wooden spoon works well) and store it in a cool DRY place (air tight plastic bags or containers work well). If left exposed to moist air, the candy will quickly shrivel to a liquid pool of sugar.

7. The candy can be coated in chocolate. Melt milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, heating the bowl in 15 second increments and stirring the chocolate after each interval until it is smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the candy or dip one side of the candy into the chocolate.

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