Today, we’re diving into the world of confectionery with a recipe that’s a time-tested recipe: Milk Chocolate Covered Sponge Candy. This delectable treat combines the light and airy texture of sponge candy with the rich and velvety goodness of milk chocolate, creating a match made in dessert heaven.
Whether you’re an experienced home baker or a kitchen novice, consider this recipe designed to add a touch of sweetness to your day.
We have friends that make this every year. A recipe handed down through the generations gives this treat a lovely old-fashioned feel. They had us indulge in our first few pieces and we we loved it. We urge you to give it a try. It just might become a favorite Christmas candy collection recipe in your recipe box.
What is Sponge Candy?
Sponge candy, also known as honeycomb toffee or cinder toffee, is a confectionery treat that has a light, airy, and porous texture. Make it by combining sugar or corn syrup with baking soda and then heating the mixture until it becomes molten and reaches a particular temperature. The baking soda causes the mixture to bubble and expand, creating a sponge-like structure.
Once the mixture is sufficiently aerated, it is allowed to cool and harden. The resulting candy has a crisp, brittle texture with a honeycomb-like appearance. Often, you can find it with a chocolate or another coating to add flavor and texture. The name “sponge candy” comes from its resemblance to a sponge due to its porous structure.
Sponge candy is popular in various regions and can be found under different names, such as seafoam candy, puff candy, Angel food candy, or fairy food. It is a nostalgic and beloved treat for many people, often enjoyed for special occasions and during holidays or as a special treat.
This candy is enjoyed worldwide in numerous varieties. It is often sold in retail shops that sell fine chocolates. You can find it using different names:
- Honeycomb (Australia)
- Cinder Toffee (UK)
- Sea Foam candy (Pacific Northwest)
- Fairy Food (Chicago)
- Molasses Puff (St Louis)
- Sponge Candy (Buffalo, New York)
What is Sponge Candy Made of?
The sponge in sponge candy is made using simple ingredients that create a magical combination of sugar, corn syrup, water, vinegar, and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). This delightful confection undergoes a fascinating transformation during its creation process. Heat the sugar and corn syrup to form a molten syrup. Then add the water and vinegar. The addition of baking soda triggers a chemical reaction, causing the mixture to bubble and expand. Once cooled and solidified, the result is a porous, airy, and brittle texture—the characteristic sponge-like structure of this sweet treat. Finish this with a luscious layer of chocolate. The coating can be milk or dark chocolate, providing a perfect balance of sweetness and richness. Sometimes, to make it look fancier, we drizzle on a bit of melted white chocolates.
It’s kind of like a sponge toffee. If you love the taste of toffee, we urge you to try our 100 year old recipe for English Toffee.
Can you freeze sponge candy?
Typically, we do not recommend freezing sponge candy because it can impact the candy’s texture and quality. Since it has a delicate and airy structure, freezing can introduce moisture, causing it to become soggy or lose its characteristic crispiness.
Furthermore, freezing and thawing can cause chocolate to develop a whitish discoloration known as chocolate bloom, especially if the sponge candy is coated in chocolate. This doesn’t affect the safety of the chocolate but may alter its appearance.
The Best Way to Store Sponge Candy
If you absolutely need to store sponge candy for an extended period, it’s better to keep it in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Store in an airtight container or sealed packaging to prevent exposure to moisture, which can adversely affect its texture.
We had a Holiday baking day recently, and we made three batches of this delicious, sweet treat. Wonder how much will be left by Christmas. It is hard not to indulge in our sweet tooth.
Milk Chocolate Covered Sponge Candy Recipe
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- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup Light Corn Syrup or dark corn syrup
- 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
- 1 Pound Chocolate (dark, milk, or a combination), chopped
Prepare Baking Pan:
- Grease a baking pan or a spring form pan (approximately 9×9 inches) or line it with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.
Make the Sponge Candy:
- In a large saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and vinegar.1 Cup Granulated Sugar, 1 Cup Light Corn Syrup, 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, without stirring, and let it reach a temperature of 300°F (hard crack stage) using a candy thermometer.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and quickly stir in the baking soda. The mixture will bubble and expand.1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
- Pour the hot mixture into the prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly. Allow it to cool and harden.
Break into Pieces:
- Once the sponge candy has completely cooled and hardened, break it into bite-sized pieces. You can use a knife or your hands.
Melt the Chocolate:
- In a heatproof bowl, melt the chopped chocolate using a double boiler or microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth.1 Pound Chocolate
Dip Sponge Candy:
- Dip each piece of sponge candy into the melted chocolate, ensuring it’s fully coated. You can use a fork to help with the dipping process.
Allow to Set:
- Place the chocolate-coated sponge candy pieces on a parchment-lined tray or cooling rack. Let them sit until the chocolate hardens.
Serve and Store:
- Once the chocolate has set, the chocolate-covered sponge candy is ready to be served. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
Your Own Private Notes
Tips for Success:Be prepared: Have all your ingredients measured and ready, as the process can move quickly. Use a candy thermometer: This ensures that the sugar mixture reaches the right temperature for proper candy consistency. Work quickly: Once the baking soda is added, move swiftly to pour the mixture into the pan before it sets. Choose good-quality chocolate: Use a chocolate coating that you enjoy eating on its own, as it will enhance the overall flavor of the sponge candy. If you want to make more, just make more small batches. We found trying to double the recipe just did not work out as well when cooking the light toffee candy. Homemade candies make a perfect gift basket to give during the Holidays.
Is Sponge Candy Gluten Free?
The short answer is yes. The primary ingredients in traditional sponge candy are sugar, corn syrup or molasses, baking soda, and chocolate. These ingredients are generally considered gluten-free.
Here are a few of our other Christmas candy recipes for you to make.