My vegan friend has pretty much given up eating candy bars. It’s not that she’s taken up the healthy route and has forsaken all manners of ‘bad for you’ treats…but it’s that so many chocolate and candy bars are pumped full of dairy. It’s her birthday this week and I decided that a little vegan-friendly candy making session would totally keep things sweet. So after searching for a few ideas, I stumbled upon the honeycomb recipe on the Seattle-ist (via NotMartha). Ohhh, the honeycomb in the Seattle-ist seemed like the sponge candy treats of my childhood (and the very tooth-decaying stuff found inside of a Crunchie Bar). Unfortunately, honey doesn’t classify as vegan, so I kept searching until I found a vegan recipe that looked easy enough to make on a leisurely Sunday afternoon.
The last time I made candy, I remember being totally terrified of the chemistry going on in the pot when I was making the caramels, but I had no reason to fear as the results were stunning. Once again, this candy-making experience was a cinch. Making candy is fun, simple and hey, with this recipe you don’t even need a candy thermometer to get incredible results! Plus, there is fun and adventure in the making here. A lumpy mass of sugar and syrup dissolve into a bubbling liquid and then with the addition of the baking soda, turns into a whole ‘nother beast. When the mixture goes into the pan it hardens quickly yet it still looks wet and shiny and the candy that results is light, airy and melts on your tongue. Who knew making candy was so freakin’ exciting?!
1 c white sugar
4 T white corn syrup
2 t baking soda slightly dissolved into 1-2 teaspoons of water
1 c dark chocolate, chopped into small bits
1. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and lightly oil the waxed paper.
2. In a large pot, combine sugar and syrup over medium heat. As the sugar dissolves, turn down heat yet make sure that the mixture keeps to a steady, simmering boil. DO NOT MIX.
3. As soon as the mixture turns a light yellow*, sprinkle in the baking soda mixture. Again, DO NOT MIX! You want to keep the bubbles so the candy remains light and airy. The mixture will bubble up and increase 4 times in volume. Remove from heat and quickly pour mixture onto prepared cookie sheet. It hardens quickly.
4. Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler. When melted, spread over sponge toffee and cool until set. Break sponge into pieces and store well in a tightly-lidded container.
* Do not wait for the mixture to take on a golden hue….or it will be too late. Light yellow is what you’re looking for.