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Family Recipe Friday- Old-Fashioned Sponge Toffee

With Halloween only a few days away I thought this recipe might conjure up some nostalgia for some of you. I know it did for me.

I remember sponge toffee well from my childhood. My mother made it on a few occasions but I remembered it mostly from the local corner store. On Saturday nights after Mass, my father would take us to the corner variety store for a treat. Sponge toffee in its simple clear cellophane wrapper was always one of my favourites.

Long gone are the days of making homemade Halloween candy to hand out to the neighbourhood children, but perhaps you might want to make this as a treat for your children or grandchildren.

I did a little research on sponge toffee wondering its history and origins. Little did I know that it is one of those treats that transcends borders. Depending on the regions of the world in which you live, you may know it as sponge candy (America)  or seafoam (in various parts of the U.S. including Maine, Oregon, Washington, Utah and California, puff candy (Scotland) and hokey pokey (New Zealand) and Yellowman sponge toffee (Ireland). Then there is sponge toffee (Canada) orHoneycomb or cinder toffee (Britain) and believed to be the originating home of this sweet treat.

Most recipes vary little, with 3 ingredients corn syrup, sugar and baking soda, occasionally you may find a recipe with vinegar or vanilla added.

Here’s a version from my collection of French-Canadian recipes.

Old-Fashioned Sponge Toffee
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of corn syrup
4 tsp of baking soda.

Heat the corn syrup and sugar in a heavy bottom. Make sure there is plenty of room in pot as it will foam up. Cook until you can drop a spoonful in cold water and it turns into hard threads or read 300F on a candy thermometer. About 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, add the baking soda mix well, (this is when it will start foaming up). Pour into a greased 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment paper. When cool,cut into pieces, store in air tight container at room temperature.