Saturday, November 5, 2011

Molasses Sponge Candy

Today is Bloatal Recall's one year anniversary. Which means one thing...I stuck with something long enough to officially call it a hobby. I've always wanted one of those, other than eating and watching tv (really I'm more of an expert at those by now). And even though I do this mainly to remember recipes and amuse myself, it's way more fun knowing you're out there reading (and sometimes cooking) along. I don't consider myself a writer or a chef, so I'm somewhat surprised (and definitely delighted) that you're enjoying my blog along with me. So I want to thank you for all the support/kind words. Now on to the candy.

When I was a kid, there was a homemade chocolate store on the way to my grandmother's house. It was a tradition to stop there and buy an assortment. Looking back, it was obviously more for us than an actual gift for my grandmother (although we carried out the charade and dutifully handed her the box upon our arrival). But the second that lid was open, the jig was up. We pounced on that box fast and hard (like a lion taking down a gazelle). If you happened to be in the bathroom, you'd be lucky if there was one of those fruity gel ones left (not that you'd be foolish enough to go to the bathroom). My hands down favorite was always the molasses sponge. Their version was dipped in chocolate, but I could tell from the shape/design exactly which one it was and always made a beeline straight for it. Since I don't live near a homemade chocolate store now (a good thing), I was excited to make these at home. They're scrumptious, even without the chocolate, so I didn't dip them (this time).

Makes about 1 lb.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup mild molasses
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1.        Line bottom and sides of a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with foil, then butter foil.

2.        Bring sugar, water, butter, and cream of tartar to a boil in a deep 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then wash down any sugar crystals with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Boil without stirring until syrup registers 265° F. (hard-ball stage) on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

3.        Add molasses (don't stir) and continue to boil undisturbed until syrup registers 295° F. (hard-crack stage), 4 to 5 minutes.

4.        Remove pan from heat and sift baking soda over syrup, then whisk to incorporate. (Use caution: mixture will bubble vigorously.)

5.        Immediately pour syrup into lined baking pan and cool completely. Lift candy in foil from pan, then discard foil and break into pieces.

Can store, layered between wax paper in an airtight container, for 1 month.

from Gourmet, April 2002
sugar, water, butter and cream of tartar
molasses added
baking soda added
cooled; breaking into pieces
molasses sponge close up

These should be crunchy, not spongy (they just
look like a sponge), so it's best to make them on a
cool day (if it's too humid, they will get chewy).


Judie Cleland said...

This looks good; don't know if I can make it or not. Looks like we will have lots of things to do over Christmas visit!
It's my anniversary today, too. A little more than 1 year (45).♥

Susan said...

Happy Anniversary!! If Bloatal Recall makes it to 45 years it will be truly remarkable (mostly that I'm still around). It makes me wonder whether being senile will help or hurt my posts? (It could definitely go either way.)

Randi said...

Congratulations on your anniversary! Please do keep it going. I really enjoy reading it and using the recipes.

PS. I remember the chocolate shop (Krause's?)and especially loving the chocolate covered candied orange peels. Also, picking up white chocolate nonpariels (rainbow sprinkles) for our uncle.

Susan said...

Thanks Randi (my sister for anyone who is wondering). Yes, it was called Hanna Krause's (good memory). I'm actually not crazy about choc. covered orange peels, so we're good partners for sharing a box.

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