Sponge candy is ridiculously easy to make and so seemingly impressive. I make it every year and serve it with coffee after Thanksgiving or Christmas. I love the insane crunchiness that gives way to meltiness and the lingering flavors that stay on your tongue. The flavor possibilities are endless in making sponge candy so let your imagination go crazy! Well, not too crazy.
One tool that you will absolutely need is a candy or frying thermometer. It's really important that we know the exact temperature of the candy while it's cooking so unfortunately, there's no getting around this. If you don't have a candy thermometer, I implore you to go get one. Making homemade candy is really, really fun. And homemade candy makes for awesome gifts. I promise you that you won't regret having a candy thermometer in your kitchen repertoire.
In a medium saucepan:
1 1/4 cup [270 grams] granulated sugar
1/4 cup [110 grams] maple syrup
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or more if you like
1/4 cup [100 grams] water
On the sidelines:
1 tablespoon baking soda
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Set aside.
Combine all the ingredients into the saucepan. Stir it well and then leave it alone- seriously, do not stir the candy while cooking. It will fail spectacularly.
Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook the candy until it reach 295 degrees. Remove from heat.
Working very quickly, add the baking soda and stir vigorously. As soon as you see the candy lightening in color and the baking soda is thoroughly combined, pour the hot candy onto the prepared baking sheet. Let cool.
Tip! Place the hot saucepan immediately into your sink and fill with hot water. This will make clean-up so much easier.
After 15 or 20 minutes, the candy will be hard enough to shatter. Break into small pieces and store in an air-tight container. Sponge candy is sensitive to humidity so make sure it's AIR-TIGHT.