Malted Milk, Sponge or Sea Foam Candy

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Homemade malted milk balls are not only really yummy but they are so fun to make! These candies are basically hard candies (toffee) made with boiled sugar (white or brown) and corn syrup or molasses. After the molten sugar mixture is taken off the heat, baking soda and vinegar are added, which reacts with the mixture, forming carbon dioxide, and foams it up. The C02 bubbles are trapped in the highly viscous liquid and form a lattice structure. Once the toffee sets hard it makes the interior look like a sponge. This light yet crispy treat has a unique and delicious texture and caramelized flavor all its own.

If you leave out the malted milk powder, the recipe is known as Sponge Candy (and also goes by the name of Sea Foam Candy, Fairy Candy, and Angel Food Candy, the latter being a type of toffee that originated in the eastern Great Lakes area). It is also known as Puff Candy, Cinder Toffee, or Honey Comb, among other names throughout the US and around the world.

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 cup malted milk powder (sift this together with the baking soda!); omit if making Sponge Candy
tempered chocolate of your choice

1. Line a 9- x 13-inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Mix sugar, syrup, and vinegar in a 3 quart heavy-bottomed deep saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cook with the lid on for the first 3 minutes, so the steam from the boiling syrup will wash down the sides and prevent crystallization.

3. Remove lid (watch for hot steam!), and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and cook to hard crack stage (300 degrees); no stirring!

4. Immediately remove pan from heat, and stir in your sifted baking soda/malted milk powder. Stand back.

5. Stir quickly, then pour immediately into your oiled and foiled pan. Candy will foam and bubble slightly and spread itself in the pan.
From this point, you can let the candy set completely (it'll take a few hours).

6. Then break it into odd shaped pieces with the aid of a sharp knife, then dip them in tempered chocolate......or let the candy set partially and use an oiled knife to score it into neat squares, then cool completely and dip in tempered chocolate.......

Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container where it will keep for a few weeks or more. Do NOT refrigerate. I have had success with freezing; thaw in its wrappers in a cool, dry place.

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