Lately, I've been having a major craving for a Cadbury Crunchie bar. It's a bar of super light and crispy sponge toffee covered in creamy milk chocolate. I used to love the satisfying and slightly squeaky crunch of the toffee, which used to drive my mother bananas.
They're popular in Canada and the UK, but I've never seen one in Denmark, so, of course, I decided to make my own!
Humidity and Caramel: The Struggle
Where I live in Denmark is pretty darned humid, and for the past few weeks it's been particularly nasty where it almost feels like you can cut the air with a knife. Why does that matter? Well lots of water in the air means there is more water that the candy can absorb again once cooled down, resulting in a spongy or grainy texture.
I'm going to be 100% honest. Caramel is incredibly simple and also incredibly tricky. It's literally just melted sugar, but the variables and temperatures have to be perfect, else you'll just end up with a sticky mess.
Ingredients and Instructions
2 1/2(625 ml) cups granulated sugar
2/3 (150 ml) cup glucose or corn syrup
1/3 (75 ml) cup water
4 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate)
2 tsp vanilla
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add sugar, syrup and water and heat over medium heat while stirring, until sugar is dissolved.
- Once sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and bring to a boil, occasionally washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.
- While the mixture is boiling, find a large cake pan that's around 3.5 L, or 13 X 9 inches. Line with parchment paper or very well greased foil.
- Bring mixture up to 149°C (300°F), which is the "hard crack" stage. If you don't own a candy thermometer find a cup or small bowl and fill with cold water. Using a spoon, carefully drip hot syrup into the water. When it hits the water, it should splutter and sound like it's cracking. It will form hard strings in the water instead of a ball. This is the hard crack stage.
- Remove syrup from heat and carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda. It will quadruple (at least) in size, so a large pan is important. The mixture will turn a darker golden colour as you stir in the bicarbonate.
- Carefully pour caramel into prepared cake pan and allow to cool for 1.5 - 2 hours.
- Crack into pieces and enjoy, or dip into chocolate for something extra special.