rants & recipes

Agave-comb Candy

Posted by ataraktos on 2011-11-11

Sometimes I think the only non-vegan foods I miss are junk-food items - Twinkies, Hostess cupcakes. And Whoppers malted milk balls. I've wanted to try my hand at something malted-milk-ball like for a while. I have a bunch of malt - annoying hygroscopic stuff that it is. I've looked online, to little avail, for homemade candy recipes. I think the real ones are made in a vacuum somehow.

But I did discover some candies - Honeycomb, Sponge, Cinder Toffee - all names for similar candies that are like puffier, airer versions of nut brittle. And often coated with chocolate.

So a while back, I tried my hand at one ... I've made brittle successfully before, but this cinder toffee was a total disaster - brunt, sticky, gross stuff that never set up. I couldn't figure out what in the world went wrong.

Well, tonight, I figured it out ... I had decided to try a small batch recipe again and I got out my thermometer, plugged in the thermocouple and it reported it was 86 degrees in here! I used it to take my temperature, it read 112. Then I realized - I was using the "bad" thermometer and our free replacement was packed away somewhere. After a brief search, we found it and its readings were good. So, last time, I'd used the bad thermometer - no wonder.

As expected, with a candy thermometer that works, my agave-comb candy turned out much better! I'll be experimenting with the recipes which call for vinegar next, and then hoping to use some malt sugar and coat in chocolate.

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • a working candy thermometer!
  1. Level out sugar into the bottom of a 2 quart sauce pan, fitted with your thermometer probe.
  2. Add water and agave nectar
  3. Sift baking soda and prepare a place for your candy. I used a silpat mat on a cookie sheet.
  4. Cook candy without stirring to 300 degrees
  5. Quickly remove thermometer and add baking soda, stirring with a wooden spoon to mix in soda. Be careful, it puffs up fast!
  6. Pour foaming candy onto the area you prepared for it and allow it to cool undisturbed.
  7. Once cool, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.
Veganized from this recipe.