Cinder Toffee Tart

21 August 2017

Recipe Science-ish: When you add baking soda to the hot sugary syrup it creates carbon dioxide gas, which causes the mixture to bubble and froth and gives you the honeycomb/bubbly texture.

This creation was a by-product of some left over ingredients from recipe experimenting and I had been wanting an excuse to make cinder toffee, so here you have it. If you are unfamiliar with cinder toffee (also known as sponge candy and honeycomb), it is a crunchy, stick to your teeth toffee candy.

It is popular in the UK and is the main ingredient of Cadbury's "Crunchie" bar. I have long been a Cadbury fan since the "Creme Egg", in fact my grandma would buy extra around Easter and surprise me with eggs when they were temporarily out of season. So naturally, when I first started traveling to England I would try any confections I hadn't seen in the US. The Crunchie bar was one of those and I was very intrigued by the texture and made a mental note to investigate how to make this at a later date.

It is very easy to prepare and kind of reminds me of the baking soda/vinegar volcano experiment most of us try in our youth, although not as safe due to how hot the mixture gets, but may be fun for supervised, older kiddos. It is often eaten as is or covered in chocolate, but I wanted to try and make it a little more sophisticated as a tart with chocolate ganache. The meringue candy adds more crunch and some detail to this simplistic treat, but is optional.

Chocolate Cinder Toffee Tart

Crispy cinder toffee in a chocolate crust topped with chocolate ganache and meringue candy.

Crispy cinder toffee in a chocolate crust topped with chocolate ganache and meringue candy.

Prep time: - Cook time: - Total time:
Yield: 1 Rectangular Tart (13 3/4" x 4 1/2" x 1" high)


Chocolate Tart Shell
- 1 1/4 cups (160g) flour (spooned into measuring cup)
- 1/4 cup (30g) cocoa
- 1/3 cup + 2 T (80g) sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/3 cup (80g) butter
- 1 egg

Chocolate Ganache
- 12 oz chocolate (chopped)
- 8 oz cream

Cinder Toffee
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 T honey (or golden syrup if you have it)
- 1 t baking soda

Meringue Candy (optional)
- 6oz egg whites
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 t distilled white vinegar
- brown food coloring (or color of choice)


Chocolate Tart Shell
Preheat oven 350F. *Make tart shell first.
Add flour, cocoa, sugar, salt and butter to food processor and pulse until texture is crumbly.
Add egg and pulse until dough begins to come together.
Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and knead a couple times until smooth.
Roll dough to about 1/8 inch thickness and carefully place into pan and trim any overhanging edges.
Cover with parchment and add weight in the center (beans, pastry weights, etc) and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove parchment and weights from each and then bake 5-10 minutes more until done.
Let cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache
Place chocolate pieces in a medium glass bowl.
Heat milk over medium heat in a small pot until bubbles form around the edge.
Pour milk over chocolate and let sit for 1 minute, then stir until chocolate is smooth.
Let cool to room temperature.

Cinder Toffee
Heat sugar and honey on the stove over medium until it reaches 293-295F. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda, then pour mixture into cooled chocolate tart shell. Let set for 1-2 hours to harden.

Meringue Candy
Preheat oven 200F. This step is optional! Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form (you could turn this puppy in the bowl upside down with confidence). Gradually add sugar, then vanilla and vinegar. Beat until no sugar granules remain (rub between fingers to check). Prepare a piping bag with large star or desired tip. If you want to add some color, streak a few lines of food coloring up the inside of the piping bag, then fill with meringue. On a parchement or slipmat lined baking sheet, pipe about 3/4 inch sized candies. Bake for 90 - 120 minutes.

Final Assembly
Once cinder toffee has hardened, pipe long lines of chocolate ganache down the tart (or you can just "frost" the top if you don't want to get fancy). Place meringue candy decoratively on tart.



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