Imagine having the ability to pump out pounds of homemade gummies, right from the comfort of your own kitchen. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Having the option to control the ingredients, additives and flavors in your gummy candy is a parent's dream, so why don't more people choose to make candies at home?
Many people find candy making to be intimidating. Gelatin takes time and effort, and when not handled properly, your candies can turn out more like Jell-O bears than gummy bears.
If you've been wanting to give homemade gummy candy a try, here are three tricks to working with gelatin!
1. Use The Proper Concentration
When working with gelatin, it's all about the ratio of liquid to powder. The more gelatin in the mixture, the more firm or solid your finished product will become. Pre-made mixtures, like Jell-O, are made to set soft as spoonable dessert. For gummy candy, more gelatin means a firmer gummy! Experiment with different amounts of gelatin to find what texture and level of firmness you prefer.
2. Hydrate Your Gelatin
You may be tempted to skip this step, but hydrating (also known as blooming) your gelatin makes a huge impact on the texture of your candy. To bloom your gelatin, simply sprinkle the powder into a portion of your liquid and let it dissolve for 3-5 minutes. Once the gelatin is softened by the water, it will melt evenly when cooked and you'll have smooth, clump-free candy!
3. Let Them Linger Longer
Having the right ingredients and proper portions are only part of the process. Rest time and temperature both determine how firm and chewy your gummy candies will become. Colder temperatures increase the strength of the gelatin. The refrigerator is perfect for slowly cooling your treats, but you can pop your gummy trays in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the setting process. Once they are completely set, keeping the gummies at room temperature and uncovered can help dry them slightly if you want an even chewier candy.
Other things to remember:
- Granulated sugar can oftentimes make your candy gritty. This is why so many candy recipes call for honey or corn syrup. Be sure to dissolve all of the sugar in your liquid and work quickly to get the mixture into your candy molds.
- Gelatin will not set well with some fruits and fruit juices. Fresh pineapple, papaya, kiwi, mango, and fresh ginger all contain an enzyme that can break down the structure of gelatin and can affect the gummy-ness of your candy.
- Gelatin is an animal product and not suitable for a vegetarian lifestyle, but there are vegetarian options. Agar Agar or Tapioca Flour are two ingredients that can be used to make gummy candy with no animal products!
Gelatin can seem intimidating, but with a little patience and practice you can made delicious and healthy candy from home!