Who doesn’t love a gummy candy? This stretchy, chewy concoction is a staple in our household and my kids are absolutely nuts about it. As hands-on parents, my wife and I prefer homemade treats whenever possible; that way, we know exactly what and how much of it is going on in the preparation.
For the past year or so, I’ve been trying to find a good candy recipe that has the right ‘gumminess’ to it; most recipes rely on store-bought flavored gelatin, which, to be honest, doesn’t ‘feel’ that good. Obviously, I took the Gummy Challenge head-on and came up with this really good (and somewhat healthy) recipe after a few failed attempts. The gummies turned out surprisingly chewy and tangy, with a good stretchy consistency. Here, I am presenting two variations of the recipe; ‘Citrus Blast’ and ‘Very Berry’. But before you proceed any further, pay heed to my words: once you pop, you can’t stop!
Tools and Utensils:
Silicone molds (easy to remove the gummies once set and no need to grease – available online or in stores)
Plastic molds/ice-cube trays (apply some cooking spray/oil before pouring the gummy mixture)
Measuring cups & spoons
Bowls (if you wish to mix in different food colors)
Ingredients for Citrus Blast:
1 cup cold juice comprising of:
1 cup minus 3tbsp fresh orange juice (without pulp)
2 tbsp lemon juice (without pulp)
1 tbsp lime juice (without pulp)
6-8 drops orange oil
4-5 drops lemon essence
Ingredients for Very Berry:
1 cup cold juice comprising of:
1 cup minus 1 tbsp mixed berry juice (without pulp)
1 tbsp lemon juice (without pulp)
4-5 drops strawberry essence
30 gms gelatin (I got 3 sachets of 10 gms each)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch citric acid powder
a few drops of natural food colors (optional)
Pour cold juice into a saucepan and add corn syrup to it; mix well till both are uniformly combined
Add gelatin to the juice and whisk it all up so that no lumps are visible
Set the mixture aside for 5 to 7 minutes to let the gelatin bloom
Put the saucepan on a medium-low flame and add the sugar to the gelatin mixture; cook for 8 to 9 mins, stirring constantly
Take the pan off the heat and mix in the oil, essence and citric acid powder
If you want to use food colors, divide the liquid into separate bowls, add a few drops of color to each bowl and mix well
Using a tablespoon or a dropper, pour in the hot mixture into silicone molds; work fast as you don’t want the liquid to start solidifying
Refrigerate the molds for 90 minutes
Remove gummies from the molds and place them on a tray
Keep the tray in an open place, covered with a thin cloth, for 36 hours (larger candies) or 8 hours (tiny candies/gummy bears) to let the sugar crystallize – this will give the gummies their stretchy texture
Keep them in a cool dry place (use a ziploc bag or an airtight container) to preserve freshness; for the gummies to really feel like the store-bought ones, consume them after 7-8 days
Consume them within 1 week
Try going insane with whatever tickles your fancy; just substitute the juice, oil, and essence to experiment with interesting combos. Do share your exploits in the comments section below so that others can try them too. Enjoy!
NOTE FOR VEGETARIANS: Try using 10 grams Agar-Agar (also known as China Grass) powder as a substitute for the gelatin. The texture of the gummies would be slightly brittle as agar coagulates differently. Alternatively, you can use vegetarian gelatin/gels available in the market. I haven’t tried china grass for this recipe but I’m sure they’d taste great. If you do try a vegetarian variant, please let me know!
When you have two kids under the age of six, solitude is a precious commodity. You spend the entire day being a friend, an enemy, a teacher, a doctor and more often than not, a referee; raising kids is no easy job, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When the day is finally over and I have tucked my children in for the night, I find nothing more comforting than the pages of a book. Here’s a picture I took tonight to personify my love for the written word. Enjoy!
Dreamcatchers have a very special place in native American cultures, supposedly to filter out bad dreams and letting only the good ones pass. A dreamcatcher is traditionally made with repurposed items including willow hoops, strings, beads, feathers and other items considered sacred by the natives.
For this week’s Repurpose challenge, I couldn’t think of anything that personifies the notion better. Enjoy!
Note: originally taken from my phone, this photo was later touched up using the Prisma app.
Oranges taste great on their own; I hardly know anyone who doesn’t like them. They are a mind-blowing combination with chocolate, second only to mint, and are used extensively in desserts. But never in a million years had I expected to fall head-over-heals in love with oranges in an entrée. I’ve been obsessed with Orange Chicken ever since I tried it some four odd years ago at a Chinese Restaurant.
Like all recipes I’m obsessed with, I tried recreating this sweet and sour concoction with a hint (subjective) of spice last weekend. After some experimentation, I got the flavor profile I was looking for; in retrospect, I should have left out a few ingredients that gave the dish some outlandish undertones, a clashing after-taste, if you may. The recipe below doesn’t include those ingredients so you should be able to enjoy a mouth-watering Orange Chicken. I strongly recommend serving this gravy with Chinese Fried Rice (leave me a comment if you want me to post a recipe).
½ kg chicken (cut into one-inch cubes)
½ cup + ½ cup fresh orange juice (I used navel oranges)
½ tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh orange zest
5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1” cube of ginger (finely chopped)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chili sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
I tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp white pepper powder
½ tsp chili flakes (optional)
½ tsp black pepper powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp chicken powder
1 tbsp corn flour
5-7 dried red chilies (optional – I used African bird’s eye chili)
1 tbsp peanuts (salted and roasted)
2-3 spring onion stalks (one-inch pieces)
½ green bell pepper (medium sized – cut into cubes)
1 onion (medium sized – cut into cubes)
¼ tsp MSG (a.k.a. ajino moto)
3 tbsp sesame oil
Pinch of salt (optional)
2 tsp honey (optional)
Mix chicken, black pepper and corn flour and set it aside
Heat sesame oil in a pan and add in garlic and ginger
After a minute or so, add chicken to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes
Mix in chili flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, MSG, and white pepper and let it sit for a minute
Add in ½ cup orange juice and lemon juice and let it cook for 2 minutes
Add soy sauce, chili sauce and vinegar to the chicken and cook on high flame
Once the sauces have dried out a bit, add in peanuts, dried chilies and the remaining ½ cup orange juice to it
When the juice evaporates again, add in Worcestershire sauce, chicken powder, green peppers, onions and the spring onion
At this point, taste the chicken and see if you need salt (as the sauces used are already salty) or honey (if you feel the chicken is a bit on the sour side – mainly because of the oranges used)
Give the chicken a good mix and turn off the flame
Take out in a serving bowl and garnish with some fresh orange zest
Serve without waiting another second – make sure you have the Fried Rice ready beforehand. Any comments and suggestions are always welcome.