Homemade Gummy Bears

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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)
  • Dropper
  • Saucepan
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Bowls (if you wish to mix in different food colors)
  • Whisk
  • Ziploc bags
  • Airtight container

Ingredients for Citrus Blast:

  • 1 cup cold juice comprising of:
    • 1 cup minus 3 tbsp 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

Common ingredients:

  • 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)

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Method:

  1. Pour cold juice into a saucepan and add corn syrup to it; mix well till both are uniformly combined
  2. Add gelatin to the juice and whisk it all up so that no lumps are visible
  3. Set the mixture aside for 5 to 7 minutes to let the gelatin bloom
  4. Put the saucepan on a medium-low flame and add the sugar to the gelatin mixture; cook for 8 to 9 mins, stirring constantly
  5. Take the pan off the heat and mix in the oil, essence and citric acid powder
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Refrigerate the molds for 90 minutes
  9. Remove gummies from the molds and place them on a tray
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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!

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Culinary Escapades: A Photo-blog

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Venue: Liwan and Shayan Resturants at Al-Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana. Enjoy! 🙂

Triple-layer Cream Cake Dessert

Triple-layer Cream Cake

There are some culinary combinations that gel together nicely and this recipe explores one such combination; cake, instant jelly and custard. This here is a very simple yet amazingly tempting dessert that’s ideal for Ramadan. The best part is that it requires very little cooking time. Also, nothing is set in stone here so feel free to experiment with different flavors and combinations.

Ingredients

  • Chocolate/marble cake
  • Swiss Rolls (I prefer chocolate but you can use any flavor)
  • Vanilla-flavored custard powder (again, you can have any flavor you like)
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Instant Jelly (cherry or strawberry – because it adds a little color to your dessert)
  • Fresh fruits (bananas and apples go well with this dessert but feel free to experiment)
  • Melted chocolate (for chocolate cream and topping)
Method
  • Cut your fruits into small chunks and spread them evenly along the base of your serving dish
  • Cook the instant jelly and pour it over the fruits
  • Put the serving dish into the freezer to cool
  • Make a batch of custard using the custard powder, milk, and sugar – the consistency of this should be thin (but slightly thicker than what you’d call ‘watery’)
  • Take half of the hot custard and mix in some melted chocolate; this will be your chocolate cream
  • Let the chocolate cream cool down in the refrigerator
  • Remove the serving dish from the freezer; make sure the jelly is set properly
  • Cut the Swiss rolls into thin slices and place them along the sides of the serving dish
  • Remove the cooled chocolate cream and pour it into the center of the dish; spread it evenly so that it covers the entire dish
  • Cut your marble/chocolate cake into chunks and spread it over the chocolate cream layer
  • Now pour the remaining hot vanilla cream custard over the cake chunks; as the consistency is thin, the cake should be able to soak in the cream nicely
  • Put the serving dish immediately into the refrigerator
  • After 1 hour, top it off with some melted chocolate
  • Serve chilled!
The recipe yields a dessert that has a very unique texture and feels really good in your mouth. Enjoy and remember me in your prayers!

NOTE: As the recipe is fairly straight-forward, I have taken the liberty to leave out the exact quantities. The idea here is to demonstrate the layering of the dessert and the soaking of the cakes.