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KristenP

Chewy Candy Help

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KristenP   

Hi All,

I'd like to make a candy that is similar to the Ginger Chews made by Ginger People, but slightly softer (those are hazardous to dental work!) The ingredients for the Chews are simply sugar, tapioca starch and ginger. I've got other flavors in mind, so I'm not that concerned about the ginger right now, but I can't get the consistency right. It just ends up a gelatinous goo. I've made numerous stovetop attempts, cooking the starch and sugar together, adding the starch at the end, etc. I'm wondering if I should be dehydrating as the last step?

I've consulted Grewling's Chocolates and Confections, but didn't find anything really close to what I'm looking for. I'd like to stay away from gelatin, and probably pectin, but am open to other starches and ingredients. I don't want a gummy bear texture, and I'd rather not a gum drop texture, though that might be my fall back. The Botan Rice Candy would be another example of the texture I'd like to get close to. I'm not a professional, but am fairly good with execution :) Any advice to set me in the right direction? I'd like to hear any thoughts you have!

Thanks much!

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emmalish   

I would love to know the answer to this too. If you ever get it figured out, please post your recipe!

What temperatures have you tried cooking the sugar to so far?

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Darienne   

I love ginger and I love chews. Never seen Ginger Chews by Ginger People, but then I live in the middle of nowhere in the far frozen north. Would love a recipe if you come up with one.

And welcome to eGullet. Good and helpful people here.

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KristenP   

I would love to know the answer to this too. If you ever get it figured out, please post your recipe!

What temperatures have you tried cooking the sugar to so far?

I will let you know if I figure it out. With only two essential ingredients, how hard can it be?? Ha. I was messing around with a copy cat starburst recipe last night, but I don't like the butter it calls for. Though it may give me another route. I've cooked the sugar anywhere between soft and hard ball.

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KristenP   

I love ginger and I love chews. Never seen Ginger Chews by Ginger People, but then I live in the middle of nowhere in the far frozen north. Would love a recipe if you come up with one.

And welcome to eGullet. Good and helpful people here.

Oh, the Ginger Chews are pretty darn good. I'd be happy to send you some! It'd be pretty easy to pop a bag in the mail.

Thank you for the welcome! I've been surfing the site for over a year and thought this might be the best group to help. Fingers crossed...

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emmalish   

I would love to know the answer to this too. If you ever get it figured out, please post your recipe!

What temperatures have you tried cooking the sugar to so far?

I will let you know if I figure it out. With only two essential ingredients, how hard can it be?? Ha. I was messing around with a copy cat starburst recipe last night, but I don't like the butter it calls for. Though it may give me another route. I've cooked the sugar anywhere between soft and hard ball.

I'm not an expert in candy-making (still hoping someone will chime in here) but you may need some fat content to get the texture you're after.

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Have you considered playing around with a recipe for Turkish Delight? Not as chewy as bontan ame (the "real" japanese candy is bontan ame--bontan being the citrus which gives the candy its flavour), but more similar, I think, than a caramel.

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lebowits   

I suspect that this confection is more like a taffy than anything else. The difficulty will be in "pulling" the product before sizing and cutting.

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You've probably already seen this http://radmegan.blogspot.ca/2011/03/homemade-ginger-chews.html which makes a hard candy. But you could give it a try and just cook it the caramel to a soft ball stage or slightly harder. In this recipe, the starch isn't mixed into the mixture, it's just used to coat the candies.

In the comments, there are a couple of other recipes people have played with. One includes temps for the caramel--very helpful as a reference point when you're playing around. The second recipe (second last comment) sounds like the texture might be closer to what you're looking for (but no temps!).

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KristenP, on 13 May 2013 - 12:53, said:

I will let you know if I figure it out. With only two essential ingredients, how hard can it be?? Ha. I was messing around with a copy cat starburst recipe last night, but I don't like the butter it calls for. Though it may give me another route. I've cooked the sugar anywhere between soft and hard ball.

You'd be very surprised at the variety of ways you can combine sugar, starch, and ginger. Personally, I think I would keep messing around with the recipe you found of that website, that will probably give you something you can make yourself and enjoy. When it comes to the real ginger chews, there's really no telling how it ginger has been processed, and I think they add more then just juice, which means it could be processed in a way that we cant really do at home.

I think this is a unique candy in itself, a 'chew' can refer to a lot of things. I dont think its akin to a taffy though, it doesnt resemble a pulled candy, and a taffy would have more then sugar, starch, and ginger. Not to mention if you did pull a candy like that, it would crystallize very quickly. If you make a caramel, and pulled it once its cooled like you would taffy, your cut pieces would crystallize a few hours later, and have more of a short fudge texture then anything you would call a 'chew.'

Anyways, I guess what I'm saying is that I'd recommend to keep playing with the recipe you have, theres too many variables to realistically expect really replicate this candy exactly and make different flavors. The proportions of the ingredients are unknown, and when it comes to starch, that makes a huge difference, and not to mention, like you said, they could have a drying stage in the process. And also the ginger seems to be a pretty large part of the candy, so if you wanted to make different flavors, you really would have to formulate it quite differently if one were omitting the ginger.

I hope I'm not being discouraging or anything! Sorry if I am! You'll find something you are happy with, please let us know!

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Now I'm curious about this, seriously, I'm going to get a bag of these things to see the texture.

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BeeZee   

I like the Ginger Chews also...closest thing I could think of with similar texture is a stale Tootsie Roll. It's not the same, but a similar taffy kind of texture that threatens to pull fillings out of your teeth.

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janeer   

I love ginger and I love chews. Never seen Ginger Chews by Ginger People, but then I live in the middle of nowhere in the far frozen north. Would love a recipe if you come up with one.

And welcome to eGullet. Good and helpful people here.

Oh, the Ginger Chews are pretty darn good. I'd be happy to send you some! It'd be pretty easy to pop a bag in the mail.

Thank you for the welcome! I've been surfing the site for over a year and thought this might be the best group to help. Fingers crossed...

Seriously, be careful what you offer. I've never had a "ginger chew." But love ginger. And chewy things. And candy. Me too, please!

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KristenP   

Have you considered playing around with a recipe for Turkish Delight? Not as chewy as bontan ame (the "real" japanese candy is bontan ame--bontan being the citrus which gives the candy its flavour), but more similar, I think, than a caramel.

Yes! I have gone to the Grewling recipe for Turkish Delight as a guide, with the same thought. That's where I got my idea of the proportions I might need. Still the texture isn't quite there.

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KristenP   

I suspect that this confection is more like a taffy than anything else. The difficulty will be in "pulling" the product before sizing and cutting.

I've considered that as well, but have no interest in the pulling, and it's still not the perfect texture I'm looking for :)


Edited by KristenP (log)

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KristenP   

Now I'm curious about this, seriously, I'm going to get a bag of these things to see the texture.

Good! You'll enjoy them! And I hope it gives you some ideas.... they are a tad firmer than what I want, but very close.

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KristenP   

You've probably already seen this http://radmegan.blogspot.ca/2011/03/homemade-ginger-chews.html which makes a hard candy. But you could give it a try and just cook it the caramel to a soft ball stage or slightly harder. In this recipe, the starch isn't mixed into the mixture, it's just used to coat the candies.

In the comments, there are a couple of other recipes people have played with. One includes temps for the caramel--very helpful as a reference point when you're playing around. The second recipe (second last comment) sounds like the texture might be closer to what you're looking for (but no temps!).

Thank you! I saw that last year, but hadn't revisited since. I'll check out the comments....

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KristenP   

KristenP, on 13 May 2013 - 12:53, said:

I will let you know if I figure it out. With only two essential ingredients, how hard can it be?? Ha. I was messing around with a copy cat starburst recipe last night, but I don't like the butter it calls for. Though it may give me another route. I've cooked the sugar anywhere between soft and hard ball.

You'd be very surprised at the variety of ways you can combine sugar, starch, and ginger. Personally, I think I would keep messing around with the recipe you found of that website, that will probably give you something you can make yourself and enjoy. When it comes to the real ginger chews, there's really no telling how it ginger has been processed, and I think they add more then just juice, which means it could be processed in a way that we cant really do at home.

I think this is a unique candy in itself, a 'chew' can refer to a lot of things. I dont think its akin to a taffy though, it doesnt resemble a pulled candy, and a taffy would have more then sugar, starch, and ginger. Not to mention if you did pull a candy like that, it would crystallize very quickly. If you make a caramel, and pulled it once its cooled like you would taffy, your cut pieces would crystallize a few hours later, and have more of a short fudge texture then anything you would call a 'chew.'

Anyways, I guess what I'm saying is that I'd recommend to keep playing with the recipe you have, theres too many variables to realistically expect really replicate this candy exactly and make different flavors. The proportions of the ingredients are unknown, and when it comes to starch, that makes a huge difference, and not to mention, like you said, they could have a drying stage in the process. And also the ginger seems to be a pretty large part of the candy, so if you wanted to make different flavors, you really would have to formulate it quite differently if one were omitting the ginger.

I hope I'm not being discouraging or anything! Sorry if I am! You'll find something you are happy with, please let us know!

No, not discouraging at all! I think you've got the concept of what I'm looking for exactly. And all very good points regarding taffy, caramel, ingredient proportions,etc. I really appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.

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