Sugar is a very interesting substance to work with, one moment it’s doing nothing, the next it’s burnt and black. This recipe steers clear of that potential burnt sugar by only needing it to come to a boil to have it dissolved and then you end up with jelly candies that look like sea glass. These jellies are set with agar agar, it’s not as popular in the United States as it is in Asia so it can be tricky to find, you’ll most likely need to go to an Asian grocery store to get your hands on it. The texture of agar agar jelly is also a little weird, I was expecting it to be a little smoother but it’s crunchier, like it breaks off in little pieces and is a bit grainy. Most recipes for this candy don’t have any kind of flavoring, they just use water so the candies are all about their texture. I didn’t want to mess with the recipe to much and have them not set crystaly so I decided to use a can of flavored soda water instead of just water. Their mango flavor was very subtle at first when I tried the hot goo before it was set, but after they dried for a few days the mango flavor came out more. I highly recommend you make these with kids, the recipe is easy and they are so pretty to look at, plus the texture is like no other.
In a small pot over medium high heat bring the flavored soda water and agar agar powder to a boil. Once it boils add the sugar, stir and return to a boil.
When the sugar has come to a boil pour it into the prepared pans.
Drop a little food coloring on top of the jelly and swirl it in with toothpicks, you can stir it all in or leave some clear spots and swirled colors.
Put the jelly in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until firm.
Line to sheet trays with parchment paper, turn out the jelly and break it into shards or you can cut it into gem like pieces. Place the jelly pieces on the trays leaving plenty of space between so the air can circulate and dry them out.
Leave the jellies to dry at room temperature for 3-5 days turning them over at least once, they should be completely dry, no stick or tacky spots and they outside layer should be hard.
I’m a tall ship cook, I prefer to cook with water beneath me, no land in sight and lots of mouths to feed. I like to play with bold flavors, pushing people’s taste buds in new directions and using a recipe as a guideline, my hands are my measuring spoons. Read More about “About Me”…