I’ve mentioned this before, but I love candy – and there’s really nothing better than making your own candy from scratch.
Now I understand that the prospect of making your own candy can be a little daunting, especially when so many candy recipes look like they were written for scientists and not home bakers.
But don’t worry, I am not going to ask you to turn your kitchen into a makeshift laboratory – not even to make some delicious candy.
Instead, I have found two amazing recipes that can help you make sweet and delicious candy in a fast and straightforward way. Both of these recipes originate from countries in eastern Asia, but they are made by two very different cultures.
In fact, the only thing that connects these two recipes is their reliance on jelly to make the finished product.
Down below you will find my step-by-step guide to cooking these easy jelly candy recipes, as well as the ingredients and measurements you will need to begin making the candy from home.
So if you are interested in making authentic Asian jelly candy, these are the two recipes for you.
Kohakutou Crystal Candy
Kohakutou crystal candy is a popular sweet that is made in Japan, where it is often enjoyed by the Japanese people during traditional tea ceremonies.
The candy is made from a mixture of agar powder, sugar and water, which gives the candy its iconic hard shell and soft jelly centre.
Probably the most striking feature of this candy is its appearance, which resembles gemstones when it has been probably prepared and cooked.
Because of its crystalline appearance, I would highly recommend making this candy for a stylish celebration, or even a crystal-themed birthday party.
The edible crystals can be dyed with food coloring to give them an even more striking appearance. You can even blend the colors to give them a more natural appearance, like crystals that have just been pulled from the earth.
So let’s take a look at how you can make this delicious and vibrant candy from the comfort of your home.
- Agar-Agar Powder (12 grams)
- Cold Water (14 ounces)
- Granulated Sugar (24 ounces)
- Candy Flavoring (¼ tsp)
- Citric Acid (⅛ tsp, optional)
- Liquid Food Coloring (3 drops)
- Take a medium-sized saucepan and fill it with cold water.
- Get your agar-agar powder and sprinkle it into the water, then allow it to absorb for around 5 minutes. (The recommended brand of agar-agar powder is the Telephone brand – if you do not use this brand your candy may not come out the way you want it to.)
- Place the saucepan on medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer for about 2-3 minutes. You must be constantly stirring the mixture with a spoon or spatula while it heats up.
- Pour the sugar into the mixture and continue stirring it until the sugar is dissolved, this can take another 2-3 minutes to complete.
- Remove the saucepan from the stove and add in the citric acid and candy flavoring.
- When these ingredients have been combined, take the hot mixture and pour it into a large heatproof glass dish. (The glass dish should have been lightly oiled before beginning the recipe, to stop the candy from sticking.)
- Once you have transferred the mixture into the dish, add a few drops of food coloring and swirl it through the mixture with a toothpick or chopstick. You can blend the colors fully or leave it streaky for a marbled effect.
- Place the dish into the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, this will give the mixture enough time to cool and set.
- When the mixture has set, remove the dish from the refrigerator and then remove the set jelly from the dish. Cut the jelly into crystal-like shapes using a sharp knife.
- Arrange the jelly crystals on a parchment-lined baking tray and allow them to dry at room temperature for 2-3 days. When the crystals have a hard casing they are ready to be eaten.
Chinese Fruit Jelly Candy
My next recipe comes from the country of China, where it is considered a popular favorite among Chinese housewives and children. The candy is made by using real fruit and an incredibly sweet combination of maple syrup and apple juice.
These jelly candies can take around 10-15 minutes to prepare and make, which means they are perfect for a quick snack in the afternoon.
For this particular recipe, you will need to invest in some patterned jelly molds, so that you can set your candy in a variety of fun shapes and models. However, if you feel like decoration is not your strongest suit, you can set your candies in an ice-cube tray or glass dish.
Unlike the Kohakutou, this recipe uses traditional gelatine powder instead of agar, which gives the finished candies a soft and spongy texture. If you want a recipe you can make with your children, then I would highly recommend these fruity and juicy candies.
- Cold Water (½ cup)
- Boiling Water (½ cup)
- Gelatine Powder (½ cup)
- Maple Syrup (½ cup)
- Apple Juice (1 cup)
- Pureed Blueberries (1 cup)
- Add cold water to a medium-sized bowl and add in the gelatine powder. Stir this until the powder is dissolved.
- Add boiling water to the mixture and then stir until fully combined.
- When this has been done, take the apple juice, maple syrup and pureed blueberries and add them to the gelatine mixture. (The blueberries can be pureed using a blender or by heating them in a saucepan over medium heat until the berries begin to burst. I recommend using the blender for this recipe.)
- When the ingredients have been combined, pour the mixture into your molds or dish.
- Place the filled molds into the refrigerator and allow the mixture to set. This should take about 2-3 hours to complete.
- Once the candy is firm and spongy, take it out of the refrigerator and pop it out of the molds. (If you have set it in a bowl or dish try cutting the jelly into small cubes for eating.)
- Eat the jelly candy as soon as possible and keep any leftovers cool in the refrigerator.