Sometimes I have trouble picking gifts for people. I like to think it’s much easier for people to pick gifts for me since I like lots of stuff like cookbooks and ponies and nail polish and food supplies and chucks and stuffed animals. But when it comes to getting gifts for other I run out of creativity rather easily.
This year I knew I’d get something standard for my boyfriend’s birthday, since I already got him the Deathly Hallows necklace for our anniversary last month. But since my boyfriend is a huge Harry Potter fan I thought I’d pair the regular gift with something way more fun :)
|Original list of ingredients|
I had seen these jelly beans at Not Quite Nigella a while ago and while they seemed like a pretty big project I thought it would be fun to give it a ago. Needless to say, making 15 flavors instead of the 8 she made, was definitely a lot of work. Be warned: stopping at x amount of flavors will be hard. You will keep finding lots of things in your pantry that would be epic in jelly bean form. I ended up making them in cocunut & rum, garlic, chai, chili pepper, tangerine, curry, vanilla, lemon, pistachio, mate, beetroot, rose, bitters & cola, cocoa and black pepper. You should really try to make more nice than nasty flavors… but the nasty ones are more fun.
|Final ingredients ready for mischief|
The recipe called for jelly bean molds that I didn’t have, but I didn’t try to get them either. They were more egg than bean shaped, and also pretty big for a gross flavor hehe. So my jelly beans turned more like jelly blobs but they were the right size.
|Gathering all those vessels was probably the hardest part. Keep everything ready since the gelatin sets quickly.|
While looking for more recipes I found this page that has lots of tips, but I ended up using a recipe for gumdrop candy found at Bakerella, since the method and ingredients were pretty similar, but the gumdrops were made in pans.
I chilled them overnight and then cut them into tiny pieces with my hands, aided by lots of cornstarch. I made two batches and one of them was easier to handle, but didn’t harden as much in the end (weird). The flavors with alcohol didn’t quite make it, probably because of the excess liquid that altered the gelatin proportion. So if you’d like to make beans flavored with a significant amount of liquid make sure to make a different batch of syrup with extra gelatin.
|This is where things started to get messy|
Then I let them rest till the next day (fortunately I have a big table in the dining room :P). At these stage some of the flavors had developed a shell but some others were still sticky. I could have just rolled them in sugar as stated on the gumdrop recipe, but I thought sugar coating them for a true shell would be better to keep the flavors distinctive when the jelly beans were packed together. But then again, manually tumbling them was hard hehe. I tried to tumble them in three parts (separating the nasty flavors from the nice ones and the beetroot ones which would probably stain), but only kept at each batch for 5 minutes at the most. It was enough to remove the cornstarch and add some more sugar and shine.
Then I let them dry for yet another night, and ended up sprinkling them with lots of sugar anyway. I packed them up and hid the flavor list inside so that the lucky testers would know what the flavors were, but not too soon ;)
The whole process took 4 days but it was definitely worth it, these are a great gift for any Harry Potter fans and are guaranteed to be remembered.
Oh and by the way my boyfriend loved his new sweater too :)
Bertie Bott’s every flavour beans
For jelly beans:
5 tablespoons powdered gelatin
1 1/4 cups cold water
2 cups boiling water
5 cups sugar
flavorings such as extracts, zest, teabags, fruit or vegetable puree, spices
6 cups sugar
3 cups water
1. In a large pot, soften gelatin in cold water for five minutes.
2. Stir in boiling water until gelatin dissolves.
3. Stir in sugar.
4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil until the syrup reaches 230ºF (for this amount it can take up to half an hour). Stir constantly.
5. Pour mixture into several pans sprayed with a light coating of cooking spray, then add flavoring and coloring and stir until thoroughly combined (work on one flavor at a time).
6. Cover the pans and chill overnight in the fridge.
7. Cut gelatin mixture into tiny pieces with your hands, and place on wax paper sprinkled with cornstarch (dust your hands with additional cornstarch if needed).
8. Leave at room temperature for at least 24 hours to crystallize.
9. Place the jelly beans in a jar with the sugar and water mix for coating. Hold the closed jar in front of you at a slight angle. Quickly move it in a circular motion so that the jelly beans are spinning and revolving around the interior edges of the jar. Do this until you do not see a lot of extra moisture left in the jar.
10. Place them on wax sheets and let them dry overnight.
11. Sprinkle the jelly beans with additional sugar if desired and pack them up.