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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Homemade Gummy Bears

My husband loves gummy bears but doesn't always want to snack on pure sugar. So I decided to make him some fruit juice gummies in his favouite flavours!

Making gummies at home is very easy. I got these gummy bear molds that worked wonderfully, but if you don't have molds, you can set the gummies in a baking pan and cut them into cubes or shapes. I will say that the droppers really help to fill the silicone molds, and the bears come out beautifully.  There are plenty of cute mold shapes available online too. 

I decided to make most of the gummies with 100% juice and no added sugar, and they were lovely.  But I made a small batch with a small amount of added sweetener and I have to admit they were even better.  The honey brought out more flavour in the juice.   I chose wild blueberry, Matt's favourite flavour, and apple cherry juice. You can use any juice you like except pineapple, which doesn't work well with gelatin. 

The other ingredient is the gelatin. I used these standard envelopes of unflavoured gelatin available in any grocery store, but you can get large canisters of grass-fed gelatin online.  The recipe requires a lot of gelatin, but makes a lot of gummies!

Here's what you need to make gummies at home:

1 cup fruit juice
4 tablespoons unflavoured gelatin (equal to 4 pouches in the box above)
1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (optional)
Silicone gummy mold and dropper or metal or silicone baking pan

Place the juice (and honey, if using) in a small pot and slowly stir in the gelatin.  Let it sit for a few minutes, then warm over medium heat, stirring until the gelatin dissolves. Don't let it boil - you just want the gelatin to melt and the mixture to be thin and shiny.  

Remove from heat and use a dropper to fill the gummy molds.  If you get a lot of bubbles, you can use the dropper to suck it back up and fill the dropper with non-bubbly juice to re-fill.  Make sure you place the mold on a baking sheet before filling so you can easily move it to the fridge once full. 

If you're using a metal pan you will need to coat it with non-stick spray or coconut oil before filling.  

Place the filled molds in the refrigerator for 2 hours until completely set.  The gummy bears pop easily out of the molds!  

If you've set the gummies in a pan, carefully use a spatula to remove the set gummies from the pan, and use a cookie cutter or knife to cut into shapes.  

The gummies will keep in the fridge for a week or two.  Don't leave them at room temperature!  They have no preservatives and will get moldy quickly so they must be stored in the fridge.   

This is a fun project with kids and makes an easy, healthy snack!  

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Beer Baron - St. Patrick’s Day Showdown

This post comes from Matt, the Beer Baron. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @geekcanuck 

When Oskar Blue Brewery released their Ten Fidy imperial stout in Ontario for the first time, I was pretty excited and wrote a pretty glowing review, calling it the Chewbacca of beers -- high praise, indeed.

I had squirreled some away and was planning on having one for St. Patrick’s Day, since I have long espoused the enjoyment of Russian imperial stouts rather than merely dry Irish stouts on St. Patrick’s Day. Just before the big day, I noticed that the LCBO had another treat in store: Dieu du Ciel’s Grande Noirceur.

Both beers rate a perfect 100 overall on Ratebeer, with Grande Noirceur taking a 95 for the style and Ten Fidy besting it with a 98. Both beers clearly kick ass and at 9.0% abv for Grande Noirceur and a whopping 10.5% for Ten Fidy, both would no doubt kick my ass too. Clearly, no cars or heavy machinery were operated during this showdown.

Dieu du Ciel in Montreal makes some truly incredible stouts, including Peche Mortel and Aphrodisiaque, which has earned them some pretty awesome bragging rights. As for Grand Noirceur, it is more of a pure imperial stout and isn’t brewed with cocoa beans or vanilla or coffee like Dieu du Ciel’s more famous stouts. That said, it still has strong notes of chocolate on the nose, followed by almost bracingly bitter dark coffee once you take your first sip. It hides its alcohol level well but lacks the oily and sticky mouth feel I tend to associate with my favourite imperial stouts.

When they say let the wookie win, it is because they are known to rip your arms off if they lose. In this case, it wasn’t such a clear cut victory, but Ten Fidy still pulled it off. Ten Fidy actually smelled a bit more bitter and couldn’t mask its higher alcohol content, but once you tasted it, it was sweeter, sticky and while there was still a dark coffee bitterness, it was balanced by dark fruit and notes of sweeter chocolate.

Regardless of which beer won, I was obviously the real winner, as I got to enjoy two wonderful imperial stouts for St. Patrick’s Day. I hope you were just as lucky this St. Patrick’s Day. Cheers!