Step 2: Making the Candy
For flavor I used flavored gelatin (Jello is one brand) plus a Vitamin C to bump up the pucker power.
I expect they can be made by adding candy flavorings and sweetener to unflavored gelatin, but I haven't tried it.
See step 3 if you want to make Sour Gummies.
The amount of flavored gelatin you use is up to you. I'm recommending a full package of flavored gelatin for each batch. It gives the candy a pretty intense flavor.
Use an extra packet of unflavored gelatin, and they will be even chewier. Use one less, and they will be softer.
HERE WE GO:
'You might look at all the writing below and think that this is way too much work. All you are going to be doing though, is mixing the powder in water, melting it and pouring it into molds. I've just written a ton, so you know a lot of the pitfalls and know exactly how I make them.'
If you don't really care how clear the candy is, just stir the powders in the water, put it in hot water on the stove and melt it, then pour it in the molds.
If you want them really clear then read the details below.
I use a little over 1/3 cup of water (you can use even more for softer candies).
Measure 1/3 - 1/2 cup of cold water into your measuring cup.
MIX IT UP
SPRINKLE the gelatin powders into the water, as you continuously and gently stir it. Don't let the dry powder pile up. Sprinkle, stir, sprinkle, stir,... If you get a pile of gelatin and stir that in, it will make a lump, and lumps are hard to dissolve once you've made one. Do this rather quickly. The gelatin will immediately start absorbing the water. If you move too slowly it will get pretty dry towards the end and it will be very difficult to avoid lumps.
It will get very thick as you work in the powders. Sometimes it ended up like a lump of clay. Add just a tiny bit more water to the mix to get a slushy consistency. Either way will work fine. Scrape down the sides of your measuring cup and try to get all the gelatin down in contact with the wet stuff.
LET IT REST
Cover the pyrex cup with plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes. The gelatin needs time to absorb the water before we heat it.
You can leave the spatula in the gelatin while it is resting, but don't leave any chunks of gelatin on the back of the spatula where it will dry.
Put a pan of water on the stove and bring it up to a slow boil/fast simmer.
In the photos I'm using a shallow pan. I only did that so I could photograph the sides of the cup and let you see what was happening. I use a deeper sauce pan when I make them now.
After the resting time, remove the plastic wrap and put the measuring cup in the water. The lump of clay or slushy material will melt but it does take several minutes. Occasionally stir it. Stir it gently. Don't get too vigorous and mix a lot of air in it, or you will have cloudy candy. (If you are adding vitamin C to sour them up, add it at the very end.)
Once it melts, you will see that it has a layer of foam on top. Try to avoid mixing that foam back into the melted syrup. When it is hot enough you will see there is a very thin layer of clear on the bottom, a layer that isn't as clear, then the layer of foam on top.
Now stop stirring and just let it sit in the water for about 2 minutes. We are letting bubbles rise at this point.
* For very clear candies: After melting the candy, put the pyrex cup in the fridge. Let it firm up. Then remove it from the cup and using a pair of scissors, cut it into chunks. Then using a knife or your scissors, carefully trim the foamy layer off. Remelt the clear chunks and you will end up with very clear syrup. Details of this process are in Step 5.
FINALLY WE FILL THE MOLD
Now I put my syringe into the bottom of the cup and suck up all that clear syrup.
I use the syringe to squirt the candy into my mold.
(Step 4 has other ways of molding the candy).
If your mold won't hold all the syrup you made, turn the heat off and let the cup sit in the water while your first batch of candy is setting up. When you pull the first batch out of the mold, just turn on the stove and melt the syrup that is still in the cup the same way we did it the first time.
You don't need to use any kind of release (no oil or cooking sprays) with gummies. They will peel off of anything that is smooth. If you get some on your stove, floor, or counter, don't bother to try to clean it up while it is wet and hot. It's much easier to just let it set up and peel it off.
Most of the time when you make gummies you will not try to mold them in 360 degrees. The top side (which will be the bottom of the candies) is just left flat. I wanted to mold in little holes on the bottom of in my bricks so I could actually stack them.
The syrup contracts quite a lot as it cools. I had to fill the mold, then go back through and top them all off again as it would shrink way down. When I got them all full, I took the base plate (the same one I used when making the mold) and pressed it on the top of the mold, squeezing any extra goo out of the sides. Then I let it sit on the counter top for a couple of minutes. I do that, just so the stuff that leaked out the sides would set up and it wouldn't get all over my freezer when I put the mold in there.
I put the mold with the lid (base plate) into the freezer. You only leave it in the freezer for 10 or 15 minutes. If you are going to leave it longer, or you think you might forget it, you can just stick it in the fridge. It will be fine there without any worries about leaving it too long.
These candies actually do not need to be refrigerated at all to set up. You can just leave your mold on the counter at room temperature and they will still set up. I use the freezer to get them done faster.
Once they are set up, take them out of the mold. Clean them up if they need it, and you are done.