There is a new candy in town! Well, while gummy bears aren’t really all that new, they are definitely making a come-back, and in a big way!
Today, many people are trying their hand at making their very own artisanal gummy bears. These allow you to create beautiful colors and exciting flavors!
But, honestly, who has the time to make gummy bears from scratch? Furthermore, sourcing some of the ingredients required can be a bit of a nightmare – especially for small batches! The solution?
Well, simply melting pre-made gummy bears to re-mold and re-flavor them!
So, how do you melt gummy bears? There are at least 5 methods for melting gummy bears. The easiest way is to use a microwave, but you can also melt them in the oven, in a saucepan, over a double boiler, or inside a plastic bag.
In today’s jam-packed article, we will explore the many ways to properly and effectively melt gummy bears. And, we have also included some expert tips and tricks for the best results possible!
Gummy bears are tiny fruit-flavored gummy candies that were first invented by a German confectioner, Hans Riegel around 100 years ago.
They are made from a mixture of sugar, glucose, starch, coloring, and flavorings. The ratio of these ingredients is what determines the final texture of the candy and is why some gummy candies are harder than others.
Gummy bears specifically have a very unique texture. They are very soft and squishy, as compared to hard wine gummies.
These sweet treats come in a wide variety of flavors, but they are mostly fruity. However, today, you can find a much wider variety of flavors, including savory!
And, because ingredients and resources are so readily available, you can even create your very own uniquely flavored gummy bears!
Can Gummy Bears Be Melted?
Now, this is a question that not many people know the answer to. If you have ever left a packet of gummy bears in the sun or a hot car, you would have seen that they start becoming sticky.
Well, that is usually an indication that, to a certain extent, these jelly sweets can melt. The real question is, can they be completely melted?
In short, gummy bears can be completely melted using the right techniques and temperatures. But, now you may ask, why would you want to melt gummy bears?
Well, to make other gummy candies! Melted gummy bears can be used to create new shapes in molds or create bigger gummy bears.
This saves you the trouble of having to make a candy mixture from scratch! You can simply melt them and re-mold them – it’s as simple as that!
Furthermore, you can use them to make flavored jellies, custards, sorbets, or popsicles. You can bake the melted bears into cookies, brownies, cakes, and even create beautiful glazes and frostings!
There is no end to the possibilities! So, without further or do, let’s have a look at some of the best ways to melt gummy bears at home.
What Gummy Types Cannot Melt?
While most gummy bears can melt, it is usually the vegetarian and vegan ones that cannot (or at the very least, are much harder to melt).
This is because they are made using pectin instead of gelatin. You can look at the back of the packaging to determine what was used to help your gummy bears set.
How To Melt Gummy Bears – Step-by-Step Guide
Method 1: Microwave
This is arguably the easiest method to use and the quickest. All that you need is a glass bowl, a silicone or rubber spatula, and a microwave.
- Place the gummy bears inside of a clean heat-proof glass bowl.
- Lower the microwave heat setting to the lowest it can go. Then, place the gummy-filled bowl inside. Microwave the gummies for 30 seconds at a time.
- Between intervals, remove the mixture from the microwave to check on the progress. If they haven’t fully melted yet, place them back into the microwave for another 20-30 seconds.
- You can stir the gummy mixture, however, we prefer waiting until the very end, Otherwise, it becomes a pretty messy process.
Method 2: Oven
There are two ways you can melt gummies inside of the oven. The first is to melt the gummies on a non-stick baking tray.
However, this can become messy because you will have to transfer the gooey melted mixture to the new mold.
So, another alternative (or solution to the above-mentioned problem) is to melt the gummy bears inside of the new gummy mold so that it melts and reshapes at the same time.
You can also melt the gummies inside a heat-proof silicone bowl of sorts so that you can easily decant them.
- Preheat your oven to 122°F (50°C).
- Place the gummy bears inside a heat-proof silicon mold or bowl, or on a non-stick baking pan.
- Melt the gummies inside of your preheated oven for roughly 2-3 minutes. Check on them after 3 minutes before leaving them inside for longer. You don’t want them to burn.
Method 3: In A Saucepan
A saucepan is also an easy and mess-free method to use. When melting the gummies inside of a saucepan, you can easily decant them directly into the mold of your choice.
- Place the gummies into a heavy-bottom saucepan. Ones with handles work best to control and swirl the mixture.
- Place the saucepan over low heat. Every minute or so, give the mixture a swirl so that the heat evenly distributes and melts.
- Decant the melted gummies into the mold of your choice and allow it to set.
Method 4: Over A Double Boiler
This method allows you to apply low and slow heat to the gummies to evenly melt them without scorching them. It works great if you have a gas hob or cannot accurately control the temperature of your heat source.
- Place the gummy bears inside of a heat-proof glass bowl.
- Fill a small saucepan with an inch of water. Bring the water to a simmer.
- Place the gummy bowl over the simmering water and allow the gummies to melt. The bowl should fit snug so that no steam (and heat) escapes.
Method 5: Boiling Water
This method is more of a last-resort method that can be used. The gummies are placed inside of a heat-proof plastic bag (like an oven bag).
Then, the entire bag is placed inside of boiling water so that they melt. This will also help contain the liquefied gummies. You can easily snip a hole in the side and pipe them into the new molds.
- Place the gummies inside of an airtight heat-proof plastic bag. You can use an oven bag – they work best.
- Add some boiling water to a bowl. You can boil the water in a kettle or inside a pot or saucepan.
- Place the bag of gummies inside the boiling hot water and allow them to melt. Ensure that the bag stays upright and that no water gets into the bag.
How To Melt Gummy Bears – Tips And Tricks
1. Slowly Melt The Gummies Over Low Heat
Using low and slow heat will help prevent your melted gummies from crystalizing. Remember, the entire piece basically consists of sugar.
So, when melting these candies, the sugar crystals melt evenly. If anything agitates them, they will recrystallize incorrectly and cause lumps and grainy bits to form.
The optimal temperature that these candies need to be melted at is 95°F (35°C). At this temperature, the formed sugar crystals will completely melt and liquefy.
It is essential that the sugar doesn’t overheat, because that may cause them to form sugar crystals and become unusable.
2. Ensure That Your Equipment Is Stain-Free
Next, you need to make sure that all of the equipment you are working with is completely free of stains and odors, especially fatty ones.
Fat will affect how the crystals melt and reform and could entirely crystalize the sugars. The best materials to work with are stainless steel or glass.
Silicone equipment is also a great non-stick option that will make the process less messy. However, you will need to clean it with hot soapy water first (to remove any possible stains).
3. Think About Decanting
This is something people often forget about completely. Before choosing a method, think about where the melted gummy mixture needs to go.
As an example, if you just want to make a large sheet of jelly, then the baking tray oven method will work great. However, if you need to fill tiny molds, then a saucepan with a lip will work bette, or melting the gummies in a plastic bag in boiling water.
Try working with a silicone or rubber spatula when transferring the liquefied mixture. It is less likely to stick to the gummies because silicone has natural non-stick properties.
4. Allow The Melted Gummies To Set And Cool
After the gummies have been melted, do not try and taste the mixture.
Remember, it is melted sugar that is extremely hot and could cause severe burns. This also means that you should avoid getting the melted syrup on your hands at all times.
Decant the liquefied gummy bears into their molds and allow them to set in the fridge. They should also be completely cooled before removing them from their molds and eating them.
5. Consider Your Colors
Please don’t melt all gummy bear colors together. If you want to make red gummies, then only melt red gummy bears together.
If you mix all of the colors together at once, you will be left with a weird yellow-brown mixture that doesn’t look appetizing at all. And trust us, you will need a lot of food coloring to fix that mess!
Coloring And Flavoring Gummy Bears
Once your gummy bears have been completely melted, you can add any coloring or flavoring that you’d like.
Now, keep in mind that gummy bears are already flavored. So, it would be best to merely stick to the original flavor and intensify it if you must.
Using flavoring extracts or concentrates works best because they won’t alter the texture of the gummy bears.
The same goes for the coloring; a gel-based food coloring works best and you don’t need to add a ton of it for a really deep and saturated color.
How To Fix Runny Gummy Bears
If you see that your melted and re-molded gummy bears don’t want to set, you may need to add more gelatin to the mixture. Luckily, this step is incredibly easy to do, and quick!
Simply re-melt the gummy bears and add some sponged gelatin. One sheet should be enough, but if you are making larger batches you may want to add two or three. Then, pour the new mixture into their mold and allow them to set again.
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