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This is a bit of a Moby Dick for me. There is this candy, Gingerbon, that that has a very tough (for lack of a better word) chew to them. The texture is like a very chewy taffy that sticks to the nooks in your molars. However, it's resilient enough to not deform under moderate pressure.

The ingredients, listed in order, are simply sugar, tapioca starch, ginger, and vegetable oil.

I suspect the vegetable oil is used as a releasing agent for whatever mold is being used. This is simply based on the idea that the ingredients are listed in order of prominence but, since this is a candy made overseas, the order might not indicate anything.

The candy is mfg'd in Indonesia. I looked it up and found Permen Jahe but the recipes online seem to make something more akin to a gritty tootsie roll.

The only other potential candy that might resemble this in the States is Gin Gins (formerly known as Ginger Chews) by Ginger People. They only list 3 ingredients (no oil).

I'm not 100% sure on this but I believe starch gelatinization breaks down well before the soft-ball stage of sugar so boiling them together at the same time doesn't seem like the best option. Adding it towards the ends seems like a it would just make something akin to twizzlers since, again, it wouldn't have enough water to gelatinize. Adding a slurry of gelatinized tapioca to hot sugar seems like a recipe for disaster...

I would love to experiment but I don't really have the resources for it. Is there another way to get chewy candy with just starch and sugar?

Thanks.

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  • Welcome adozendonuts, what exactly is your question?
    – Debbie M.
    Dec 19, 2017 at 5:58
  • Sorry, I'm looking for a way to make a sort of taffy but the chewiness comes from the starch, not from pulling the sugar. Dec 19, 2017 at 6:06
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    Have you tried calculating the water content from the nutrition information (the total weight the minus weight of fat, carbohydrate and protein should be close enough) and comparing to other chewy candies? This could indicate whether extra water is introduced with the starch. How about starting from a Turkish delight recipe and modifying the proportions (this recipe combines a boiling cornstarch mixture with sugar solution at 118C -- firm ball)
    – Chris H
    Dec 19, 2017 at 9:57

2 Answers 2

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I think it'll be very difficult to mix everything without any liquid, but if you cook everything long enough until (almost?) all liquid is evaporated, maybe it's not necessary to list it anymore.

But here is some info to get you started on your experiments:

In Germany there are tons of "vegan gums" with very similar ingredients like your candy, but they all list fruit juice. I found a product with slightly more detailed ingredients list than usual that may be similar to what you ate here. If you experiment with the added liquid, you may get chewy candy.

The shortened and generalized list of ingredients is: invert sugar syrup; 15% fruit juice; starch, glucose syrup, 4% ginger pulp; acidifier; ginger extract.

Usually, "starch" refers to potato or corn starch here. But I've seen "modified starch" on the packages and "tapioca starch", too.

Unfortunately I only found one recipe to cook something similar to that here (also in German, sorry). The ingredients if condensed are also basically sugar, starch, liquid, some carrageen (see note #1) and flavouring.

The tl;dr recipe would be:

  1. Mix everything, bring to boil
  2. Stir a lot until the bottom of the pan becomes visible between strokes
  3. Dial down and continue cooking while continuously stirring until "your desired toughness" is reached. To test this, a small piece is dropped into cold water (sounds a lot like cooking sugar).
  4. While warm, the mass can be pressed into molds (either starch dusted or silicon). The oil is used to remove the starch and bring it to shine.

Annotation #1: The mentioned recipe uses "Tortenguss" which is mainly modified starch and some carrageen. Also, the author uses three types of sugar (refined sugar, glucose and fructose).

Annotation #2: Someone in the comments of the mentioned recipe reported that they cooked everything so long it became hard candy.

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    You're correct about the water. There is an exemption for "Substances that are added to a food during the processing of such food but are removed in some manner from the food before it is packaged in its finished form" (accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/…) Dec 19, 2017 at 16:51
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I stumbled onto this post looking for a recipe for candy made with tapioca starch because I was wanting to find out how to make GinGins also. I bought my first tiny pack today (of the chewy ones)…and now I am addicted…

On the back of the package, sold here in Canada: Cane sugar is the first ingredient followed by Ginger (10%) and tapioca starch last. I suspect that the recipe involves boiling sugar with the ginger in enough water that it does not burn, but can be boiled out somewhat and then a tapioca slurry added.
My best guess, using my Home Ec degree training and experience, is to boil the water, sugar and ginger until prior to soft ball stage, where upon a small amount of tapioca starch in water is “tempered” by adding a little of the hot?…Warm? sugar mixture into it, mixing and repeating more times until the temperature of the slurry is at a point where it can be stirred into the hot/warm sugar mixture without becoming “a recipe for disaster”.

Additionally, bringing the mixture to soft ball and cooling it a little will give one some working time, when tempering the tapioca slurry. The tapioca will become more transparent when gelatinization is reached. The dark colour of the GinGins may be a result of the ginger and/or the starch colouring (Maillard Reaction) in the sugar as it boils. Regarding amounts…check a number of candy recipes to figure out the ratio of water to sugar, making sure that your ginger amount is 10% of the amount of sugar (by volume?) and use the tapioca starch to both thicken and interfere with sugar re-crystallization.

Your guess about the oil would be correct. They may have used more tapioca starch on the GinGins to stop the mass from sticking after they rolled it out and cut it. The pieces of GinGins look cut along the sides/ends, not molded.

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  • Note in the UK at least, there are 2 types of GinGins. I have a packet of the hard sort here; the chewy ones seem slightly less common
    – Chris H
    Oct 2 at 11:15
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    The Questioner - adozendonuts - was asking about the chewy variety…not the hard variety. Any time you decide to “clone” a recipe, it takes a few tries, unless one is really lucky and can hit it first time.
    – R. A. Y.
    Oct 2 at 21:39
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    Exactly, you and the OP were both talking about the same sort, but other readers may be more familiar with the other product.
    – Chris H
    Oct 3 at 5:54

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