Bala de gelatina de pinga (Cachaça gumdrops)

Cachaça gumdrops are jelly candies with a slight hint of cachaça, covered with a thin layer of sugar. It is an unusual candy for dessert, loved by everyone who ate it. It's also a great snack choice to sweeten your palate at all hours. Usually it is made from red gelatin, but I prefer to use the colourless to maintain the "cachaças" white colour, affectionately known as "branquinha" (white). You must use higher quality cachaça, preferably aged. 
Although the alcohol evaporates during cooking, I don't give kids these gumdrops.

Ingredients

  • • 20 g gelatin leaf
  • • 250 ml water
  • • 500 g sugar
  • • 100-150 ml cachaça

Preparation method

1. Soak the gelatine leaves with the water in a large heavy bottomed frying pan (during cooking a lot of foam will form on top of the syrup). Allow to hydrate for 5 minutes. 
2. Dissolve the hydrated leaf over a gentle heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. 
3. Add sugar and stir constantly until mixture boils. 
4. Add the cachaça and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened: a small amount syrup dropped from spoon remains attached to the tip of the spoon. It takes about 20 minutes. 
5. Allow it to cool down and skim off any foam. Pour the mixture into oiled rectangular containers 9 cm x13 cm (a layer 1 cm thick). Let it cool down, then put in the fridge to harden for a few hours or, even better, until the next day.
6. Run the knife along the edges of the mould and unmould the block over a surface dusted with sugar. The gelatin block must be soft, elastic and sticky. 
7. Cut into cubes with a knife or scissors and coat with sugar. Let stand overnight. After a few hours will begin to form a sugar layer on the gumdrops surface. 
8. Serve with coffee after a meal or at any time of the day. It keeps well at room temperature for more than a week, then sugar will begin to crystallize slowly.

Variants: 
• Add a red food dye (the traditional colour of these gumdrops). 
• Add a flavour: pineapple, anise, vanilla, lemon, etc. 
• Dissolve sugar, hydrated leaf, water and "cachaça" over a gentle heat, without boiling. It will be very soft and the cachaça flavour becomes more intense.

Yield: 70 gumdrops. 
Posted on: 12 December 2016
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