If you can say you were never a “very candy kind of person“, the good news for you is that you can be even happier (with candy, of course!). Unless you really enjoy the ammonium chloride kind of candy, what many people have around here. Yep: ammonium chloride!
Ammonium chloride or sal ammoniac is used in welding processes, shampoo making, plywood gluing, cleaning products and… why not in candies?? It was also already used as ingredient for coughing medicine, and it is probably where the drops surpassed the medical usage: somebody actually enjoyed the drug’s taste and wanted to keep having it! Just like Coke.
“sal ammoniac” is where “samliakk” comes from: the kind of several products made with it – such as this cleaning product here AND the flavor of this candy. YUMMY!
It all begins with liquorice (a root that once was also a cough medicine), and liquorice candy we are all familiar with: those long, cylindrical, red and white ones are the most famous, and they taste sweet. But not all liquorice candy tastes quite sweet, and they are generally black. To my sweet tooth, these are already too much!
But adding ammonium chloride in candy gives them a flavor described as “similar to liquorice, but salty“! That’s why many packages say “salt liquorice“, and some even highlight: SUPER salty! YAY! o.O
More daring packages really display the very “salmiakki” name. Who cares if it has the same name of that cleaning product there?!? (Befores I knew what this salmiak was I tried one of these, the middle one, and couldn’t even finish it! it’s REALLY salty!)
All the pics are from the same “candy” aisle. There were almost as much salty treats as sweet ones! Besides candy, you can find ice cream, chocolate and even vodka that is salmiakki flavored!
The salmiakki flavor is common in Nordic and Baltic countries and also in the north of Germany, and if you’re far away from their reality it must sound weird. But off course it’s a matter of culture and habits: the flavor may have succeeded there for these countries’ cuisine is already saltier, for preserving fish for longer, for example. And as to the habits, if you present something saltier as candy to a kid, the kid will be likely to enjoy healthier food more than other kid who has been familiar with the delights of heavy sugary treats.
In this very nice video from the channel “Why would you eat that?!” you learn a little more about this funny habit!
Personaly, I have grown up with sugar as fuel and there’s no way back! So let’s make… sweet candy?? It’s easier that eating up a salmiakki candy and you only need silicon molds that can hold up to 240ml
– 1/2 cup super cold water
– 1/4 cup corn syrup
– 1 box of Jello (or what’s recommended from the manufacturer to dissolve in 500ml of water)
– 2 unflavored powdered gelatin (or what’s recommended from the manufacturer to dissolve in 1l of water)
1. In a small saucepan, mix the cold water and corn syrup until it dissolves. Since the syrup is not cold, I put the mixture in the freezer for some minutes before the next step. Just don’t let it ice.
2. Add the powdered gelatin and Jello in the saucepan and let it rest for a minute. Then carefully mix everything, trying to make is as homogeneous as possible.
3. Heat the mixture on medium-low heat for aprox 10 minutes, mixing occasionally, until it’s translucent. Careful not to add much air when stirring, for it’s when you have many air bubbles that the candy gets opaque. At the end, the mixture should have a layer of small air bubbles on the surface and be translucent underneath.
Reaching the translucent stage can be tricky, at least with the Jello I have here. There are some suggestions:
the first: let the mixture rest for aprox 10 minutes and, while it’s still hot and liquid, use a spatula to remove the upper layer that may have formed of accumulated air bubbles.
the second: transfer the mixture to a high narrow heat proof container and let it harden, what will take some 5 hours. The upper layer of accumulated air bubbles will be formed and after (with some struggle) taking all the candy out of the container, you can easily cut it off with a sharp knife and re-heat only the translucent bottom part medium-low heat again.
I tired both methods, but when you have many bubbles, the best is the second. It will work like this (notice how the eliminated disk is opaque and has a grainy texture):
4. Once homogeneous, you should now pour the mixture in your favorite silicon molds. It hardens in about 5 hours, at room temperature. Carefully pill off the hard candy, they will probably be very sticky. You can let them rest for some hours outside the molds and before storing them in an airtight container, so they will stick less to one another.