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- Hold on, hold on.
- This is how they make Skittles huh?
There's just a factory full of elves.
- [Woman] Yeah, yep.
- [Man] Pulling the sugar like this.
- Everything's sticky.
Hey everyone, I'm Claire and today
we're in the Test Kitchen and I'm going
to make gourmet Skittles.
So I haven't had Skittles in
maybe a decade, maybe more but I'm really excited to try.
Have you had one of these?
That green one was a little weird.
- Are these knock-offs Claire?
- They changed the green?
The green tasted weird.
So I'm gonna open from the little Fun Sized.
Grape, which is purple.
Strawberry is red, green apple, lemon and orange.
So five colors, they're kind of UFO shaped.
They're like 12 millimeters in diameter.
Each of them weigh one gram.
The smell is very familiar, very nostalgic.
When you crunch down on one,
the candy coating on the outside kind of splits apart
and fractures and then you have that softer interior.
The candy coating has the color
but the interior is sort of translucent, white-ish.
I just tried green.
It has that sort of distinct, artificial green apple flavor.
When I was a kid, the green was lime.
I might go lime instead of green apple,
go back to the OG Skittle.
Yellow, pretty good lemon flavor.
Strawberry, too sweet.
Grape, purple.
Ugh, I want to try to soak it in some water
to remove that coating.
That color has almost completely come off the Skittle.
This is very interesting because, what this is telling me
is that they coat the Skittles in
whatever that hard shell is
and then they spray it with the color.
I kind of want to try melting this down.
I'm gonna learn something about this by dropping it
into cold water, that's gonna give me a sense of
the sugar concentration in the syrup.
So you can see there's something called thread,
hardball, hard crack, softball, soft crack.
So this to me is like softball stage.
I heard that Kat really likes Skittles,
do you want to come try?
What do you think we can improve and then
what do you think has to stay the same?
- You can probably improve on the very fake flavors.
- Improve upon everything except for the red ones.
- You need a taffy-like interior.
- The crunch coating.
- You gotta keep the shape.
- Yeah, I do sort of feel like they have to have color.
- Uh yeah, taste the rainbow, Claire.
- An airbrush, I don't have an airbrush.
Order it on Amazon?
I'm gonna do a little research online.
We're gonna go on Amazon, see what we can find.
- Look, there's your colors.
- I'm a little worried about these.
- No.
- I'm trying to not have any artificial color.
- Well that's fine.
You don't need to use their dyes
but you're gonna need that system.
- You think airbrush one side, let it dry.
Flip them and then airbrush the other?
- And the yeah, feathers.
- It's not a bad idea.
- Think about the possibilities for the future.
- Yeah, I'm not sure there's a whole lot.
Right now it's time for my favorite part.
I'm going to read the ingredients.
Sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated palm kernel oil,
less than two percent of citric acid,
tapioca dextrin, modified cornstarch,
natural and artificial flavors,
colors, parenthesis, red 40 lake, titanium dioxide,
red 40, yellow five lake, yellow five, yellow six lake,
yellow six, blue two lake, blue one, blue one lake,
close parenthesis, sodium citrate
and carnauba wax.
Mostly what we've got here is sugar.
This is going to be a candy making process.
You're cooking sugar to a certain stage.
My goal is to replace some of those
less appealing ingredients like hydrogenated palm kernel oil
with stuff that's going to taste better.
I'm stressed out by the color.
I'm a little stressed about getting such a thin,
even shell on the outside,
pretty much every step of this process.
I really kind of have to just start somewhere
and see what happens.
I'm gonna mix together my ingredients for taffy.
We're going for 270, which is between
hardball and soft crack.
Flavorings, I'm gonna use lemon extract and citric acid.
We'll just leave that there until it's cool enough
that I can start to pull it.
Maybe I need to get some other people involved in this.
- Oh Jesus Christ, Claire.
What are you doing?
- I'm making taffy.
- No you're not.
- Yes I am.
You stretch it.
- Ahh, it's warm, I wasn't expecting.
- Yeah it's warm.
It aerates it and makes it like a fluffier texture
but it's not supposed to really break apart
like you're doing.
- I made taffy.
- Whoa, watch where you put that thing.
Not far off though.
- Flavor-wise.
- Could be more sour.
- I think it's like a pressed,
like a pressed.
- Sugar thing.
- No you guys, the problem is that
I cooked the sugar at too high, I need to cook it less.
- So it stays more pliable.
- Yeah.
Ow, ow it's still hot.
Oh.
What a difference this time, from the first round
where it just kind of became hard and stringy
right from the beginning.
And now I can kind of roll it into a rope.
The way that it's, I'm able to compress it in my hands.
That's, I think a good sign.
When I pull it, it still turns into that thread
but I'm gonna taste it and see.
Kinda good.
Hey Brad, it's good right?
- It's good.
- It's sour.
- It's still a little too...
- I know, I know.
- Skittles don't do that.
- I know.
- That, Skittles don't do that.
- Instead of mixing in the citric acid
and the flavoring before, so I could really
work in the mixture together and then,
taking that and working that into the taffy
as I'm pulling it, to get that grainy-ness.
And we'll see you back here tomorrow.
Here we are, it's day two.
I have a new plan for today.
When I cut it, I don't want it to have that
kind of shattering texture where it kind of breaks off.
So I'm gonna drop the temperature a few degrees,
maybe I'll cook it this time to around 250.
Make a mixture of granulated sugar,
tons and tons of lemon zest and citric acid.
Sour, I love it.
I'm gonna work in that mixture.
I don't want to get overly excited
because it's only day two
but it's really good.
Oh yoo-hoo.
Do you guys want to try?
Would you say that I nailed it?
- No.
- Why?
- Cause you can't chew it.
- But, but.
(laughs)
- I have something in my head where it's like,
compressed sugar.
- Brad, that is not a thing.
Will you guys be nice?
- More sugar.
- [Claire] It's just a little hard to work that
stuff in at that stage.
- That's where the compression comes in.
- Brad, what are you even talking about?
- You need some quality, that's like softness.
- Yeah, so maybe more butter?
Maybe more fat?
Which will keep it soft, for sure.
So the color, you can obviously see,
is much darker, I think because of the added fat in there,
it is really not holding together.
This did not work.
One idea is to add that fat at the end.
It looks a lot better than it did the last time.
Whoa, the texture is so different with that
extra butter in there.
Jesus, this stuff is crazy sticky.
God, but it feels good, it feels really good.
I'm excited about this.
It's starting to firm up quite a bit
and really set so it's cool, it's workable,
it's not so crazy sticky but it's still soft.
Now I'm gonna use the parchment to really
compress it.
(giggles)
This is really a much different texture.
I'm really happy that I can slice it.
I think, I really think we hit on something here.
It actually tastes really good.
Chris, give that a taste.
Which I like.
Yeah, it's maybe a little crumbly.
Brad.
- This is definitely the best one yet.
- [Claire] The closest, yeah.
- If it was a little firmer, it'd be perfect.
Maybe just compress it.
- We're gonna try.
Brad and I fashioned, out of two eighth teaspoon measurers,
this nifty little compressor.
- [Brad] Yes, correctamundo.
- So I want to try forming one in it.
Oh my God, it kind of worked.
- Heck yeah it worked.
I've been saying it for two hours.
Now, here's what you got to do.
What are these, eighth?
- Yeah.
- You've gotta find smaller ones.
- I don't think, they don't make smaller.
The idea of being able to just press it together
and make one is, that's definitely the way to go.
- [Brad] I think, if it was a little harder to squish.
- Yeah maybe I'll cook it a little firmer.
- That's it.
- I'll go back to maybe 250,
I'm gonna try the other flavors, lime, orange,
freeze-dried strawberries, which I'm gonna pulverize.
Good.
All right, go time, everybody is gonna grab a flavor.
Okay so then, Molly, it's kind of a this motion.
What is that?
Can you pick it up?
Stretch, stretch, stretch.
You're kneading it.
- Isn't that stretching?
- No it's not.
You gotta stretch.
So once, yours kind of looks like, Brad.
See how fattening his looks, let's do it.
- What are we doing?
- Everyone, eating into your bowls.
Can I see yours?
Why is yours so greasy?
- Yours is greasy.
- They're all greasy.
The insides of Skittles are not colored.
- I know, but we're trying to do natural flavors.
So here we have our four flavors.
I'm gonna taste them.
The nice strawberry flavor, good balance,
not to sweet, not too sour.
The orange, mmm, really good concentrated flavor.
The lime is really nice,
sort of bitterness in a good way, from the zest.
And then the lemon, super tart, really good.
They all have that pleasant, grittiness.
So I think what I'm gonna do is,
just leave them in the bowl,
cover them with parchment and then tomorrow,
we're gonna attempt our candy coating.
Feels very good.
Much, much firmer.
We ordered even tinier teaspoon measurers.
So I can at least use these to portion them out
and then I'll just shape them by hand.
So I've been trying to think of how you can make
this shell that's so, so thin.
The one idea was to make,
essentially a very thin Royal icing.
So Royal icing is traditionally a mixture of egg whites
and sugar and it hardens.
I think it's a really good idea.
It's actually not that good.
I need it to be thinner.
So I'm gonna start over and just make
a regular old, Royal icing and hopefully no one
dies of salmonella from the raw egg whites.
It's definitely taken on a more, opaque
and less translucent color.
So I think I'm gonna go ahead and start testing.
Ahh, I don't know guys.
I don't know if this is really working.
It's just dripping all over the place
and it's not really coating evenly.
It would be easier if there was something
that hardened on contact.
I think we should try dipping them into a
hard, candy shell that we cook on the stove.
Not enthused about that option.
Sugar is hygroscopic, so my concern is that
in over time, it will actually pull water
out of the filling and out of the air.
But it's probably worth a test.
Let's try it.
This is definitely hardening, pretty much on contact.
The coating is not white
but c'est la vie.
Oh my gosh, it's pretty good.
You can see that thin coating around the sides, tasty.
I wonder, really if what I should do is
pour it over all of them.
I could try getting them all skewered
and then pouring the caramel over, perfect.
It's so cold in here.
And these were getting too soft to work with
so we came in here to slow down that process.
Yes, here we are, back again.
I'm going to put together that caramel mixture again,
for the coating.
I'm not sure this is working at this stage
and I should also, ow, I should also put on a glove.
I don't think this is the way.
It's too thick.
I don't love the idea of using 300 degree hot sugar.
It's melting the Skittles.
It's too hard to work with.
I don't really know what to do.
Yeah.
I did some research.
I looked at some candy books over the weekend.
So my new idea is to make pastillage.
It's a sugar mixture, it has gelatin in it
that basically becomes, a sort of like,
modeling clay texture and you can roll it out.
Cover the center, it's like ravioli.
Oh my God, it's so cute, look at it.
I'm done.
On a scale of one to 10,
10 being like, I created a Skittle,
zero being like, burn the test kitchen to the ground,
maybe like an eight.
The ones over here are some of the first ones that I did
and they're starting to harden.
I feel pretty good about it.
I'm going to do some of the other flavors.
Hear that?
Starting to get hard, which is great.
And when you press down on it,
it breaks apart the way the Skittle breaks apart.
I feel like we've come pretty far
but I draw the line at making my own food coloring
so we're going to use the food coloring
that came with this whole airbrush kit.
Ah there it goes.
It looks like blood spatter.
It looks like Dexter.
Turn up the pressure.
There we go.
I'll stick these guys in the walk-in
to try to get them in front of the big fan
so that they dry faster.
Okay, here they are.
I think we're just gonna taste the strawberry guys.
Mostly because I have the most of those
and we need the rest to shoot video of the final ones.
I didn't do grape so we did order,
we didn't show this part on camera,
we ordered freeze-dried grapes
to try to like the strawberry
but I tasted them and they, they have no flavor.
Just on account of I don't like grape,
we didn't do grape.
- Plus, they ugly.
- Yeah exactly.
- You 100% got the shell.
- Oh really?
- Yeah, just like a very clear difference
between the inside and the outside, which is good.
Flavor, much fresher, pretty spot on, good.
- Thank you.
- It's not as tacky.
- Not as tacky.
- It's good, I like it.
- It's definitely authentically strawberry.
- Yes.
- Overall, I feel like we did it
and I can never do it again.
That'd be fine.
This is how I make Skittles.
In each of four bowls, combine six tablespoons sugar
and two teaspoons citric acid.
Finely grade zest of four limes into one bowl,
three lemons into another
and two oranges into a third.
In the fourth bowl, add one ounce pulverized
freeze-dried strawberries and mix.
Set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine three quarter cup water,
four tablespoons butter, one cup light corn syrup,
two cups sugar, three tablespoons cornstarch
and half a teaspoon kosher salt.
Stir over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved
and stop stirring when mixture comes to a boil.
Cook, washing down sides with a wet pastry brush
until mixture registers 250 Fahrenheit.
Remove from heat and whisk in eight tablespoons
butter in pieces.
Pour mixture onto four greased, small rimmed baking sheets
and let sit until cool enough to handle.
Get three of your friends to help you start pulling
and stretching the mixture until candy is opaque
and starting to hold it's shape.
Cover and chill candy until set,
then scoop into level eighth teaspoons
and roll between palms.
Make pastillage, soften one tablespoon powdered gelatin
in a third of a cup cold water in liquid measuring cup
for 10 minutes.
Whisk four cups powdered sugar,
half a cup cornstarch and a pinch of cream of tartar
in a medium bowl to create a well in the center.
Submerge sides of measuring cup in a saucepan
filled with one inch, barely simmering water
and stir to dissolve gelatin.
Pour into well and stir with a spatula
to incorporate most of the sugar.
Knead mixture until all the sugar is incorporated
and pastillage is smooth and supple.
Keep covered
roll out half teaspoon sized pieces of pastillage
with a wooden dowel until paper thin.
Fit a ball of filling inside and spritz with water.
Then press into an eighth teaspoon measurer,
cover with pastillage overhang.
Pinch to seal and trim excess.
Repeat with all flavors.
Let dry, uncovered, at room temperature completely
then airbrush with food coloring in corresponding colors.
That's a long one.
- Whoa, wow.
Are you feeling good about it?
- Yeah.
- So we're gonna do this again tomorrow or what's the deal?
- Literally never again.
- Never again.
- As long as I live,
which is how I feel at the end of all of these.