Do you know what freeze-dried candy is? Today, we will look at exactly what all the fuss is about surrounding these sweet treats! I’ll explain exactly how they are made, how they are different from their original forms, and if you can replicate these at home.
What Is Freeze-Dried Candy?
You may have heard about it. You may even have tasted it before. Yet, few people actually understand what freeze-dried candies are.
Now, I hate it when people say “It’s candy that has been freeze-dried.” What does that even mean?!
Essentially what happens during the process is that the candies are frozen, then dried. The unique drying process removes all of the moisture from the sweets, leaving behind pure sugar crystals. This changes their appearance.
However, the benefit of this technique is to help preserve them and extend their shelf life. While their appearance and texture change, their flavor stays pretty much the same.
How Are Candy Freeze-Dried Commercially?
Big companies have perfected this technique using specialized equipment.
The machine that is commercially used does everything in one go. The candies are first flash-frozen to preserve their flavor best. If they were to slowly freeze the candies, they may be subject to freezer burn, which ruins their texture and flavor.
Once the candies are all frozen, the machine creates a vacuum. This vacuum removes all the air and simultaneously, the moisture.
What Does Freeze-Dried Candy Look Like?
As I’ve mentioned, some changes occur when candy is frozen and preserved using this method.
The first noticeable difference is their size. During the vacuuming process, the candies expand to double, sometimes even triple their original size.
This also sometimes causes the sugar coating to crack, creating a fun visual texture.
Furthermore, the candies generally become paler in color. Some even turn almost completely white.
What Do These Candies Taste Like?
Generally, the candies have the exact same flavor originally. Although, many people note that they tend to be even sweeter.
Depending on what type of candy you are freeze-drying, you may also note a more prominent or concentrated flavor. The lack of moisture makes the candies crunchy, which is a downside for those who prefer a soft, chewy treat.
Once you start eating them, they will immediately melt in your mouth.
How To Make Freeze-Dry Candy
Now, you can buy a freeze-dry candy machine. However, they are extremely difficult to find and very expensive.
The cheapest one I came across was a little over $2000! Also, it was massive for a household appliance. And don’t get me started on the maintenance cost of these things!
So, what about simply freezing the candy?
You can try. But you won’t get your freezer cold enough to have the same effect on the candies as the machines do. Remember, the machine flash-freezes the candies while removing the moisture.
So, can you dry candy at all?
There isn’t a way to replicate the technique without a machine. Plus, the machine isn’t worth buying if you aren’t starting a freeze-dried candy business.
You can heat-dry the candy by putting it inside a dehydrator at an EXTREMELY low temperature. If the temperature is too high, the candies will melt.
Note that there is no guarantee they won’t be the same as freeze-dried candies with this method.
Where To Buy These Candies?
Trust me, it’s a breeze to get your hands on these unique freeze-dried treats! You’ll mostly find them online since they’re a rare gem in local supermarkets or big grocery chains. Check out Amazon for a sweet lineup, including favorites like Skittles and Jolly Ranchers.
The variety might seem limited, but that’s because not every candy takes well to the freeze-drying adventure—they’ve got to keep that yummy taste and texture, right
Freeze-dried candies offer a unique take on classic sweets, with a crispy texture and intense flavor.
They’re tricky to make at home without special equipment, so it’s easiest to find them online. They’re great for a fun snack or a quirky baking ingredient!
Many people think the “freeze” in “freeze-dry” means that they have to be kept inside the freezer or fridge. But luckily, you can keep them at room temperature. That’s almost the entire point of the process – to preserve their shelf life for decades!
Be amazed: These candies can easily last up to 25 years! Crazy, right? But, the packaging used to store them, including their storage conditions, can affect this number.