How to Make Ampalaya Candy
By Yvette Sajem, eHow Contributor
Ampalaya (bitter melon) is a zucchini-shaped vegetable with dark green, wrinkly, striped skin and bitter flesh. In spite of its questionable appearance and pungent flavor, ampalaya has been used as food and as medicine for centuries, most notably by the people of China and the Philippines. And it wasn't for naught; recent studies have, according to Agri Business Week, shown that ampalaya may be useful for the prevention and treatment of many ailments, including diabetes, liver disease, high blood pressure, some types of cancer and HIV. Ampalaya candy may seem odd, but you know what they say: A little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down. So, indulge and be healthy.
Things You'll Need
* 11-by-7-by-2-inch baking dish
* Aluminum foil
* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
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2. Grease the bottom and sides of a large saucepan heavily with unsalted butter.
3. Combine 1 1/2 cups white sugar and 1 1/2 cups corn syrup in the buttered saucepan.
4. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring syrup/sugar mixture to a boil. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved.
5. Cook the sugar mixture until it reaches the soft-crack stage (270 to 290 degrees Fahrenheit). Keep track of the temperature with your candy thermometer.
6. Combine 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of tepid water, 7 1/2 tablespoons of pectin, and 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda in a separate saucepan. It will produce a head of foam.
7. Place pectin mixture over high heat, stirring constantly, until it boils (three to five minutes). Continue to stir until foam disappears. Lower heat to medium. Keep the pectin mixture simmering until the sugar mixture reaches the soft-crack stage.
8. Pour the pectin mixture into the sugar mixture as you continue to stir. Once the mixtures are combined, stir constantly for another three minutes.
9. Remove candy mixture from heat. Immediately stir in 1/4 cup of fresh grated ampalaya, 3 tablespoons of ampalaya powder, and 5 teaspoons of the flavored extract of your choice.
10. Pour the mixture into the foil-lined baking dish. Allow the candy to set at room temperature for three and a half hours or until firm.
11. Dust your work surface with corn starch. Lift the candy from the baking dish using the aluminum foil. Turn it out onto the dusted work surface.
12. Slice the candy into 1/2-inch squares with a sharp knife dusted with cornstarch.
13. Pour 1 cup white sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll each ampalaya square in the sugar. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
* Big Oven
* All Recipes
* Philippine Herbal Medicine: Ampalaya
* Agri Business Guide: Facts About Ampalaya
* Big Oven: Ampalaya Recipes