Please note: "The Domestic Godless 12 Course Epicurean Gobstopper"™ is currently a work in progress, and as a recipe must be judged as purely theoretical for the time being.
Originally developed in the US as 'Jawbreakers', these confections were designed to last for hours if not days or years, slowly melting in the mouth through changing layers and colours. As with most things these days, many companies making these sweets only bother putting varying colours or flavours to the very last layers, so what you in fact get is a ball of tedium that sits in the mouth doing not very much other than acting out an approximation of existential misery.
Gobstoppers were traditionally made by adding layer upon layer of sugar to an original core grain of sugar - and in rare cases an aniseed or a lentil. This is done in large rotating 'pots' which are heated from beneath with gas burners. Depending on the desired size, each gobstopper can take up to three weeks to make, each layer being added at intervals.
We are now at liberty to share with you our current methodology for making our own to near industrial standards.
Firstly, every dish that will constitute each layer needs to be made in advance and cooled. Our carefully thought-out running order is as follows (Note that we begin with the desserts and end with the amuse bouche which will form the outermost layer of the gobstopper.):
Each dish, it must be stressed, is a highly complex concoction, and far too laborious to explain in detail now, but once each has been prepared, it must be lyophilized. This means extracting the water from each plate by subjecting it to a strong vacuum at temperatures between -50ºc and -80ºc. Each dish is now completely dehydrated and can be reduced to a fine powder, a coarse crumb or something inbetween. Unfortunately, lyophilizers cannot be purchased from high-street electrical stores, but if your local pharmceutical company has even the smallest amount of community spirit they might let you use theirs. Blackmail is another alternative, but your case against them needs to be pretty watertight as their lawyers are often top-notch.
The powdered dishes must now be stored in a freezer until needed.
There are two kinds of sugar now brought into play; glucose and maltodextrin. These are the flavour carriers that create each layer around the gobstopper. Glucose should be used for the sweet dishes and desserts, while the maltodextrin (a form of which we are currently developing in a laboratory in Macclesfield to have virtually no inherent sweetness) should be employed for the savory dishes.
We admit at this point that we have absolutely no idea of what quantities the powdered foodstuffs should be mixed with the 'sugars', and it's all trial and error - taste as you go. Small amounts of water will need to be added to the maltodextrin and powdered food, and the mixture heated to produce a syrup. The glucose will already come as a syrup, but will need to be heated to accommodate each dehydrated dish. If necessary, you may wish to add colour to these solutions at this point.
As we mentioned before, gobstoppers are traditionally made in large rotating copper pots which are heated from below - as demonstrated here We, however, have been unable to get hold of the original equipment, but have found that a cement mixer heated from below with propane gas burners will work perfectly well, though a little work needed to be applied to quicken the rotation of the drum (an image of ours can be seen to the right). We admit our's is larger than necessary for domestic production scales - a smaller one will be just as good, but make sure that the drum is made from either copper or stainless steel and not plastic or painted!!!
Production starts by dropping your desired number of indegestion tablets into the drum, while it is turning. Now apply the heat and add your first sugar/course solution. Once each tablet has accumulated sufficient coating and there is very little solution left in the drum, turn off the heat and allow the drum to continue turning for at least two hours. Remove the contents of the drum once they have cooled down and clean the drum with hot water.
Repeat the next day with the next solution until all the layers have been added.To previous recipe To next recipe