How we do it: It takes 10 days to make a winegum
Most people have a relationship with winegums. Conversely, few people know how they're made. At Wally and Whiz, the recipe is developed by our founder, Kristian Them Hansen, at home in his kitchen in Østerbro, Copenhagen. Kristian is self-taught, and he was told over and over again that he wouldn't succeed in making good winegums under such modest conditions. But with a mix of extreme passion and devilish grit, Kristian set out to prove them all wrong.
Although winegum can appear simple compared to other sweets, such as filled chocolates, they are actually quite complicated to make. This is due to the various steps involved in the production as well as the factors that greatly influence the winegum's stability, such as light, temperature and humidity. After countless experiments with different types of starches, sugars and syrups, Kristian managed to come up with a recipe based on corn starch, sugar, syrup and natural flavours and colours - meaning a winegum that everyone can eat!
Do you want to learn more about how it is made? We will walk you through the 10 days that go into making winegum from Wally and Whiz…
The equipment must of course be in order. At Wally and Whiz we use a mogul plant. This plant is used for several processes involved in the making of winegum, including boiling the winegum mass under pressure so the liquid evaporates below the boiling point. This cooking method allows us to preserve the natural flavours and colours, and it also enables us to use corn starch, which is more sensitive to high temperatures, instead of animal gelatine.
Fun fact: When the liquid evaporates, the volume of the winegum mass is reduced by half. If we want to produce five tonnes of winegum, we therefore start with 10 tonnes.
Once the boiling is done, we inject the winegum mass through heated nozzles into small square moulds. Here, we have found that one cubic centimetre is the optimal size of a Wally and Whiz winegum, as it creates the best combination of a soft centre and a firm exterior. What is more, the size is heavily inspired by the radiator hanger Kristian originally used to cut out his first winegums...
To prevent the winegums from getting stuck in the moulds, we use corn flour instead of, for instance, wheat or potato flour – which allows us to produce gluten-free winegums. However, it doesn't stop here, because the flour comes from boxes made of wood and not plastic or silicone. In addition to being a more sustainable way to transport the flour, Kristian also insists that he can see, feel and taste the difference.
DAY 2 AND 3
The winegums dry in the moulds.
On the fourth day, the flour is brushed off the winegums and the winegums are coated. This is done simply by turning the mould upside down over a sieve, which removes most of the flour. The rest is blown off using air. The winegums are now very sticky, but this is solved by a wax coating. Instead of traditional beeswax, we use wax from the carnauba palm, which again helps to ensure a vegan product.
DAY 5 AND 6
The fifth and sixth days are spent resting. Natural flavours and colours develop over time, which is why Wally and Whiz lets the winegums sit for a few days to develop the most delicious colours and flavours.
Fun fact: Winegums with natural colouring are more susceptible to light. If you place them in sunlight, you will find that – unlike winegums made with chemical dyes – they loose their colour. We therefore recommend that you store your Wally and Whiz winegums in a dark, cool place.
On day seven, the winegums are coated with the second of its two flavours. The first flavour was added on day one when the winegum was made. The second flavour is the coating of the winegum, which consists of a combination of sugar and an organic fruit, root or herb. This can be, for instance, a strawberry that is freeze-dried and granulated into a powder, then mixed with icing sugar and possibly an acid or salt. It is in this process that the inner and outer flavours of the winegum are aligned, creating the unique taste of Wally and Whiz.
DAY 8 AND 9
After the coating, the winegums are left to dry again – this time for at least three days.
And we are done! The winegums are now ready to be filled into tubs or small bags – and to finally reach the hands of candy lovers across the world.