Pastry chef Claire Saffitz is back in the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to attempt gourmet Jelly Belly jelly beans for her series Gourmet Makes.
We ruled out our chances of replicating the process about six minutes into the video, which is when Saffitz dipped a jelly bean into a tray of corn starch dozens and dozens of times to create just one sheet of little bean-shaped molds.
“I haven’t even really started yet,” she says. “This is just setting myself up.” Big yikes energy happening here.
Saffitz then sets out to plan which flavors she’ll make and settles on “buttered popcorn” (the best flavor) and “piña colada” as well as her own creations, “french toast” and “horchata.”
There are multiple flavor extraction attempts, plenty of deep breaths, more than one instance where Saffitz says she doesn’t know what to do, and a detour to a little toy sheep that poops out jelly beans.
There’s also a lot of secondhand stress that goes along with the viewing experience, so we can only imagine what Saffitz went through over the course of this multiple-day project.
“This is truly one of the more excruciating slow processes I’ve done on ‘Gourmet Makes’,” she says at one point. And we’d say that tracks.
In the end, the gourmet jelly beans were a bitter failure. At least, we thought that was the end. But Saffitz, ever well-versed in the art of perseverance, decided on a do-over from scratch. And if you didn’t already guess, she nails it.