I am reading a lot at the moment. Since I returned to the UK I have been living at Fanny’s surrounded by Mrs Beeton cookbooks and spiders webs.The only thing to put me off stamping all over the arachnids has been to take up reading.
One excellent read is the Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal. He really is highly inspiring and in a quest to expand our own gastronomic vocabulary I have been reading it avidly and I highly recommend you get a copy if you want to expand your own viewpoints. He makes one think about the challenge of accepted ideas- eg crab ice cream – is it sweet or savoury… I won’t dwell on these preconceptions now – the book explains it all in much more detail and Heston makes it far more entertaining that I can.
He does give a recipe for fizzy jelly however and I am always a sucker for bubbles and alcohol. I have adapted it slightly as I found my own method deemed to work more successfully, and I have added a bit of detail where it was missing in the original version. So give this a try, it will appeal to young and old alike.
Please bear in mind that it is critcal to be observant about temperatures with this recipe.
One 75cl bottle of sparkling white wine, cava, champers etc. Our wine was a cava at 12% alc.
7 gelatine leaves
150 g sugar
100ml creme de cassis
(Half an hour) In Advance:
Put 6 champagne glasses in the freezer
Place the bottle of wine in the freezer for half an hour. Don’t forget it’s there!
It is critical that the wine is very chilled.
Soften the gelatine leaves in a small pan of cold water
Pour 75 ml of the wine into a small pan and reseal the bottle immediately to retain the fizz.
Add the sugar and the cassis to the pan and heat it gently
Now take your softened gelatine leaves and squeeze out the excess cold water.
Add the gelatine leaves to the cassis and stir until dissolved.
This will happen quite quickly and when it does take the pan off the heat and leave it to cool.
Now the next step requires some care:
Take the cooled mixture and add very carefully and slowly the rest of the cava. You do this not only to retain the fizz, but to prevent too much of a head forming. (The head looks nice at this stage but once it subsides as the jelly cools it will leave a residue that is less fabulous!) So be patient and pour it slowly.
Take the glasses out of the freezer
Then very carefully pour the combined jelly mix into the glasses and stir them.
Replace the glasses with the jelly in the freezer for an hour, then store in the fridge until ready to serve.
This is a delicious soft set jelly which is wonderful on a hot summer’s day in the garden.