A setting agent made from the bones of animals and used in sweet or savoury jellies, mousses, cheesecakes and dessert recipes.
How to prepare
Always sprinkle powdered gelatine onto cold water, never the other way round. Leave it to soak in a small bowl for a couple of minutes until it has swollen to absorb the liquid. Heat a small saucepan with a small amount of hot water and place the bowl of gelatine inside. Heat until the gelatine has dissolved and the liquid runs clear with no visible grains. Do not boil gelatine or it will lose its setting point.
Little sheets of superior quality gelatine resembling thin rectangles of glass. They give a smoother, melt-in-the-mouth quality, but vary in size and setting capacity so always check the instructions. Soak leaf gelatine sheets in cold water for a couple of minutes until softened, squeeze to remove excess water, then place in a small pan over a very low heat and dissolve gently or stir into hot liquids to dissolve it.
Always check the packet instructions, but as a general rule 4 tsp powdered or 4 leaves of gelatine will set 600ml 1 pint of liquid. Add gelatine to your recipe slowly, pouring it in a thin stream and stirring well. It is best to add it to mixtures at room temperature or warm, if adding it to cold ones it may set very quickly into little ribbons. If this happens, warm the mixture slightly until the gelatine dissolves, or strain the mixture to remove the gelatine, although setting may be impaired. If adding gelatine to hot mixtures it dissolves easily.
Do not use kiwi, pineapple or pineapple juice in gelatine recipes as the acid impairs the setting properties.
Try it in a refreshing fizzing jelly with berries.