Jelly: the perfect summer pudding

Last updated 14:13 06/01/2012
PERFECT PUD: Jelly desserts like Champagne posy are just the thing for a summer's night.

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Traditionally seen as an old-fashioned indulgence, jelly has been a hot international trend this year, winning a whole new group of enthusiasts. It's been served at restaurants and food festivals to great acclaim.

Jelly is a perfect dish for summer - cool, light and colourful. We've come a long way from Aeroplane Jelly, as demonstrated in a new book, Wobble: 35 Tantalising Jellies by Rachael Lane.

From prosecco and violet jelly to the floral marvel right, Champagne posy, here's a different way to impress friends and family during the festive season and beyond.

Champagne posy

6 leaves titanium-strength gelatine (7 leaves if setting in a single large mould), cut into quarters
½ cup sugar
750ml champagne or sparkling white wine, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
1-2 cups organic edible flowers (such as pansies, violets or peonies), pistils and stamens removed

Use any mould, total capacity of 4 cups or 1 litre

Place the gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for five to 10 minutes, until the gelatine has softened.

Combine the sugar with ½ cup water in a small saucepan and heat gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat.

When the gelatine has softened, drain off the water and squeeze any excess liquid from the gelatine. Add to the sugar syrup and stir until the gelatine has dissolved.

Transfer to a large bowl and set aside for 10 minutes, to cool.

Set the bowl containing the gelatine mixture over a bowl of iced water and stir continuously, until it thickens.

Slowly add the chilled wine, pouring it against the inside of the bowl to prevent excess froth. Stir to combine.

Strain the liquid through a muslin-lined sieve and skim off any froth. Scatter some flowers over the base of your mould and pour in enough wine mixture to just cover the flowers.

Skim off any bubbles and refrigerate for five to 15 minutes, until semi-set.

Repeat the process, pouring the mixture slowly over the back of a dessert spoon resting against the inside of the mould, to make four more layers. Refrigerate for two to six hours, until firm set. Unmould to serve.

Mulled wine jelly

9 leaves gold-strength gelatine (10 leaves if setting in a single large mould), cut into quarters
1 x 750ml bottle medium-full-bodied red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon, shiraz or merlot
¾ cup sugar
Juice of ½ an orange
1 cinnamon stick
2 strips orange zest
5 cloves
3 black peppercorns
⅛ tsp finely grated fresh nutmeg or ground nutmeg

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For the cinnamon cream

1½ cups pouring cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Use any mould, total capacity of 3 cups (750 ml)

To make the mulled wine jelly, place the gelatine in a small bowl and pour in just enough wine to cover. Set aside for five to 10 minutes, until the gelatine has softened.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and heat gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the flavours have infused.

Remove from the heat, add the softened gelatine mixture and stir occasionally until the gelatine dissolves. Strain it through a muslin-lined sieve and set aside to cool.

Pour the wine mixture into the mould and skim off any bubbles then refrigerate for four hours, or until firm set.

Meanwhile, to make the cinnamon cream, whip the cream, icing sugar and cinnamon together in a medium-sized bowl, until soft peaks form.

Cover and refrigerate until required. Unmould the jelly and serve with the cinnamon cream.

Serves 6

- Sydney Morning Herald

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