The Sweet side of gelatin
Whether you’re not sure how to make gelatin or what to make with it, the jelly-like substance is perfect for coating sweets and preserving their shape. Most supermarkets stock gelatin powder in the baking aisle. Once you know how to use it, you can really get creative with sweets, desserts and flavored jelly. We’ve combined a few essential tips to help you take your gelatin skills to the next level.
1. Let it “bloom”
Gelatin doesn’t take well to other ingredients, that’s why it’s important to “bloom” the gelatin i.e. mix it with some water first. Be prepared to use it on the spot once its texture becomes similar to that of applesauce, or else it will set into a solid straight away. If that happens, you can soften the solidified gelatin by adding it to a quarter cup of water over medium heat.
2. Keep it warm
When you’re ready to add the gelatin, make sure your base is still warm. The last thing you need is gelatin ropes getting in the way of your dessert, which is what happens when you add liquid gelatin onto a cool base.
3. Be quick
Gelatin is not the most patient ingredient. It starts to set the second it is added into the recipe. Plan ahead and add the gelatin in at the very end. Still, if the gelatin sets earlier than you need it to, you can reheat your base to make it soft again.
4. Good to know
Keep in mind that gelatin is not a vegetarian ingredient, but vegan alternatives like ‘agar agar’ and vegetable gums are available to help you get the thickening effect you want for your desserts. Once you know what works for gelatin, you can dial it up or down, depending on what you need. In terms of texture, the longer gelatin sits, the more rubbery it gets. Storing gelatin coated desserts in cool temperatures allows the gelatin to become stronger. Last but not least, the more gelatin you add for every cup of liquid, the more solid it gets, so make sure to have this in mind when deciding how much of it to use in your recipe.
4 sheets of gelatin are the equivalent of one tablespoon of powdered gelatin. It usually takes 1 tablespoon of gelatin to set two cups of liquid.