Unflavored gelatin is produced from animal collagen and can be premixed to fortify almost any liquid, including drinks, jams, jellies and fillings. You can adjust the firmness of your dessert by using powdered or sheet gelatin that you buy at the supermarket. This article will show you how to prepare gelatin, both powdered and leaf gelatin. It will also give you some ideas on how to further customize the gelatin.
Ingredients for making powdered gelatin
- 115 ml cold water
- 15 g powdered gelatin
- 340ml hot water
Ingredients for making gelatine leaf
- 4 gelatin sheets
- 225ml cold water
- 450ml hot water
Method 1 of 3: Mixing powdered gelatin
Step 1. Buy a few packets of powdered gelatin
Each packet contains approximately 1 tablespoon of gelatin. This is sufficient for 450 ml of water. If you can't find powdered gelatin, you can use gelatin sheets instead. To see how to use it, click here.
Step 2. Put 115 ml of cold water in a large bowl
You will be adding another 340 ml of water later, so make sure the bowl is big enough. Do not use hot or warm water for this step.
Step 3. Tear open the package and sprinkle the gelatin over the water
Try to sprinkle the gelatin over the water as evenly as possible; lumps prevent the gelatin from absorbing the water. After a few minutes, the gelatin will begin to expand. This step is known as 'bloom'. When a recipe asks for the gelatin to 'bloom', that is what it means. It will take about 5 to 10 minutes for the gelatin to finish blooming.
Step 4. Bring 340 ml of water to a boil
Put the water in a pan and place the pan on the stove. Heat the water over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
Step 5. Pour the hot water into the gelatin
Do not use boiling water as this will ruin the gelatin.
Step 6. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved
You can use a spoon, fork or whisk for this. Take the spoon out of the gelatin from time to time to see if the powder has melted. If you see speckles or grains on the spoon, keep stirring until you see no more grains.
Step 7. Pour the gelatin into molds
You can use molds, cups or small bowls. Lightly grease the inside of each mold with a tasteless oil; this will make it easier to remove from the molds later.
Step 8. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving
Once the gelatin is firm, you can remove it from the mold or serve it in the cups or bowls.
Method 2 of 3: Using Gelatin Sheets
Step 1. Buy a pack of gelatine leaf
You will need about 4 gelatin sheets. This is equal to 1 tablespoon of powdered gelatin. You may also find these as "gelatin sheets" or simply "gelatin."
Step 2. Place the blades in a large and flat dish
A baking tray or baking pan will work just fine. Make sure the sheets are separated and right next to each other. You are going to pour water over them and if you don't put them separately they will stick together and not dissolve properly.
Step 3. Add enough cold water to completely cover the blades
You need about 225 ml of water. Don't worry about having this exact amount; you pour this water away later.
Step 4. Wait for the gelatin sheets to 'bloom'
They will expand slightly and wrinkle. This can take about five to six minutes.
Do not leave the blades in the water for too long or they will break
Step 5. Prepare 450ml of warm water while you wait
Bring the water to a boil in a pan. Keep this water ready and nearby. You are going to add the gelatin sheets as soon as they bloom.
Step 6. Remove the blades from the water and remove excess moisture
You can do this by gently squeezing them in your fist. Be careful so they don't break.
Step 7. Add the gelatin sheets to the hot water and stir until dissolved
It is best to do this with a spoon, as the blades will get stuck in a fork or whisk.
Step 8. Pour the gelatin into a mold
You can also pour it into a few cups or small bowls instead. If you are using a mold, you can lightly grease the inside with some tasteless oil. This makes it easier to remove the gelatin from the mold later.
Step 9. Leave the gelatin in the refrigerator until it is firm
This will take approximately 4 hours.
Method 3 of 3: Making other types of gelatin
Step 1. Try using agar instead of gelatin if you are vegan or vegetarian
Use 2 teaspoons of powdered agar per 450 ml of water. Stir this together and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Keep stirring with a whisk until the agar is dissolved. At this point, you can sweeten it with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Let it boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and pour into ramekins, cups or small bowls. It will take about an hour to set, but you can speed it up by putting it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- You can also use 1 tablespoon of agar flakes instead. First soak the agar flakes in water for 30 minutes. Drain the water and squeeze the extra moisture from the flakes. Add the flakes to 450 ml of water and boil for 2 minutes.
- Agar is made from seaweed. You can also find it as: agar-agar, china grass, or lacy.
Step 2. Make panna cotta with cream instead of water
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of powdered gelatin over 6 tablespoons of cold water and set aside to let it bloom for about 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 liter of whipping cream and 100 grams of sugar in a pan on the stove. When the sugar has dissolved, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Pour the mixture over the bloomed gelatin and stir with a spoon to blend. Pour the panna cotta into cups or moulds, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- You can also use cooking cream instead of whipped cream. This will give you a lighter panna cotta.
- Keep in mind that when you make gelatin with dairy, it takes longer to firm up.
Step 3. Make fruit-flavored gelatin by using fruit juice instead of water
Pour two packets of unflavored gelatin over 225 ml of juice. Boil 675 ml of juice and then pour it over the gelatin juice. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved and everything is combined. Pour the gelatin into moulds. You can also use cups or small bowls. Let it cool for about 4 hours, or until the gelatin has set.
Step 4. Make a lemon flavored gelatin dessert
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of gelatin over 115 ml of cold water and let it bloom. Dissolve 75 g of sugar in 225 ml of hot water. Add the bloomed gelatin and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Stir until everything is dissolved. Pour into molds and refrigerate until firm.
Step 5. Consider adding fruit to it
You can put pieces of fruit on the bottom of the mold before pouring in the gelatin. You can also let pieces of fruit 'float' in the gelatin. To do this, leave the gelatin in the fridge until it has almost set. Once it feels like a soft gel, stir in the cut fruit pieces. Return the gelatin to the refrigerator to allow it to set completely.
- Be careful when adding tropical fruits, such as figs, ginger, kiwi, pineapple and prickly pear cacti. The enzymes in these fruits ensure that the gelatin does not harden. If you want to use these fruits (except kiwi) in gelatin, you must first peel, cut and boil them for 5 minutes before adding them to the gelatin.
- Kiwi should not be used in gelatin. Even if you peel and boil it, you won't lose the enzymes.
Step 6. Make different flavors of gelatin and panna cotta to make a layered dessert
Let each layer of gelatin become almost firm before adding the next layer. The consistency should be soft and gel-like. If you add the layers too late, they won't stick together. If you add them too quickly, they could mix together.
Step 7. Pour gelatin into fun and funny moulds
Once you have the gelatin in the mold, let it sit in the fridge for about 4 hours. To remove the gelatin from the mold, place the mold in a bowl of very hot water. Be careful not to get water on the gelatin. After a few seconds, pull out the mold and shake it. Hold a plate on top of the mold and turn everything upside down. Place the plate on a table and lift the mold off. The gelatin should now be on the plate. If this is not the case, place the mold in the hot bath again.
Let the mold cool in the fridge for a few hours, until you are going to use it; this will speed up firming
- If you want to put the gelatin in a mold, use 1 tablespoon of gelatin per 225 ml of water. If you prefer a softer gelatin, use 1 tablespoon of gelatin per 675 ml of water; this gelatin is best served in a cup or small bowl.
- The gelatin will soften as you add more sugar. Keep this in mind when making desserts. Soft gelatins will not hold their shape very well and may not work in the molds.
- If you used cream or milk in your gelatin, keep in mind that it will take longer than regular gelatin to set.
- If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can still enjoy gelatin by using agar instead. Use 1 teaspoon of Agar per 225 ml of water.
- If you are of age, you can enjoy alcoholic gelatin. Add a splash of alcohol to flavor the gelatin, but be sure to use something of good quality. Poor quality alcohol can prevent the gelatin from setting properly.
- Never cook anything to which you add gelatin. This will prevent the gelatin from settling.
- Always peel and boil tropical fruit before adding it to gelatin. They contain enzymes that can prevent the gelatin from setting.