Tuesday’s Tip of the Week. Cooking with Gelatin (Powder)

As you may (or may not) have noted, I am quite fond of making jellies; they can be an interesting textural vehicle to incorporate certain flavours in a dish (and helps me try and pretend to cook “sophisticated”). I generally use them to replace a sauce or vinaigrette with a solid, allowing me to add another liquid dressing to the dish. There are two ways to incorporate plain gelatin into a dish, either using gelatin powder or sheets. Sheets are what’s almost always used on TV cooking shows, but unfortunately, I’m yet to encounter them in supermarkets here in Dubai, and so, I have to resort to using powder. Gelatin powder although seemingly simple to use, has presented quite a challenge for me to incorporate successfully in dishes over time. So this post will discuss what I’ve learnt in my attempts to use gelatin in cooking

So here are the top tips about how to add gelatin to solidify liquids:

1. Proper portioning, 1/2 – 1 tbsp of gelatin powder are enough to set 1 cup of liquid, depending on the firmness you desire

2. Always add the gelatin to a cold liquid by sprinkling evenly over the surface

3. Warm the liquid on a low heat, but make sure not to boil or overheat the liquid, once overheated, gelatin becomes denatured and loses its setting capacity.

4. As the liquid warms, whisk the liquid well to make sure all the powder has been dissolved

5. Pour the liquid into the mould, and refrigerate for 6-24 hours.