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Champagne Jelly with Strawberries - Tue, 10th Feb 2009
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Champagne Jelly with Strawberries
Inspired by Moretons Brasserie

Inspired by a night when the Gourmet Husbands crew went to one of our favourite local restaurants on a night of extreme heat. At the end of the evening Alicia ordered a refreshing sounding champagne and strawberry jelly, and what arrived was a very cool looking pale champagne coloured jelly with strawberry slices suspended within it. This is my attempt at recreating such a dish.

Makes around 6
* 1 cup of water
* 1 cup of caster sugar
* 1 Bottle of Champagne
* 7 teaspoons of gelatin (I use powdered, I have not yet tried with leaf)
* Strawberries

Disolve the sugar in the water over low heat. Once disolved, bring to the boil and cook for around a minute.

Disolve the powdered gelatin in a small amount of water. I have yet to work out the optimum way of doing this, especially for this volume of gelatin, experiment to find the easiest way for you. I generally use a whisk and slowly add gelatin to the moving water, then get bored and add the rest all at once.

Add the disolved gelatin to the hot sugar and water and stir constantly until it has mixed in.

Now the key ingredient. Add the entire bottle of champagne. This may take a few goes as it will bubble up quite a lot, and you may have to add the bottle in stages to avoid overflow and wasting perfectly good wine.

The really fun part is the assembly. First find some moulds, I use tapered ramekins. Remember you will be inverting these, so you're working from the top down. Pour a small amount of the jelly mixture into the moulds, put in the fridge/freezer and allow to set. Once set, place a slice of strawberry onto the surface and add some more jelly mixture. Allow that to set and repeat for as many layers as you feel like. The strawberries will float just on the surface of this mixture, so getting them to stay in the middle of the mould is a trial and error process. You can generally move them around a bit once the jelly is just beginning to set and they'll stay put.

Once all set, invert onto a plate. This is also a bit of a dark art and will depend a lot on your moulds. I'm still perfecting this, sitting the moulds in hot water for a few seconds and agitiating them until they start to move seems to work well.

So that's it. It's quite a time intensive process, but can look pretty impressive. Also worth noting that you don't boil the champagne, so each one of these contatins about a standard drink worth of alcohol. I am reliably informed mine are significantly more potent than those at Moretons which inspired them.
I'm cool with that.

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