Light, delicate desserts, set by gelatine, these desserts can be prepared and chilled well in advance of serving.
Using gelatine In order for the dessert to set properly, the gelatine must be completely dissolved. Sprinkle 1 envelope or 3 rounded teaspoons powdered gelatine into warm water and stir briskly. Stand the container in a pan of warm water over low heat and stir until the gelatine is dissolved, when the solution turns clear. If you are making a milk jelly, never add gelatine to very hot milk or it will curdle, nor to icy cold milk mixtures, as they would then set in small rubbery globules.
This amount will set 575— 600 ml (1 pint). Add the dissolved gelatine while it is cool, but not set, to a little liquid brought to room temperature. Mix thoroughly and then add the dissolved gelatine solution to the other liquid ingredients. It should stir in easily.
Basic Milk Jelly
20 ml (4 level teaspoons)
45 ml (3 tablespoons) hot water
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
575 ml (1 pt) milk
Put gelatine and hot water in a basin. Stir over pan of boiling water until gelatine is dissolved; meanwhile put sugar and milk into saucepan. Stand over very low heat until sugar dissolves. Take off heat when gelatine and milk are both lukewarm, combine by pouring milk gently on to the gelatine, stirring well. Pour into a ¾ litre (1 ½pt) mould, first rinsed with cold water. Leave to set in the refrigerator and turn out on to a serving plate. Serves 4.
Basic Cream Mould
45 ml (3 tablespoons) water 15 g (½ oz) granulated sugar 15 ml (3 level teaspoons) powdered gelatine
275 ml (½ pt) fresh double cream
275 ml (½ pt) sweetened cold custard
5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla essence
Put water, sugar and gelatine in a basin. Stir over a pan of boiling water until gelatine and sugar are dissolved. Leave until cool. Whip cream until lightly stiff. Remove any skin from custard, beat until completely smooth, then whisk in cooled gelatine solution and vanilla es-essence. Fold in whipped cream, then leave in refrigerator until mixture just begins to thicken and set, stirring occasionally. Transfer to ¾ litre (1112 pt) mould, first rinsed with cold water. Chill until firm and set. Turn out on to plate and serve with fruit. Serves 4-5.
Basic Cold Soufflé
15 ml (3 level teaspoons)
45 ml (3 tablespoons)
2 eggs (size 1 or 2), separated 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar Grated rind and juice of
150 ml (¼ pt) fresh
For decoration: 40 g (1 ½ oz) finely chopped, shelled walnut halves or blanched and toasted almonds; 60 ml (4 tablespoons) fresh double cream, whipped; angelica stems or crystallized violet petals
Tie 10 cm (4 in) strip of doubled greaseproof paper round a 575/600 ml (1 pt) soufflé dish, making sure paper stands 4-5 cm (1 ½-2 in) above edge of dish. Brush inside of strip with salad oil.
Put gelatine and hot water in a basin. Stir until dissolved, over a pan of boiling water. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl over a pan of hot water until very thick and pale. Remove bowl from hot water and continue whisking until mixture is cool. Gently whisk in dissolved gelatine, lemon zest and juice. Keep in a cool place until just beginning to thicken and set. Meanwhile whisk cream until fairly stiff, and beat egg whites to a stiff snow.
Gently fold lemon mixture into cream, and fold in beaten whites. Pour into prepared soufflé dish (mixture should reach almost to top of paper). Chill until firm and set. Just before serving, ease paper away from mixture with a knife dipped in hot water and discard. Gently
Pies, syllabubs, meringues, ice cream, cream moulds and mousses are all popular desserts. Decoration can make a simple sweet look splendid.
Press chopped nuts against sides of the soufflé. Decorate with whipped cream and angelica or crystallized violets. Serves 4.
450 g (1 lb) fruit
3 eggs (size 2)
2 egg yolks
100 g (4 oz) caster sugar
15 ml (1 tablespoon)
(20 ml [4 teaspoons] for a firmer set)
45 ml (3 tablespoons) water 275 ml (½ pt) double cream, whipped Grated chocolate
Reserve a few fruit for decoration and put the remainder in a pan over gentle heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until soft.
Rub fruit through a sieve into a bowl. Whisk all the eggs and sugar over a pan of hot but not boiling water until thick and creamy and the mixture leaves a trail over the surface. Remove from the heat, place the bowl in a bowl of iced water and whisk until thick and cool. Dissolve the gelatine and water over a pan of boiling water, stir quickly into fruit and whisk in egg mixture. Fold the whipped cream into fruit mixture when beginning to set. Spoon into serving dish and decorate with grated chocolate and reserved fruit. Serves 4.