Inspiration came from Good Food (april 2005, pg. 147), where these were served with orange langue-de-chat-biscuits. As we didn’t like the idea of crispy biscuits with the cool jelly, we served the jellies with a fresh fruit salad instead. We changed the recipe for the jellies a bit too. The original recipe used fresh cranberries as well, but as Santa isn’t scheduled for some time soon, these are hard to come by in the Netherlands at the moment. Because the lack of cranberries, which give out their own jelly when heated, we had to use more gelatin leaves.
The idea is to make beautiful cranberry champagne-jellies, of course in their proper glasses and all. We wouldn’t make this with the best champagne, leave that bottle for you and your love to drink as it is. Make it with cheaper champagne, cava or other sparkling wine instead, but try to incorporate some bubbly-stuff in there: that makes this dish so much more fun.
The recipe calls for:
• Bubbly of some sort
• 450 ml. cranberry juice
• 100 gr. Sugar
• 8 gelatin leaves
• Mint sprigs for decoration
First: Pour almost all the cranberryjuice in a saucepan, add sugar and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and let it simmer until all the sugar has dissolved.
Then: Soak the gelatine leaves in the cranberryjuice you kept apart. When soft, add the squishy leaves to the still hot juice. Stir until dissolved. Leave to cool completely.
Ah, champagne-time! Very slowly pour the bubbles in the cool cranberry mixture. Do not be tempted to pour in the champagne if the juice hasn’t cooled completely: the warmth will kill your bubbles. Also take care to stir gently to preserve as much bubbles as possible. Make about 900 ml.
When the bubbles calmed down, pour (slowly) in elegant glasses. We used proper champagne flutes, but classic wide champagne glasses or martini glasses look lovely too. Chill the glasses until the jelly has set. And don’t panic: it takes a while to set, as we found out.
Set they will....
Don’t forget to decorate your creation: though mint sprigs are kind of tacky, it looked very pretty in the pink-reddish jelly. We also put some sliced strawberries in, which floated beautifully. The strawberries we took from the fruit salad we chopped up to serve alongside: just good quality strawberries, a mango, kiwi, whatever looks lush and fresh and tastes divine. Just serve the fruit as is, because why tinker with perfection?
As you dive into the jellies with a long handled spoon, you just can’t help to think of jewels: the jelly breaks down in lovely crumbly pieces of broken rubies. How elegant is that?