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and every living day
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I’m celebrating love and giving thanks
With wine jelly, white chocolate and caviar

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This is a toast to Meeta of What’s for Lunch Honey? who is celebrating 4 years of excellent and inspiring ‘Foodography’ by hosting a ‘Champagne Monthly Mingle’!

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My offering: a jelly of Moscato with white chocolate shavings with ‘caviar’!

IMG_7698My inspiration: for the last week, I’ve been experimenting with making my own jellies and have really loved it because the flexibility is amazing! The white chocolate and caviar combo is also one I’ve been meaning to try. Can you guess whose creation that is? Yes, Heston Blumenthal’s! I had a jar of caviar {not beluga}, which I got in Copenhagen.

IMG_7732My experiments: before I made the wine jelly, I tried an ‘Olde Jamaica Ginger beer’ version. Just beer and gelatine. It set well….however, contrary to my expectations and my liking. The jelly wasn’t bubbly…..so it set hard and it wasn’t sweet, because I didn’t add any sugar. And though it was not at all a success, it was a good test, which sent me seeking out others who had made ‘bubbly jelly’ before. That proved helpful.

My resources: Billy’s post led me to the way it crumbles, which led me to SMH and a post titled ‘the mad scientist and me’! Along the trail, I picked up a bunch of superb tips which ensured success. Thank you guys.

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The recipes:

Moscato Jelly with White Chocolate and Caviar

The beauty of sparkling wine jelly, (if made right) is the bubbles are ‘trapped’ mid-flight. If it doesn’t look promising when its ready, relax for the bubbles do develop overnight. Best to mkae this at least a day ahead. I made mine two days before my friend’s visit.

#1: Moscato Jelly

Adapted from Jill Dupleix, who adapted it from Heston Blumenthal’s Kir Royale jelly
Serves 6- 8

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Ingredients

750ml Champagne or sparkling wine {I used Moscato)
100ml creme de cassis or other berry liqueur {I used cassis/blackcurrant cordial}
150g caster sugar
9 gold-strength or 6 titanium-strength gelatine leaves {I used 6 ‘regular’ gelatine leaves}

How to

Place six wine glasses or 8 small glasses in the deep freezer for 15 minutes.

Soak the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water for 3 minutes. {Alternatively, follow the instructions on your pack of gelatine leaves. You can also use gelatine powder, adjust the required amount according to the volume of liquid you’re using}.

Open the champagne/wine, pour 150 ml into a pan, and reseal the bottle with a wine cork. {This is where things could have gone really wrong for me as my cork broke. Thankfully,  I had some Ikea wine corks to hand when I finally extracted the fragments of a once-whole cork!}

Add the sugar and creme de cassis/cassis cordial to the champagne/wine and gently heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved (without letting it boil or even get too hot). Remove from the heat.

Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine leaves and add to the mixture, whisking continuously until dissolved. Pour into a jug. Pour around 50 ml into each glass, and slowly and gently top with champagne/wine, trying to minimise the frothing. Return the glasses to the freezer for 20 minutes, then transfer to the fridge and leave overnight before serving.

{I used two shapes of glasses. One formed nice bubbles as soon as they came out of the freezer (Ellipse-shaped glasses). The others didn’t (Tumblers). Because I’d read the trails and travails of those who had gone before me, I knew that there was still time for things to go ‘right’.}

And ‘right’ they did! I kept nudging them a bit till I went to bed, just giving the glasses a little shake and truly, the next morning, they all had bubbles in them. It was interesting to note though that the jelly in the Ellipse glasses formed differently (individual bubbles) from those in the tumblers (bubble chains).

#2: White Chocolate shavings

When Heston pairs his white chocolate with beluga, he suggests making round discs of chocolate. To quote:

‘… the sensation of these sweets is heightened if you place the chocolate and caviar disc on the tongue, close your mouth and leave to melt. As the chocolate melts, the caviar flavour comes through gradually. You will be amazed by the pleasure of the changing flavours and sensations’.

I preferred to make shavings of mine because I wanted melt-in-your-mouth to go with the jelly.

IMG_7794Ingredients

White chocolate

How to

I used up all the white chocolate I had left in making this, about 100g

Melt chocolate in a bain marie {safer than scorching and ruining it in the microwave!}

Once melted, spread on a silicone mat (or a cold, stone surface.)

I like to refrigerate it at this point…if its on a mat.

When cold, use a sharp knife to draw the curls.

You can also cut out disks and other shapes

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#3: Caviar

Buy. I haven’t tried harvesting some….yet :-)

To serve, sprinkle some white chocolate shavings over the top of the jelly, when set and top with some caviar. Provide a spoon, tuck in and enjoy………

We enjoyed it. The husband, the friend and I, altogether. The husband lauded food….and its advancements. M ♥d the jelly and chocolate but not the caviar. I loved the combination and the ‘daring’. Very ‘fleur de sel et caramel’ or is it au caramel. Anyhow, I am a big fan of sweet and salted and this falls smack in that basket.

The jelly has a peachy hue. M says it reminiscent of some ‘real’ rose champagne her and her hubby had a few Christmases ago. I mentioned that I thought rose champagne was pink!

IMG_7800Anyhow, it sets very well and the beauty of it is the bubbles entrained in it, give it a lightness and softness, which you get in only the very best jellies, if I might say so myself. It had the perfect balance of sweetness to enhance and accentuate the cleansing flavours of the wine. I love it.

IMG_7762As you dip your spoon into the jelly and it opens up a bubble, you see your jelly lightly quiver, alive with ‘perfection’. The shavings of white chocolate work super well. They mix in with and lightly ‘twist’ the taste, especially when the caviar hits.

IMG_7819So what if it isn’t beluga or sevruga, it still tastes good. I suggest going easy with the caviar. I topped each glass with 1/4 – 1/2 a teaspoon. See how it goes and feel free to offer extra for the daring at heart!

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As I played about and experimented, I came to the conclusion that I’ll have to try another wine jelly, to serve with chicken (maybe some chicken mousse). It’ll likely have grated Parmesan shavings and caviar, all mixed up in the jelly, but we’ll see. That’ll be further down the road. After Barbados! As in my holiday, which isn’t till next week Wednesday by the way!

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Take care and enjoy the weekend. *Mwah*

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