Watching Nigella ooze “curiously pleasurable” gooey gelatine leaves between her fingers, seductively describing the clarity of jelly instantly inspired me to create towers of delicate boozy jellies. In reality every time I felt the urge to make a stunning wibbly wobbly castle, the mysteriousness of using gelatine has made me instinctively reach for a packet of Aeroplane. A decade later, I’m finally making my attempt at this curiously pleasurable act and am pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. Unfortunately, as this jelly is in preparation for Boo’s second birthday party, there’s a distinct lack of booze. With or without the pretty fruit and flowers, the fizz in the sparkling apple juice adds a delicious zing to this jelly. Of course, by all means substitute the sparkling apple juice with Prosecco if you can’t handle your jelly without the booze.
8 leaves gelatine (approx.13g)
140ml elderflower cordial
425ml sparkling apple juice (chilled)
250g blueberries or other berries
Glass serving dishes (individual serving size or a larger single mould)
Divide the fruit and petals (if using) into your serving dishes and refrigerate. If using individual dishes, placing these on a tray makes it easier to move them around.
Soak the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water as per the instructions (for McKenzie 5-7 minutes).
Place the cordial in a bowl over a saucepan on medium heat. For this recipe, I’ve used my homemade clementine elderflower cordial which results in a deeper colour than plain elderflower.
Drain the gelatine leaves and stir into the warmed cordial until combined into a smooth syrup and remove from the heat. Let sit at room temperature for a few minutes.
Very, very slowly pour in the sparkling apple juice and stir gently. Scoop the froth off the top and discard.
Remove the dishes from the fridge and slowly pour in the jelly mixture. Use a skewer to manoeuvre the fruit and petals so they look pretty through the glass.
Refrigerate until set.