The gelatin commonly used to make desserts and other jelled foods is usually derived from animal skin and bones. It acts as a thickening agent and can be utilized in a variety of culinary applications including making desserts and jellies as mentioned above, mousses and many other types of food.
This article, therefore, is meant to provide you with some essential tips and tricks that you need to know when using gelatin to make desserts.
The various types of Gelatin
Other than the protein-based gelatin, there is also vegetarian gelatins derived from seaweed. It is called carrageenan. And in molecular cooking, kappa carrageenan is mostly used as a thickeningor stabilizing agent in jellification processes.
Carrageenan can be used in its dried seaweed form or powder form. Both of these different forms of gelatin can be substitutedfor each other in a dessert recipe. However, in modernist cooking, powdered carrageenan is widely used than the seaweed form.
Preparing the Gelatin
Before using any type of gelatin to make your dessert, it essential that you soak it in water to let the gelatin molecules separate. This is to prevent them from clumping together when placed in hot/warm liquids.
When using dried carrageenan, let it soak for about 12 hours and then boil it together with the liquid you want to set. If it’s the powdered form, disperse it in cold water and let it sit for a while then boil it together with the liquid you want to set.
For the protein gelatin, the preparation process is relatively similar because you will also have to soak it in cold water and after it has bloomed, you can then boil it with your liquid of choice.
Proper Gellification with carrageenan occurs when the thickening agent is added to fluids with calcium of potassium content in it. If the liquid you want to set lacks these minerals, then you will have to add either of them manually before gelling.
Also, ensure that you have prepared all your equipment including the molds beforehand. You shouldn’t allow the mixture to start setting before you pour them into the molds. The results might not be impressive.
Lastly, remember to be careful when using protein gelatin to set liquids thatcontain protein cutting enzymes i.e. protease. This is because once they comeinto contact with then gelatinmolecules, these enzymes will cut the molecules down to levels that cannot set your liquid as desired.
The fruits to be careful with include, paw paw, pineapple, figs, and kiwi. If you have to use any of these fruits, cook them beforehand or buy the canned ones as this will cause the enzymes to be denatured and thus rendered inactive.
In conclusion, you need to understand that gelatin can help you make some really great jelly desserts. If you have been having trouble creating and serving guests and family well-made and delicious desserts, then it’s time you surprised them with something new.
Just remember that if gelatin is intolerable, you can opt to use carrageenan, it works as perfectly and maybe even better.