Jelly, the making of.

In making this jelly, I needed to take into consideration a couple of things – vegan/vegetarianism and intolerances. Personally, i’d rather not eat gelatine, and know plenty of people intolerant to wheat, gluten and/or dairy, so I used plant based ingredients for all of it. This included using agar agar, which isn’t actually as difficult as masterchef made it out to be.

The ‘tastes’ I went for are:

1. Sour – balsamic vinegar
2. Salty – yeast extract (marmite, essentially)
3. Bitter – raw cacao
4. Umami – umami paste
5. Sweet – honey

And the process of making these was as follows;

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Collect your ingredients. Really simple, you need agar powder, charcoal tablet for dying (not toxic, actually quite good for you) and your taste. Generally liquid to semi solid ingredients work best, should definitely be soluble in water. Also useful to have an ice cube/cake pop tray, jug, hot water, pan, scales and a whisk to hand.

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Weigh 4g of agar. I used a coffee filter as my surface, made it a lot easier to transport.

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Dissolve your ingredient into 350ml of water. I used two tablespoons of yeast extract for this example, I found that to be the case for honey too. Balsamic was more like 100ml to 250ml of water, and ended up using 3 tablespoons of cacao. I fear I didnt use nearly enough umami paste.

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Also pop in a charcoal tablet or two, this shouldn’t change the taste. Better to cut it open and deposit the charcoal that way, instead of dissolving the tablet, seeing as though I was being conscious of the gelatine content.

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Pop into the pan, bring to the boil then add the agar and simmer for 4 minutes, whisking all the while to ensure there are no lumps of charcoal or agar.

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Deposit into your mould – I found that 350ml was just perfect for this silicone cake pop tray. Leave to set slightly, then pop over some clingfilm and leave for a few hours. Don’t put these in the fridge while they are setting, the condensation will be ugly.

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Remove your jelly from the mould. I thought they looked fascinating and delicious until I remembered they were marmite flavoured, honestly, marmite jelly isn’t all that.

I repeated this for all of my ingredients. The honey took quite a long time to set, maybe because of the sugar content, they are still not completely set, so be aware of this one. I’m now storing them in the fridge until they are easy to use.

Excellent!