Thursday, February 21, 2008
This is a recipe from Cookie magazine. I in no way endorse Cookie. I found it on epicurious while looking for a gelée recipe that would work. I had tried Thomas Keller's Concord Grape gelée to go with his peanut butter truffles. Get it? Peanut butter and gelée? His were made with fruit pectin and even though I believe that I followed the recipe to the T, the gelée failed to gel. Sad. The truffles were ridiculously good tho.
These cute little things called for gelatin. I cannot abide standard store bought gelatin. So often it smells to much like what it is -- skin, bones, hoofs. I have gelatin sheets that I've been wanting to try, but these needed to be moulded. So, I went with agar agar.
Agar agar comes from red seaweed. In China, certain types of swallows eat this red seaweed, spit it up to make nests that hang on the sides of cliffs. These nests are then harvested (at great peril to the harvesters as they have to hang from clifts to get to them) and then sold for A LOT of money to make birds nest soup out of.
The agar agar I used come unchewed or spit up. I think I once read someplace that it has 4 times more gelling action that gelatin, so I went with that when subing it in. I'm going to double check this.
You can buy it at most asian markets in powdered form.
Cookie calls them, gummies, but they are not at all gummy, so I renamed them.
Here is the recipe:
Mango Gelée 1 cup fruit juice (pure juice-not a fruit-flavored drink) or nectar, such as Goya, Mott's, or Kern's, chilled or at room temperature 1 1/4-ounce package gelatin ( I used half as much agar agar, just to be safe) Preparation 1. Lightly coat 16 tartlet molds or mini-muffin tins with oil. 2. Place 1/4 cup of the juice in a medium bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin. Let sit for 1 minute. 3. Meanwhile, in a small pan, bring the remaining juice to a boil. Add it to the gelatin mixture, stirring until the gelatin is dissolved. 4. Spoon the mixture into the molds. Chill in the refrigerator until set, 2 hours. 5. Pop the tartlets out. Serve them cold or at room temperature within 2 hours, or store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Tip You can buy plastic or metal tartlet molds ($1.50 and up each, surlatable.com). An 8-by-8-inch baking dish also works-once the whole thing is set, just cut it into squares with a knife, or into shapes with a cookie cutter.
These were nice. Cute. Kids ate half of them before they were even finished gelling. Sneaky evil kids. They reminded me of the little jelly candies that you can buy in china town in large tubs shaped like cats, or kids or teddy bears. Only healthier and without a huge amount of sugar.
I got the little tartlets from Surfas for $2.50. I think they will be great for making mini brioche someday.