For Chocolate Lovers only
 
 

Fruit Gelatin with White Chocolate Whipped Cream

Tips:
Everyone knows about packaged just-add-water gelatin desserts you can buy in a market, but I dislike using them. They’re always too sweet and filled with artificial flavors and colors; who needs that? These gelatins contain fruit juice, unflavored gelatin, and sugar; you can even vary the amount of sugar to taste. Once made, the gelatin portion of this dessert will keep for at least three days in the fridge, tightly covered. By the way, I’ve found it easiest to use superfine granulated sugar in making this dessert, as it dissolves quickly, easily, and completely. You can buy superfine granulated sugar if you wish, but it’s easy to make by processing regular granulated sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process at high speed just until sugar is in very fine granules. For flavor variations, see the Note at the end of the recipe, or invent your own!

There are two ways to assemble this dessert. The simplest (and most virtuous) way is to divide the gelatin among four custard cups or wine glasses, allow it to set, then serve each with a dollop of the white chocolate whipped cream on top. You’ll have leftover white chocolate whipped cream if you do this, but that goes beautifully with fresh strawberries or a chocolate pound cake (or both!). Alternatively, pour the liquid gelatin into a 7 by 11 inch nonaluminum pan. Allow it to set. Using a flat knife and being careful not to scratch your pan, divide the gelatin into four equal portions, then score each portion into small cubes. For each serving, you’ll need an 8 or 9 ounce wine glass or mug, preferably of clear glass. Place a heaping teaspoonful (not a measuring teaspoon) of the whipped cream in the bottom of the glass and spread it to make an even layer. Take half the cubes of one portion of gelatin and drop them as evenly as possible over the cream. Place another heaping teaspoon or two of the white chocolate whipped cream over the gelatin cubes and spread into an even layer; top that with the other half of the gelatin cubes for that portion, then a final dollop of the white chocolate whipped cream. The key to this “parfait” is not to use too much of the white chocolate whipped cream, which can easily overwhelm even a more strongly-flavored fruit gelatin, such as blueberry. Incidentally, once the “parfaits” are assembled, serve them immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

    White Chocolate Whipped Cream:
  • 3 ounces best-quality white chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
    Fruit Gelatin:
  • 2 cups unsweetened blueberry juice (I use Lakewood Organic Fresh Pressed Blueberry Juice; see Note)
  • 1 envelope (7 grams) unflavored gelatin
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. superfine granulated sugar

Method:

For White Chocolate Whipped Cream:
Chill a small nonaluminum bowl and beater(s) for a handheld electric mixer.

Place very finely chopped white chocolate in small microwaveable bowl. Heat 1/4 cup heavy cream (reserve remainder) over low heat in small pan, stirring often (or, alternatively, in microwave) until very hot. Remove from heat. Pour about half of the hot cream over the chocolate. Allow to stand for a minute or two, then stir or whisk very gently until smooth. Gradually add remaining heated cream, stirring or whisking gently after each addition until smooth. (White chocolate can sometimes be stubborn about melting. If you cannot get this mixture smooth, process in food processor fitted with a steel blade at high speed for a few seconds, just until smooth.) Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

At high speed, beat remaining 3/4 cup cream in chilled bowl with chilled beater(s) just until you can see the beater(s) leaving marks in the cream. All at once, add cooled white chocolate mixture (if this mixture is at all warm, it may deflate the cream). Beat again at high speed just until mixture stands in stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the cream over on itself a few times, to make sure everything is well-blended. Turn into a container of about two cup capacity (if I’m making the parfaits here, I’ll turn the cream into a two-cup liquid measure, which will enable me to keep an eye on how much I’m using per parfait). Chill. When cold, cover container with a paper towel cut slightly larger than top dimensions of container, then cover tightly with plastic wrap (this prevents any condensation that forms from dripping back into the cream). Use within three days.

Place very finely chopped white chocolate in small microwaveable bowl. Heat 1/4 cup heavy cream (reserve remainder) over low heat in small pan, stirring often (or, alternatively, in microwave) until very hot. Remove from heat. Pour about half of the hot cream over the chocolate. Allow to stand for a minute or two, then stir or whisk very gently until smooth. Gradually add remaining heated cream, stirring or whisking gently after each addition until smooth. (White chocolate can sometimes be stubborn about melting. If you cannot get this mixture smooth, process in food processor fitted with a steel blade at high speed for a few seconds, just until smooth.) Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

At high speed, beat remaining 3/4 cup cream in chilled bowl with chilled beater(s) just until you can see the beater(s) leaving marks in the cream. All at once, add cooled white chocolate mixture (if this mixture is at all warm, it may deflate the cream). Beat again at high speed just until mixture stands in stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the cream over on itself a few times, to make sure everything is well-blended. Turn into a container of about two cup capacity (if I’m making the parfaits here, I’ll turn the cream into a two-cup liquid measure, which will enable me to keep an eye on how much I’m using per parfait). Chill. When cold, cover container with a paper towel cut slightly larger than top dimensions of container, then cover tightly with plastic wrap (this prevents any condensation that forms from dripping back into the cream). Use within three days.

For Gelatin:
Have ready four custard cups of 6 ounce capacity OR four wine glasses of 7 ounce capacity OR a 7 by 11 inch nonaluminum pan.

Measure the 2 cups of fruit juice in a two-cup liquid measure. Pour 1-1/2 cups into a medium, nonaluminum bowl. Sprinkle the envelope of gelatin onto the remaining 1/2 cup juice in the two-cup measure, and stir thoroughly with a small metal spoon to blend everything well. Allow to stand for 5 to 10 minutes; the gelatin mixture will thicken somewhat during this time.

While you wait, heat in a small saucepan enough water to come an inch or two up the side of the two-cup liquid measure; the pot in which you heat this water should be able to accommodate your two-cup liquid measure. In addition, add the sugar to the 1-1/2 cups of juice, and stir with a large spoon to dissolve it completely.

Place the two-cup liquid measure into the heated water, which should be steaming or simmering, and turn off the heat. Allow the cup to stand in the hot water for several minutes, stirring often with the spoon. As the gelatin mixture heats, it will thin out. You want to make certain that the gelatin granules are dissolved (easiest to see with a metal spoon), but you don’t want to overheat the gelatin, so check it often. When the gelatin is dissolved, remove the cup from the hot water; dry bottom and sides of the cup. Pour the dissolved gelatin mixture into the sweetened juice, and stir gently to blend everything well. If you wish, pour this mixture into a small pitcher (or back into the two cup measure) for easier portioning. Divide mixture evenly among custard cups or wine glasses, or pour all of it into the 7 by 11 pan.

Chill fruit gelatin at least one hour (if it’s in the 7 by 11 pan) or at least two hours if it’s in custard cups or wine glasses. Serve as desired (see introduction to recipe). To store, cover custard cups or wine glasses tightly with plastic wrap; consume gelatin within a few days. This does not freeze.

Note: Lakewood also makes a blueberry juice blend, which I haven’t tried. I’ve also used these other fruit juices successfully: Dole (unsweetened) Pineapple Juice (with 1/3 cup superfine sugar); Bionaturae Organic Apricot Nectar (with 1/4 cup superfine sugar); and R.W. Knudsen Just Black Cherry Juice (with 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar). While it is possible to make any of these fruit gelatins entirely without sugar, I find that doing so causes too great a sweetness contrast between gelatin and whipped cream

go to top of page

© Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your own computer for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.