So you’ve lost your job, the son and heir has just been expelled from school again, the car has been towed for obstructing the highway, the wife has found out where you actually go to every Wednesday afternoon and your world is just crashing down around your ears in general then be not be dismayed!
There is an answer, a return to the long lost, balmy days of childhood, teatime around the kitchen table when the world was young and of course – Jelly and Custard!
Quick and easy to make it can be as simple or involved as you wish to make it! Just a simple bowl containing just the key ingredients, with added tinned fruit such peaches and pineapple or as a full blown trifle!
The possibilities are endless. And my old friend Elizabeth Craig even wrote a book on the subject!
But surely gelatine is a meat product I hear you cry! What on earth are our vegan and vegetarian friends do? Very simple! They use one of the following substitutes.
What it’s made of :- Cooked and pressed algae.
Where is it most often used :- Asian desserts and firm jellies.
Flavour and texture :- Flavourless and has a firmer, less wobbly texture than gelatine.
Agar needs to be heated to dissolve properly. The powdered form of agar is easiest to measure and use; bars and flakes should be dissolved in water first or can be broken down into a powder using a coffee or spice grinder. It sets in about an hour at room temperature.
1 tspn gelatine = 1 tspn agar powder (will set 1 cup of liquid) and
1 tspn agar powder = 1 tbs agar flakes = ½ agar bar
Carrageenan, Carrageen, or Irish Moss
What it’s made of :- Dried seaweed.
Where is it most often used :- Soft jellies, puddings, mousses, soups, ice creams, and dairy products.
Flavour and texture :- Flavourless and sets things more softly than regular gelatine.
How to use it :- Rinse it well and soak in water for about 12 hours until it swells, then boil it thoroughly with the liquid you want to set before straining it off.
To set 1 cup of liquid, use 1 ounce dried carrageen
What it’s made of :- vegetable gum, adipic acid, tapioca dextrin, calcium phosphate, and potassium citrate.
Where it’s often used :- Anywhere gelatine is used.
Flavour and texture :- Vegan gel sets softly and melts in the mouth. It is by far the closest thing to regular unflavoured gelatine going.
How to use it :- Beat this powder into cold water until dissolved.
1 tsp gelatine = 1½ tsp Vegan Jel