Why use Gelatine?
So many recipes and cooking shows use gelatine, mainly leaf or sheet gelatine. With its lustrous gold shimmer who does not want to get their hands on a pack and making some deliciously decadent dishes, especially the luxurious Italian Panna Cotta.
Will using Gelatine sheets change the flavour of my dish?
Gelatine is virtually odourless and tasteless which makes it perfect as a thickening agent. It that forms a firm gel when combined with liquids. An interesting fact is that you can reverse the setting process, called “Theromreversibility”. Basically, once reheated above its original melting point, the gel returns to its liquid state. If you need to adjust the recipe either for sweetness or texture and then you can re-cool the dish.
Figure 1 – Titanium Gelatine Leaves
What is Gelatine made from?
It is a little confronting when you discovered where gelatine comes from, but it is not something that should turn you off its use. It is created from collagen which is a naturally occurring protein produced from the bones, cartilage, tendons, etc of edible animals. The gelatine that we use in cooking and food manufacture today is a result of the processing of Pigs and Beef Cattle. Gelatine can also be produced in your own home kitchen for products such as aspics by boiling bones for extended periods and cooling.
What can be made from Gelatine?
There are so many foods today that contain gelatine such as cream -based moulded desserts, thickened cold soups, marshmallows, and supermarket confectionery. Gelatine, in food manufacturing is also used as a stabilizer and a thickener in foods such as jams, yogurt and cream cheese. It is, more often than not, added to reduced-fat foods to simulate the feel of full fat, while creating volume without the calories, just think of how low-ft ice cream feels and tastes creamy – it’s not cream, but gelatine.
Figure 2 – Confectionery & Gelatine
Is Gelatine vegetarian or Kosher?
As gelatine comes directly from animal bone, tendons, etc there are problems regarding its kosher and vegetarian status, and as such there are very suitable alternative choices available, including agar-agar (also known as agar), guar gum, xanthan gum, and even pectin. These ingredients are commonly found on most Molecular Gastronomy websites.
Is sheet Gelatine just for Chefs or Bakers?
Absolutely not, using Gelatine is fantastic for the home cook. It can be easier to use than powdered Gelatine and it comes in many strengths, depending upon its use. Titanium Gelatine is commonly used when using alcohols or fruit while a gold strength is used where less setting is required, for cream or dairy based dishes.
Professional cooks and chefs often use leaf gelatine as it gives a clearer product with a much finer flavour. Many chefs also prefer the sheets as they are easier to use and give a clearer finish. When it comes to measuring the amount to use, it is safer to count sheets and not worrying about any left-over undissolved granules left in the finished dish.
Figure 3 – Panna Cotta made using Gelatine
How much Gelatine do I use?
If you wish to use leaf instead of powdered, you can substitute leaf gelatine for powdered by using this simple formula:
1 (0.25 oz.) pack powdered gelatine = 1 Tbs powdered gelatine = 3 sheets leaf gelatine.
Here are the basic steps for using gelatine leaf:
- Soak the required number of sheets in a bowl of cold water for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once the sheets are soft, remove the sheets from the water.
- Squeeze each gently to remove any excess water.
- Add sheets to room temperature liquid you are using for the dish, such as cream, alcohol or cooked fruit juice based. Heat the mixture, stirring until the gelatine is completely dissolved.
- Never boil the mixture as it will destroy the gelatine and the final product will not set.
Using gelatine in its many forms should not be something to run away from. Just following the simple rules above, do some experimenting and your next dinner party or gathering will result in some of the finest and most spectacular creations that will have your guests waxing lyrical for years.
Q. Where to buy Gelatine Leaves?
A. Thankfully superior quality gelatine leaves are becoming much easier to find than ever before. This is mainly due to the abundance of excellent cooking shows and chefs showing us how they actually create their food. Not only are some specialist supermarkets stocking packets, but you can also obtain them from various online marketplaces such as Amazon; this is perfect if you are living outside of Australia.
However, if you are buying in Australia Gourmet Goldmine’s online store sells both Gold and Titanium Strength Gelatine. These Leaves are of a fantastically high quality giving a wonderfully silky and smooth finish. When it comes to cooking, I know choosing the best quality and fantastic customer service is what you desire. At Gourmet Goldmine you get both, all the time.
Head over to
==> For Australian Buyers: Gourmet Goldmine Australia Gelatine
==> For International Orders, head over to Amazon.