Gelatin Desserts

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

gelatin desserts, also known as jellies, are made by a centuries-old practice that attests to the maker’s exceptional skill. With today’s ready-to-use commercial products, the triumph of molded gelatins sparkling on a candlelit mahogany dessert board to the admiration of dinner guests has been forgotten.

Gelatins can vary in flavor, shape, texture, color, and content. Thanks to its transparency and water-holding capacity as a setting agent, gelatin is one of the most versatile ingredients in a dessert maker’s repertoire. The dazzling array of sweets that can be made from gelatin depends on several factors: the amount of liquid used, the flavoring components, and the treatment of the gelatin during the various phases of jelling: syrupy; slightly thickened; very thick; set, but not firm; firmly set.