Raspberries and Cream on Coffee and Ginger Jelly Dessert Recipe
It is amazing the number of people (even some professional chefs!) who hate preparing a dessert course. This is probably more than anything due to the fact that desserts are sometimes considered to be especially complicated and time consuming in their preparation in comparison to other courses, with an extra number of potential pitfalls and things which can go horribly wrong. While these perceptions are often justified, the good news is that not all attractive and tasty desserts require an excess of hands on preparation time, or complex and risky procedures to be followed.
This dessert idea does not take much active preparation time, with the time required for the jelly to set being entirely hands off, allowing you to go and get on with other things. It is also very simple, with no difficult culinary techniques involved. There is one thing it is important to point out, however, in relation to this recipe and that is the quantity of leaf gelatine used to set the jelly. The first time the dish was made, although the jelly did set, the raspberries and cream started to sink in to it as soon as they were added. For this reason, the gelatine quantity used thereafter has been one and a half times what the pack recommends with far superior results.
Prep time: 3 hours (includes fridge setting time for jelly)
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: Approximately 3 hours
Yields: 2 servings
- Leaf gelatine as required to set ½ pint of liquid (check pack instructions and see note above)
- ½ pint prepared coffee
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 8 small squares (approx 2 ounces) dark cooking chocolate, plus a little bit extra for grating as garnish
- ½ pint double/heavy or whipping cream
- ¼ pound (approximately 24 in number) fresh raspberries, husked and washed, plus a few extra to garnish
- Two small mint sprigs for garnish
- 6 small ginger biscuits/cookies to serve
The leaf gelatine in this instance (as is often the case) required to be steeped in cold water for five minutes before it could be used in the main recipe. While this was happening, the coffee was made and measured out and the chocolate, sugar and ginger were made ready.
The coffee went in to a small saucepan with the sugar and ginger to be brought to a very gentle simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. The chocolate was broken up and added to melt.
When the leaf gelatine was finished steeping, the excess moisture was squeezed from it by hand before it was added to the saucepan. Heat as gently as possible for another couple of minutes, stirring all the time, to ensure the gelatine is fully melted and combined. Be sure not to let the liquid boil.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave for about five minutes only to cool slightly. After this time, be sure to give it a further thorough stir before pouring evenly in to two serving dishes. If you don't stir it again at this stage, the gelatine may have separated slightly and you won't get an even set.
Cover the dishes and leave to cool completely (around half an hour), by which time the jelly should just have started to set. Lift carefully to the fridge for a further hour and a half minimum (all day or even overnight would be great if time permits) for the jelly to set completely.
These raspberries were bought conveniently prehusked but it is still imperative that they be washed carefully in cold water before being drained in a colander.
Arrange the raspberries as shown on the set jelly. A good tip is to lay them on with their cup sides (where the husks were) down. This stops the cream seeping unevenly in to the cups and spoiling your final presentation.
Pour the cream in to a suitable bowl or basin and beat with a balloon whisk until soft peaks start to form and no more. If you whip too much, it is butter that will start to form and you will never be able to spoon it attractively on to your raspberries.
Use a dessertspoon to carefully spoon dollops of cream on top of the raspberries. Don't be tempted to add too much - any excess remaining can be deemed to be chef/cook's privileges for supping, as it won't keep long in the fridge...
Take a small piece of chocolate and a hand grater and grate chocolate over the dessert to garnish.
A small sprig of fresh mint in the centre of the cream makes for an attractive and colourful final touch.
Lay each dessert dish on a larger serving plate with the ginger biscuits/cookies. A raspberry was placed on each ginger accompaniment (see top photo) as one last finishing touch.
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© 2014 Gordon Hamilton
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