from one generation to the next
and the perils of sugar cookery in the tropics.
Cooking in a tropical climate has presented me with many previously unencountered challenges!
Melbourne, my home town is in a temperate zone. Our summers are generally hot and dry, though increasing humidity comes as a result of climate change. Brisbane on the other hand is in a tropical zone with sultry summers.
Wanting to take advantage of having her Mum and cooking mentor in the kitchen, Leah was keen to experiment making confectionary, lokum and nougat were her main objectives. We both made a batch of Turkish delight with limited success, something to work on in the future. Leah has posted the details of her nougat journey on her blog.
My fruit jellies began with a pot of sweetened tea, a strong aromatic infusion of “Berries of the Forest” tea from Jones the Grocer which was too fruity as a beverage for our taste. I used the titanium strength gelatine I had brought from home along with an idea from Not Quite Nigella. The jellies set well, the texture was melt in your mouth, but they were still substantial enough to easily handle. The flavour was intensely berry, but sadly the sugar coating melted off the jellies once they were refrigerated.
It came to me while writing this that maybe condensation formed in the fridge was the sugar melting culprit so I moved a cube of berry jelly to a saucer on the kitchen bench and waited to see how it would fare. After a couple of hours the jelly was still holding it’s form and was still firm enough to handle, so I tossed it in white granulated cane sugar and waited. My jelly cubes held their form as did the sugar crystals. I recommend tossing only the quantity of jelly cubes you intend to serve in sugar crystals just before plating.
It’s with confidence that I can pass this recipe on. The berry flavour is fresh and intense.
Sweet Berry Jellies
2 cups strong berry tea make with 4 tablespoons tea and 2 1/2cups of water
2 cups sugar
9 titanium strength gelatine leaves
1/4 cup raspberry juice
Make a strong brew of tea and allow to steep for 1/2 hour.
Line a 25 cm square straight sided plastic container with plastic kitchen wrap.
Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water until pliable.
Measure the tea into a saucepan and add the sugar. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Drop the gelatine sheets into the hot syrup one at a time, stirring after each sheet is added.
Stir in the berry juice.
Allow to cool, then pour into the lined container.
Chill until set or overnight.
Tip the jelly onto a cutting board and cut into cubes.
To serve, toss the jellies in granulated sugar.
Pack unsugared jelly cubes into an airtight container and store in a the fridge.