Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How to thicken with Gelatin



We may all need to thicken with gelatin at some point in our life, and it is essential that we know what we do.
Unlike with the starch (corn or potato) that needs to be dissolved in cold water or cold liquid, things with gelatin are exactly opposite.
In order for gelatin to thicken anything, it needs first to be dissolved.
The order in which this process works is :
* choose your gelatin and dissolving liquid
* prepare a glass/cup and a teaspoon for stirring
* pour the gelatin
* let it soften for at least 5 to 10 minutes stirring intermittently
* dissolve by placing the glass/cup in a larger pot or bowl with very hot water and let stand for 5 to 10 more minutes, again stirring a bit
* it will start to look a bit thicker than the liquid you started with
* now it's ready to add to your other ingredient you needed to thicken !

And you can do that by pouring the granules into a glass or up, preferably transparent so you can clearly see what is happening, and then adding some warm to hot liquid over it and stirring with a teaspoon.
You may wonder if the liquid should be from withing the recipe's ingredients or not.
I really think it doesn't matter all that much....it's not like you will pour cups and cups of liquid in there.
So let's say you need to thicken some glaze or filling that is between 1 and 2 cups of liquid.
For that, 1 envelope of 7 gr of unflavored gelatin would do, and you would need to dissolve that into maybe 1/4 cup hot water or milk.
Now let's say you have to thicken 4 cups whipped cream and you do not know what to do, since the gelatin will be hot and the cream cold.
It's easy - you will use 2 envelops or 3 if you wish of gelatin which you will dissolve in up to 1,5 cups of warm to hot liquid.
You will need to stir the liquid and if you see it hasnt completely dissolved, put the cup/glass in a larger pot/bowl or very hot water and stir with a teaspoon.
You will see that in 2 to 5 minutes it will be completely dissolved.
Hope that helps !
Have fun !

*** Update
- I have recently found out an easier way to do this !!!
- for each 7 gr envelope of gelatin, use 1 cup of boiling water which you need to pour oven the gelatin into a bowl and stir for 5 minutes, until it is completely dissolved !
- easy !
- oh, and what if you forgot the gelatin on the counter or in the fridge and it has thickened and now you can't mix it in your filling or cream or whipped cream etc....then what ? then you heat it for 6 seconds in the microwave or using steam and voila ! you have it liquid all over again !

***Another update
I have found HERE what one of the greatest chefs (David Lebovitz) had to say about gelatin use. Please read before using gelatin.

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