Champagne You Can Eat
Solid champagne? With a little plain gelatin and sugar, champagne or any sparkling wine becomes an adult Jello. Our Champagne Gelée with Raspberries & Pomegranate is perfect for New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day or really any time you want a sophisticated, spirited treat. Looking forward to Valentine’s Day, this would be a lovely addition to a romantic meal.
It is cool, light, elegant and yes, the alcohol is full-strength so make this an adult dessert. Sparkling wine is given the Green Light by Monash in quantities of 5 ounces/150 ml, or about one standard serving in a champagne flute. Makes me want to create more recipes using my favorite alcohol!
Raspberries, Pomegranate & Champagne, Oh My!
You could prepare this dessert without the fruit, but we think the ruby-red berries and pomegranate seeds (called arils, for your next Scrabble game) look beautiful suspended within the golden-hued gelée. Use clear stemware to show off all this tasty prettiness, but pick and choose the shape of your vessels as you see fit. Volumes of 4 ounces to 6 ounces work best (120 ml to 180 ml).
Individual Servings or a Centerpiece
You can dole out the gelée into individual glasses or you can create a buffet centerpiece by using a mold, in which case you need a 4 cup (960 ml) mold.
Gild the Lily? Gild the Dessert
I provide you with an option of adding real gold to the dessert. Yes, gild the dessert! Actually, the original Shakespearean quote from his play, King John, was:
“To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, / To throw a perfume on the violet, / To smooth the ice, or add another hue / Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light / To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, / Is wasteful and ridiculous excess”
But we all say “gild the lily” that the Oxford English Dictionary defines as:
“to paint (or to gild) the lily: to embellish excessively, to add ornament where none is needed.”
So what does this have to do with my champagne dessert? Well, take a look below. It makes this dessert super special. Real 23 karat or 24 karat gold leaf is used around the world in foods as varied as a cinnamon flavored liqueur (Goldschlager) to Japanese and European desserts. (You can read more about it in the Encyclopedia of our sister site, Bakepedia). Gold leaf comes in thin sheets and can be found at fine art supply stores. It is edible in the sense that it is inert and is not absorbed into your digestive system. Put another way, it just goes right through. Use tweezers to pull off tiny pieces of the ultra-thin gold and place small pieces within the gelée along with the fruits, if you want to – gild the lily. We’ll go with the common idiom.
If you would like to watch a video of Dédé demonstrating how to make a very similar recipe back in her Bakepedia days- you can find that here! Or just scroll below the recipe!
Champagne Gelée with Raspberries & Pomegranate
This adult dessert of Champagne Gelée with Raspberries & Pomegranate is a perfect way to end a celebratory meal.
- 1, 750 ml. bottle sparkling white wine, Prosecco or Champagne
- 2/3 cup (131 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 or 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin, such as Knox - see Instructions below
- 6 ounces (170 g) fresh firm raspberries (about 1⅓ cups)
- 1/4 cup (44 g) pomegranate seeds
- 3 sheets of 23-karat gold leaf optional
If you will be unmolding the gelée, use 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons gelatin. If you are making this for serving in goblets, use 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon gelatin.
Prepare Single Mold or Several Glasses: Very lightly coat a 4 cup (960 ml) mold with nonstick spray. Alternately, have 6 clear glasses ready. (Their volume can vary but between 4 and 6 ounces (120 ml to 180 ml) works best).
Pour about half the bottle of sparkling wine in a non-reactive saucepan; you can do this by eye. Gently whisk in sugar and lemon juice, allowing bubbles to subside. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the wine; avoiding any clumping in one spot. Allow the gelatin to soften for 5 minutes. Heat over medium heat, occasionally whisking gently, until sugar and gelatin are dissolved. Remove from heat and pour into a large 4 cup (960 ml) measuring cup; gently whisk in remaining sparkling wine. Let the mixture sit for a few moments for bubbles and foam to subside and skim off any remaining foam.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes and check the texture. You are looking for the moment when it just starts to thicken. Check every 10 to 20 minutes until it has thickened, but is still pourable. If you miss the window and the gelatin has set too firm, zap it for 10 seconds in the microwave to re-liquify.
Pour a little of the gelée into the prepared mold (or your glasses). Add a few berries and some pomegranate seeds and a bit of gold, if using, which you can put in place with a tweezer. Add more gelatin mixture and repeat with fruit and gold until you have used up all of the gelatin. (You might have fruit left over.)
Refrigerate overnight. To unmold the mold, fill a large, deep bowl with warm water. Dip the mold into the water all the way to the top for about 5 seconds, then remove from warm water. Tip the mold gently and see if the edges of the gelatin are coming free. Place platter on top of the mold and invert. Repeat warm-water technique if necessary. Serve cold. Gelée in glasses can be served as is. Serve with extra berries, if you like.
- If you would like to serve more, the recipe can easily be doubled. Use an 8 cup (2 L) mold.
- These days, many supermarkets such as Whole Foods carry pomegranate seeds in small containers. This saves you prep time. Conveniently, they are often right near the raspberries!