For some reason I landed up with three bottles of Champagne (technically MCC here in South Africa) in my fridge this weekend. Not that that’s a problem of course but it was a source of some inspiration. Couple that with the most adorable little old fashioned glasses I found on sale and boom you have an old school retro Champagne and Mixed Berry Jelly Dessert coming your way!
Your goal here is making the jelly in such a way that you trap the carbon dioxide bubbles from the Champagne into the jelly. It gives you delightful little tingles as you eat it. You can achieve this if everything is as cold as possible thereby setting your jelly with some speed!
You can use whatever type of sparkling wine floats your boat. Champagne, MCC, Prosecco, Cava etc Just make sure you select something dry. If you go for semi-sweet you should leave out or greatly reduce the amount of thyme syrup involved. I used Môreson Brut Rosé in my jelly as the colour is gorgeous and well it’s delicious!
Bubbly & Berry Jelly
a mix of seasonal berries
450ml sparkling wine (The rest of the bottle is for the chef)
4 leaves gelatine
125ml thyme syrup
1 bunch fresh thyme
two handfuls fresh strawberries
juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp icing sugar
The bubbly needs to be icy cold. So either put a bottle in the fridge the day before or place one in the freezer for a few hours, keeping a close eye on it. Next move onto choosing your glasses. You want enough space for some fruit and jelly and the coulis topping. A dollop of vanilla ice cream on top would also go down swimmingly.
Place your mixed berries into each glass. Pop your glasses onto a tray and place in the fridge.
Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water. Add a couple of ice cubes to ensure the gelatine does not disintegrate or begin melting.
Place the 100g of sugar and 100ml of water along with the bunch of fresh thyme in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the sugar has dissolved pour 125ml of syrup into a little bowl and pick out the thyme leaving a few little leaves behind for flavour and because it looks darn pretty.
Squeeze the water out of your gelatine leaves. Your syrup should have cooled slightly by now. Add your softened gelatine to the warm syrup and using a whisk mix it in thoroughly until you see no traces of the gelatine.
Remove the bottle of bubbles from the fridge and pour 450ml into your syrup mixture and stir. Pour gently so you do not end up with a giant foam bath.
Fill your chilled fruit glasses with the jelly and place in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or until set.
Now for the berry coulis. Place all your ingredients into a jug and using a blender of your choice, blend until smooth.
Serve your summer berry jellies with a thin layer of the coulis or a dollop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!