the appetizer:

Make restaurant-quality desserts at home with Indulge by Claire Clark, including recipes for Almond Roches, Hibiscus Jellies with Red Berries, and Black Forest Trifle; plus tips and techniques like Tempering Chocolate.

I Love Desserts

Hibiscus Jellies with Red Berries

Serves 8-10

Hibiscus Jellies with Red Berries
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I buy dried hibiscus flowers from the local Chinese supermarket but they can also be found in some health food shops. If red berries are not in season, you can layer the jelly with other fruits, such as pomegranate seeds, black seedless grapes and blueberries.

This dessert looks good made in individual jelly moulds, if you can find them. However, you can also use tall shot glasses or pretty Champagne or dessert coupes.

Wash and dry the berries. Cut any strawberries into quarters.

Soak the gelatine in a large bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes, until it is completely soft, separating the leaves out as you place them in the water so they do not clump together. Remove from the water, squeeze out excess liquid and set aside.

Put the water, sugar and hibiscus flowers in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes, then strain through a fine sieve to remove the flowers. Add the 125g/4-1/2 oz raspberries to the liquid, return the pan to the heat and bring back to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the gelatine and stir until dissolved. Add the white wine. Whiz the mixture in a blender until smooth (you will probably have to do this in batches), then pass through a fine sieve to remove the raspberry seeds.

Put 8-10 jelly moulds or glasses on a tray and pour a little jelly into each one. Sprinkle in an assortment of berries. They should make a layer in the jelly. Place the tray in the fridge to set the jelly. Once the jelly is set, continue to layer with jelly and fruit until the dishes are full.

If using jelly moulds, sit each one in a bath of hot water for a few seconds to help release the jelly; when you turn it over, it should fall easily out of the mould on to a plate. Serve the jellies with more berries and a little fresh fruit sauce, if liked.


Claire's Notes

If you want the jelly to set quickly, cool it over a bowl of ice before filling the glasses.

If you are serving the jellies in glasses, you can reduce the amount of gelatine from 12 to 10 leaves. It is fine to make the jelly a little softer, as you will not be turning it out.

For a really floral jelly, replace 25ml/1fl oz of the white wine with elderflower syrup.


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This page created April 2008