Pink Champagne Jellies with Champagne Cream
This is a tried and trusted recipe and one of my personal favourites. The Champagne cream is best made at the last minute, with Champagne from a freshly opened bottle – it's a great experience actually eating it with all the bubbles in it, and you can always drink the rest of the Champagne!
To make the jelly, first soak the leaves of gelatine in a bowl of cold water until soft (about 5 minutes).
Next, measure 15 fl oz (425 ml) of water into a saucepan, scrub the lemon then, using a peeler, pare off the coloured part only of the zest, add this to the pan, along with the sugar, and bring up to simmering point.
After that, take the pan off the heat, squeeze the leaves of gelatine with your hand to remove the excess water and add them to the hot lemon and water mixture, whisking all the time with a balloon whisk until the gelatine has melted.
Add the juice of the lemon, then strain the contents of the pan into a large bowl either through a coffee filter or a fine sieve lined with muslin or gauze. Leave to cool, then cover and chill in the fridge until the jelly is on the point of setting.
This should take about 1-1½ hours.
After that, uncork the Champagne, measure out 10 fl oz (275 ml) and pour it into the jelly, stirring once or twice to blend everything together. Then ladle the jelly gently into serving glasses, trying to conserve as many bubbles as you can so they will be apparent when the jelly is eaten.
Chill the jellies, covered with clingfilm, for 4 hours, by which time they should be deliciously soft set.
For the cream, no real measurement here, I'm afraid, because the Champagne has to be poured straight from the bottle and whisked into the cream – but we have calculated that 6 guessed tablespoons is about right for 5 fl oz (150 ml) of softly whipped double cream.
Note If you'd prefer to use powdered gelatine instead of leaf, sprinkle the contents of an 11.7 g sachet over 2 tablespoons of water in a small heatproof bowl, placed in a saucepan of simmering water.
Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Whisk into the hot lemon and water mixture as above.