I must admit this is very fiddly to do, and is only worth it if you have the time, but once you’ve mastered the principle you’ll be able to suspend any manner of fruits or sweets in jelly and turn any liquid into a wobbly delight. I’ve made this one with a lime cordial, but any clear liquid will do – you could even make a grown-up version with white wine. You’ll need a round glass bowl – the kind they use for flowers: they are easy to find on the internet, as are the pebble chocolates
- Concentrated lime cordial
- Leaf gelatine (for amount see recipe)
- Pebble chocolates
- 1 large carrot
- 1 currant
- A few fresh herbs
1. First fill your bowl with water and then pour it into a jug to measure the amount of liquid it holds. My bowl was very small and held just over a litre. Add the correct amount of cordial or other flavouring, with a little sugar if necessary.
2. As a rough guide, 1 leaf of gelatine sets just under 100ml of liquid, so I used 11 sheets.
3. Cut up the sheets into small pieces and put them in a small bowl. Add just enough of the liquid to cover, and leave for 10 mins or so until softened.
4. Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and allow the gelatine to melt, stirring every now and then. This can take up to 10 minutes.
5. Add the remaining liquid to the melted gelatine and stir well. Pour back into the measuring jug through a sieve to remove any tiny specks of un-melted gelatine.
6. While the liquid is cooling, remove the white stones from the chocolate pebbles (from past experience, I can tell you that the white ones make the liquid really cloudy, so have to be avoided!). (pic 3) Put the rest of the pebbles into the bottom of the bowl.
7. Once the liquid is completely cold, pour just enough over the stones to cover. Chill until the jelly is setting but not too firm. This can take from half an hour upwards.
8. Meanwhile, make a fish. Slice the carrot lengthways and use a thin middle section. Use a cutter or a paper template to cut out a fish shape (as you can see, my carrot wasn’t quite wide enough and I had to add little fins and stick them on with some jelly). Make a small dent with the tip of a knife and add a currant eye.
9. Add more liquid to the bowl up to the level where the fish will sit. Gently push some herbs into the stones at the bottom. Chill again until almost set as before.
10. Push the fish gently into the surface of the jelly, propping up with a cocktail stick as necessary and chill.
11. Once the jelly is almost set, fill up with remaining liquid and chill until firm.