Chances are, you’ve eaten gelatin today without even realizing it. The ingredient is so common as a setting agent that it’s hard to imagine any kitchen not having at least one item that makes use of it. Gelatin can be found in everything from jam to ice cream, from beer to marshmallows. If you’re a home cook looking to expand your repertoire, gelatin is one of the most versatile and useful ingredients you can add to your arsenal. That said, you may not be sure where to start – there’s such a dizzying number of dishes that can be created with gelatin that it can be difficult to know which one to take on first. That’s why we at Custom Collagen have taken the time to collect some of our favorite gelatin and some of our best recipes, to ensure that you’re able to use this remarkable ingredient to its full potential.
Bakers gelatin is most commonly found in desserts, as anyone who grew up on Jell-O can attest to. Its uses go far beyond creating wobbly, artificially-colored blobs, however. As our selections below will illustrate, gelatin can be used in any recipe that calls for setting, firming or solidifying.
Custard – Though this recipe specifically indicates it to be used for cream puffs, the resulting custard is so deliciously thick and luscious that you’ll be tempted to eat it straight from the bowl. If you can resist that temptation, consider spooning it into store-bought or homemade pastry shells or using it as a topping for already-baked pastries or pies. It also works beautifully as a divider between cake layers.
Panna Cotta – Though our recipe suggests the classic pairing of fresh berries, you should by no means consider that the only way in which it can be served. Much like a basic cake recipe, you should consider these instructions as a base to work from as you experiment with your favorite flavors and toppings.
Vanilla Ice Cream – Likewise, this incredibly simple ice cream recipe can be adjusted in a countless number of ways to include an infinite assortment of different flavors and mix-ins. The gelatin will do its job no matter whether you go with cookies n’ cream or rocky road, so feel free to experiment. We suspect that your friends and family will happily volunteer as guinea pigs.
You don’t have to miss out on everything culinary gelatin has to offer just because you don’t have a sweet tooth. The setting agent can also be used in all sorts of savory creams and sauces, the resulting dishes are so delicious that you’ll wonder how you ever did without such an incredible and versatile ingredient.
Asparagus Terrine – A classic of French cuisine, a terrine is a pâté-like dish that’s typically made with coarsely-chopped and pressed meats. This vegetarian alternative can serve as a wonderfully elegant appetizer or side, the richness of the mayonnaise-based sauce paired perfectly with the cutting tang of the accompanying lemon juice and rocket salad.
Potato and Courgette (Zucchini) Towers – If you’ve got company to impress, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a dish more visually stunning or more satisfying to even the most sophisticated palate. The richness of the potatoes and cream make these towers as delectable as they are dramatic, with the courgettes (zucchini) providing a grounding, earthy note to keep things from getting too indulgent.
Though gelatin shots are the most common of alcoholic gelatin-based beverages, the truth is that gelatin can be used to make fun and delicious shots out of just about any spirit. With so many possibilities to choose from, you’ll be certain to find a new favorite drink no matter what your tastes or alcohol tolerance.
Vodka Shots – Vodka is the most customary alcohol used in the creation of gelatin shots, as its clarity and smoothness allows paired flavors to shine through with delicious precision. You’ll find a few classic recipes through that link and also a few bolder combinations, such as that boasted by the perfect, creamsicle-inspired balance of the Vanilla OJ Up Cups.
Whiskey Shots – Though this most American of spirits has a reputation for being staid and old-fashioned, these recipes take its classic, smoky notes and enhance them with flavors both new and familiar. The Jack Up Cups, for example, are a shootable version of the revered whiskey and Coke combination, while the Irish Apple Up Cups balance the spirit’s more savory flavors with the refreshing sweetness of apple schnapps.
Rum Shots – Rum serves as the base for countless beloved drinks, many of which we pay tribute to with our fun, fresh recipes. The Piña Up cups, for example, are the classic Piña Colada in a shot, while the Pineapple Berry Up cups invoke the fruity, refreshing flavors of the most delicious beachside drinks.
As useful as gelatin is, it sometimes gets a reputation as being a stoic or boring ingredient – many people think of it in the same way you might think of flour or cornstarch. Besides all the recipes using gelatin, there are many ways you can add gelatin including leaf sheet gelatin, gelatin powder and more. The sheer versatility it exhibits, however, makes gelatin an exciting ingredient with limitless possibilities. The recipes we’ve linked to here are but a tiny fraction of what’s possible with this setting agent. For more ideas, please feel free to visit our recipe page or to get in touch with one of our friendly and knowledgeable customer service associates. We look forward to hearing from you, and we wish you luck in discovering all the ways in which gelatin can make you a more well-rounded and capable cook.
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