Orange and Beetroot Jelly
Specialty Equipment: juicer
Specialty Ingredients: gelatine 170 Bloom
Dish as in The Fat Duck:
Are those two small squares a Fat Duck dish? It looks so damn straightforward? Indeed, this recipe is not even a page long, at most one third. It is not so much about the flavor, more about our perception of food. The yellow jelly looks like orange and the red jelly like beetroot, but they are not. Blood oranges and yellow beetroots allow for a reversal in color. Factors outside this plate of food will, for most, make us assume yellow is orange and red beetroot. I never had this jelly before being aware of the reversal, so I can’t comment on it, but I’ve read some reviews about the surprise caused by this dish. I’m gonna give it to some unsuspecting diners, I just haven’t got around to it. I’ll update the post when I do.
What I did do was photograph the end result in a real studio. The humble jellies got a royal treatment. I’m taking a course in photography and today we had a chance to shoot some pictures in a studio. With the risk of everyone thinking I’m a complete idiot, if there was not already some inclination towards that feeling, I took the red and yellow squares with me.
Blood oranges and yellow beetroots.
Juicing blood oranges, reducing it with some unrefined sugar and gel it with gelatine.
Damn, the yellow beetroots were the reason for a lot of frustration. I juiced them like any other dish, peeling them, chopping it in a mixer and pushing the liquid out in a hair net. It ended not once, but two times in disaster. For some reason the juice turned green after a while. I think the process is jumpstarted by heating the juice. If anyone knows why let me know.
The first time I thought there was something wrong with the beetroots. The second time I started to look what could cause it and saw some small green particles in the pan and the hair net. I don’t know what they are, but they made making this simple dish hell.
The third time I took no risks. My solution:
- I immediately added some vitamin C to the juice to stop any possible discoloration.
- I passed the juice through several layers of hair nets to block any green particles.
- I didn’t heat the beetroot juice to dissolve the gelatine. Instead I used a bit of water, so the juice didn’t need to be heated.
It worked and I ended up with yellow jellies. Phew. I don’t think I could have handled a fourth attempt.
I’ll update this part when I have the chance to mess with some people.