Just because I'm on a low carb, low fat diet doesn't mean I can't cook nice things. The world won't stop turning and I'm not going to stop baking.
It does however take a lot more initial thought and imagination (unless I've no intention of eating what I'm making). General meals are easy and very little effort, but treats take a lot of thought.
I came up with the idea for these last week and was desperate to get round to making them. I knew Oliver would love them if nothing else !
These pretty little jellies require very few ingredients and are easy for any cooking novice to make. However, if you want to make thin multi-coloured layer jellies (rather than one colour) it does take a little patience. Thicker layers like the other one I did in a 1lb silicone loaf mould are easy to do as you simply pour the mix in one lot at a time.
A graduated disposable pippette is essential. They are really really cheap - I've just bought a pack of 100 from Ebay for £3.70 including post (see item number). I'd also advise the use of a silicone bakeware mould - it makes jelly making SO easy. This mould is a brand new design we've got in called 6 JAGGY HEART. Blame Richard for the name ! Right enough - it's getting difficult as we're introducing more and more heart design moulds and have to be able to identify which is which.....
250mls of ready made strawberry milkshake
250mls of ready made chocolate milk shake
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tin of condensed milk
3 sachets of gelatine granules (I used Dr. Oteker)
Start by lightly oiling your chosen mould with vegetable oil. You don't want loads - just the tiniest bit to create a film. The cells of the 6 JAGGY HEARTS mould are 60mls in volume. I made the six and used excess mixtures to make a simple 3 layer jelly in a 1lb loaf mould which was later cut into slices.
Start with the first flavoured "milk" you plan to use. I used Muller low fat milk shake. Put a sachet of gelatine granules into the pan and pour on the milk. Leave for 10 mins to sponge.
Put the milk on a low / medium heat and warm to just below simmering, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons of condensed milk. Pour into a clean bowl. Repeat the process for the other flavoured milk.
To make the vanilla milk mixture, add the vanilla extract to the milk and gelatine granules. Repeat previous process. You may need to add a little extra condensed milk.
If you are using a detailed mould like the 6 JAGGY HEART, you can build up your layers a little at a time. After each layer, chill in the fridge until set. The thinner the layer, the faster it sets ! My first layer was set in about 3 minutes. Once set, add the next layer.
The only real tricky bit with this one was the outline round the edge. I only used about 4mls of jelly mix to do the tiny rim round the edge. I can't imagine it being achievable without a pipette.
The weather had been rather miserable (very over cast and high winds). The light in my kitchen was atrocious for taking photos. My results were dire and I was most disappointed as these jellies were so pretty. All of a sudden, the sky started clearing and a patch of blue appeared.
I legged it into the garden with my mirror board and literally grabbed about two minutes maximum of sunshine before the clouds all blew over once more. I used mirror board before to take photos of these jelly shots and I'm really starting to like it as a medium.
It's been an eventful week so far. This little chick hatched this morning, with some help. Henrietta has been broody for a few months now and was close to starving herself unless allowed to hatch out some chicks.
I got some bantam hatching eggs from a local chicken keeper and sat them under her 3 weeks today. One chick tried to hatch yesterday, but I found it dead still in the shell last night. On checking in on Henrietta this morning. This little chick was trying to hatch, but for whatever reason, Henrietta had kicked it out her nest. It was still in the shell, stoney cold and barely alive.
I brought it in the house and warmed in my hands and slowly helped it out the shell. At this point, I really thought it didn't stand a chance as it lay lifeless and cold in my hand. Tiny little thing - only about 2" long.
After breathing on it for quite some time, it started to revive and cheep. We then sat it on a tiny little hot water bottle inside a sandwich box and covered over with a tea towel. About an hour later, chick was gaining strength and had opened it's eyes.
Oliver was intrigued and sat with me the whole time as I had the box on my knee. He even brought his favourite toy elephant for the chick to cuddle and wanted to try and stuff it in the sandwich box !
As soon as it gained enough body heat, I took it back out and popped it back in with a very excited mummy hen. All we could do was hope the chick was going to be strong enough to make it. Henrietta tucked it underneath her, clucking away loudly.
On coming home tonight, Oliver and I went to check on how they were doing. Chick popped out for few seconds - long enough for a quick photo. It's all fluffed up now and very vocal. Fingers crossed, it should stand a good chance now. Henrietta still has another two eggs. There was no sign of pipping, but we'll see in tomorrow if any more are going to hatch.....
Yesterday, my 3yo washing machine broke. £45 call out later, I discover it was going to cost me another £45 call out and £180 for a new printed circuit board to fix it. I had stacks of washing backed up - so it spurred an emergency washing machine shopping spree. Thankfully, new one arrived this morning and I'm starting to get on top of my massive amount of laundry...... What fun !!
Sarah-Jane Nash - September 2011 - www.siliconemoulds.com