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This Japanese-inspired post is in honor of the Austin Bakes for Japan charity event on April 2nd. I’ll be selling gelatin molds at the Nomad Bar from noon to 2:00. All money will go to AmeriCares relief efforts in Japan.

For this gelatin mold, I used plum wine (a traditional Japanese favorite), Cava (a not-so-sweet Spanish sparkling wine), elderflower syrup (an affordable substitute for the fantastic St. Germain), and blueberries. The plum wine and elderflower syrup added a fruit and floral sweetness to the bubbly Cava. The gelatinous result was really foamy, see all the bubbles? The sweet and boozy carbonation in solid form created a surprisingly odd yet fun tactual experience – I could feel the tasty bubbles popping in my mouth.

Recipe for 3.5 Cups

  • 2 packets Knox gelatin
  • ½ cup water (for blooming)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ¾  cups Cava (or other sparkling wine)
  • ½ cup plum wine
  • ¼ cup Elderflower Syrup (or St. Germain)
  • ½ cup blueberries (or other berry of choice)

Put ½ cup of cold water in a medium bowl and sprinkle 2 packets of gelatin on top of the water.  Set bowl aside.

Put rest of water over medium heat and bring to a low boil. Remove from heat add hot water to the bloomed gelatin. Stir until gelatin dissolves. Stir in Cava, plum wine, and elderflower syrup.

Put mixture in refrigerator (or freezer) until thickened to a soft gel consistency. It should be easy to stir but thick enough to hold the blueberries. Stir in blueberries and spoon mixture into mold(s). Put in refrigerator until set, at least 4 hours.

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Lambrusco, an Italian wine from the Emilia-Romagna region, is a lovely summer wine. While wine connoisseurs often snub Lambrusco, it has regained a small popularity in recent years (check out this article). Personally, I enjoy its soft berry sweetness and slight effervescence. Served with a few ice cubes, Lambrusco is perfect for blistering hot Texas cookouts.

Translating Lambrusco into a gelatin mold involved adding water, a little sugar, and bloomed gelatin to 3-cups of wine. In addition to using the grape mold seen above, I flaked the gelatin and added blackberries and mandarin oranges (see picture right). “Flaking” involves breaking the gelatin into tiny pieces with a ricer, colander, or fork. My attempt of flaking was not very successful – as you can see the gelatin turned into mush – but the Lambrusco tasted great with the blackberries and mandarin oranges!

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