A guide to using gelatine (with a recipe for vanilla yoghurt panna cotta)

Gelatine is an essential ingredient in jellies, cake glazes, marshmallows, panna cotta and many other classic desserts. While powdered gelatine might be most common in Australian pantries, it’s the clear gelatine leaves that chefs and bakers prefer.

Easier to use, more precise and without leaving the grainy texture, cloudiness or gelatine flavour that the powdered variety can, The Essential Ingredient Leaf Gelatine is available in two strengths: gold and titanium.

Simply use the guide below to determine how many sheets you need, then soak them in cold water for 5 minutes until they become pliable.

Add the soaked gelatine leaves directly to hot (not boiling) liquids, stirring until dissolved (usually less than one minute). For cold liquid, heat a small amount and dissolve the leaves, then gradually add the cold liquid into the warm, stirring continuously.

If your recipe calls for powdered gelatine and you’d prefer to use leaf gelatine, here’s how to make the conversion:

2 teaspoons powdered gelatine = 6.6g (approx.)
And is equal to:
1 leaf titanium-strength gelatine
Or
3 leaves gold-strength gelatine

Ingredients

Serves 6-8 individual serves
FOR THE PANNA COTTA:
500g Greek yoghurt
1.5 cups cream
1/2 cup caster sugar
2x titanium strength gelatine leaves View
1x vanilla bean View
FOR THE STRAWBERRY PUREE:
1 punnet of strawberries, rinsed
2 tbsp caster sugar
1x titanium strength gelatine leaf View

Slice the green stems from each of the strawberries and discard. Blend the strawberries until liquid, adding a splash of water if needed. Transfer to a small saucepan, add 2 tablespoons sugar and bring to a gentle simmer.

Soak 1 gelatine leaf in cold water until malleable (around 5 minutes), then add to the strawberry mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Distribute puree mix evenly between 6-8 greased dariole moulds, depending on their size. Refrigerate until set. If mix doesn’t set fully after 2 hours (enzymes in the strawberries can interfere with the gelatine and prevent it from setting), freeze moulds for thirty minutes before adding panna cotta mix.

For the panna cotta, soak 2 titanium-strength gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes.

Stir cream, sugar and the seeds from the vanilla bean over a medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Leave for 5 minutes. Add soaked gelatine leaves and stir until dissolved.

Add 500g Greek yoghurt and whisk to combine. Strain cooled mixture carefully over the set strawberry mixture in the greased moulds and refrigerate until set.

To serve, carefully dunk moulds into a bowl of warm water for a few seconds before upending onto individual plates. Serve with macerated strawberries.

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