Sweet Tooth on a Diet: Milk and Chocolate Layered Jelly

I’m laughing at myself as I write this because I feel like I’m failing my so called diet in a spectacular fashion, but I am trying. Hear me out.

I honestly did try to make this low(er) fat – I could have opted for a white and dark chocolate panna cotta (and just think how very close to orgasmic that would have been), but I didn’t. Also, it’s not melted chocolate in that Jelly, it’s Cadbury’s Bournville cocoa and semi-skimmed milk in alternating layers. The gelatine leaves have roughly 10 kcal per leaf with about 2g protein and 0g fat, or so Google tells me, because Dr Oetker didn’t have any nutritional information on the packet. I added no cream or sugar to the mixture, but did add some vanilla honey to sweeten the milk.

Here’s one chilling whilst I gather the courage to take it out. Is my fridge too cold…?

Note that the portions I made were fairly large. You can always make smaller portions, but I didn’t really have anything smaller or nice looking. Let’s be honest though, we don’t all have something in the cupboard that’s perfect for everything, right? Right. The first thing I was asked by my live-in taste tester was if I didn’t mean panna cotta – and the answer is no. If I’m not mistaken, panna cotta means “cooked cream” in Italian, and being that I cooked no cream, it’s a bloody jelly…someone please let me know if I’m wrong about this.

I have to confess that panna cotta and sweet jellies are some of my favourite desserts, though you may catch me saying that about everything I make. I just love how soft you can make them, and the texture, if you get it right, can be beautiful. I’ve made black sesame panna cotta (which I’ll post at some point), and a green tea one too because I’m obsessed with green tea. So be prepared to see a few jiggly recipes coming up here because I have a lot of gelatine leaves to use up!

20150903_195557

This little bugger was quite a bit harder to make than I anticipated. Well, not really hard, just irritating. Despite having made panna cotta and jelly many times in the past, between each layer, I just kept thinking “why is it not setting?!”… Because you need to give it time, you idiot.

Ingredients:
Makes four tumbler sized jellies as pictured above

  • 2 cups of semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 cups of prepared hot chocolate (I used Cadbury’s but you could just as easily use any other)
  • Vanilla honey, or honey and a gorgeous vanilla pod
  • 8 gelatine leaves
  • Optional chocolate sauce
  • Optional raspberries
  • Infinite patience

    Instructions:

    1. Soak your gelatine leaves in cold water for about 5 mins.
    2. Pour the milk into a pan, mix with honey and heat gently.
    3. Once they have softened, take four gelatine leaves, squeeze any excess water out of them before placing them in the milk, and allow them to dissolve gently.
    4. Take the milk off the heat and repeat the process with the hot chocolate.
    5. Pour equal amounts of your choc/milk into your dish (I started with chocolate), and place in the fridge to cool. You have to let each layer cool until firm at the top before you can start the next layer. Therein lies the need for patience.

    6. Be sure to alternate between chocolate and milk for each layer. The layers may not have enough time to meld together if you attempt to take them out earlier so be patient! I’d give these at least two hours, or until you give up on life, to set properly.
    7. To serve the jellies, you can put each dish in a little hot water to allow the jelly to separate from the glass. Don’t do this for more than a few seconds because the milk melts easily.
    8. Place on a plate upside down, decorate as you like, and look at your work with pride.

    20150903_195430As I’m sure you can see, by the time I was pouring chocolate sauce for my taste tester, I had well and truly lost my patience. Screw presentation. Time to eat.

    Nom nom
    Nom nom – but I didn’t eat the chocolate sauce. I promise.

With hindsight, I probably used too many sheets of gelatine, so it ended up a bit on the heavy side – so effectively more like a panna cotta. Still, it tasted great, so I’m happy with it. I don’t know what else I would have done differently because whilst I’m very capable of making something like this, beyond reading tips online and having a little common sense from previous mistakes, I’m not an expert with food and cooking. I just do this because It’s fun and it cheers me up when I’ve had a hard day. Trouble is, my fairly sizeable rear-end needs to stay put, so I really need to stop having bad days, if you know what I mean.

Laur

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