Friday, January 9, 2015

FFWD ~ Champagne Aspic with Currents, Blackberries and Raspberries

Champagne Aspic with Currents, Blackberries and Raspberries

Did you know that gelatin is something people have very strong opinions about? I never knew that! When I was growing up, there was always a bowl of red or orange Jello gelatin in the fridge. Sometimes, there was fruit or grated carrots folded in!  But jello was always there! It was our after school snack, or dessert after dinner, usually with a squirt of whipped cream! I always liked it fine…it was an ok snack! Not my favorite, but ok!  

This week, for French Fridays we’re making a very grown up version of gelatin called Aspic. Our pick was for Arman’s Caviar Aspic.  Like I said, I like gelatin just fine…but fishy gelatin isn't for me! Sorry Arman!

This is my week to go rogue!  The Aspic was something I wanted to prepare, simply for the technique and learning. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the seafood flavor. Champagne Aspic was my compromise! 
As I contemplated flavor options, Champagne kept popping into my head! Would it work? It sounded great to me…but what do I know, I like Jello with fruit! Aspic made with Champagne! Definitely an adult flavor! And who doesn’t love Champagne? Elegant, bubbly and perfect for the New Year! 
This was quite pretty and tasted delightful.
I wasn’t sure how it would work. As I looked through binders of recipes, I came across an old article, cut from a newspaper years ago. It was for Champagne Aspic! Quite different than what I finally came up with, but the basic idea was from the article…and so were the proportions of gelatin to Champagne! Although, I think caviar would be interesting with champagne, I thought fruit would be lovelier! I had some blackberries in my fridge, but they seemed rather large. In my freezer, I found a few bags of red raspberries, and red currents that I froze last summer. I bought the currents while in NYC with my Dorista friends Cher, Betsy and Diane! When I got home I threw them in the freezer. I knew they would come in handy!  

It does look rather sparkly, doesn’t it?
I was actually getting excited about making the Aspic with Champagne.  I was envisioning something sparkly, with bubbles! That didn’t happen! Still the end result was wonderful! 
The gelatin gets softened in ½ cup of Champagne. Then the rest of the Champagne is brought to a boil, to which the softened gelatin, sugar, raspberry liqueur, and flavored vinegar is added. I decided to add some of the liquid to molds. I placed some berries into each mold and poured in the liquid gelatin. I poured the rest into a loaf pan, as Dorie suggested. 

This was a French Friday I seriously thought of skipping! I’m so glad I didn’t! Sometimes going rogue is a good thing!! My version of the Aspic was delicious and quite pretty! I loved the taste of Champagne that came through! Even Bill enjoyed this one!  Happy Friday everyone!

This was a good alternative, for someone who doesn’t do fishy gelatin.
 Perfectly lovely to serve for any elegant occasion. 

 Recipe adapted by Bakeawaywithme 

2 tablespoons (2 envelopes) gelatin
2 1/2 cups champagne
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Raspberry Liqueur
1 tablespoon flavored vinegar…I used Pear Chardonnay vinegar, but Raspberry would be quite good.
Blackberries, Raspberries and Currents

Add the gelatin to a half cup of the champagne. Stir to moisten the gelatin evenly, and allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes to soften.
Bring the rest of the champagne to a boil. Add the softened gelatin, and stir until dissolved. Add the sugar, raspberry liqueur, and flavored vinegar. Place a few berries into each small mold. I used cannele molds. Pour the gelatin over the fruit, or pour into 9x5 loaf pan chill until set. Then cut the gelatin into squares, scoop a tiny bit of the gelatin out from the middle of each square (I did this using a grapefruit spoon, as Dorie suggests in her aspic recipe) and then I placed a berry into each. I thought the flavor of the raspberries worked best for this recipe. The currents were a bit tart. Or experiment! 


  1. Lovely! And how smart you were to buy those currants in NYC & stash them in the freezer! Thanks for the champagne idea - I'm going to try it.

  2. I think champagne was a brilliant idea for the aspic with fruit or with caviar it would be lovely. I remember you buying those currants... never thought you would be using them for a FFWD dish.

  3. When I saw the title for this I thought you had used a meat or fish stock with champagne added but was relieved to see it was more like a "gelée" (much more elegant wouldn't you say?!). Nice work. I will try with champagne next (btw could you "feel" the bubbles still? I would think boiling it would remove them but make the taste stronger...)

  4. Kathy, you are a genius! I love what you did with the recipe and they turned out so pretty!

  5. Stunning! I made a Thomas Keller dessert that gels Champagne once for The Daring Bakers and loved the texture and taste ;-)

  6. How clever! I've never made aspic either, primarily because, like you, I couldn't get my head around a savory Jello, though I did see a recipe for one made with tomato juice that I considered. I'll have to give your recipe a go! It looks lovely, and who doesn't like champagne!

  7. Well done! I love this idea and might even consider giving aspic another try for your champagne version. Sounds delicious and would probably work well with both savory and sweet. Could be something fun to pull out for a special occasion.

  8. Your champagne version sure trumps the fishy option! I thought of a fruit aspic myself, but just couldn't wing it!! What a lovely holiday treat :)

  9. Kathy, these little champagne jellies are beautiful - like little jewels. These I would eat, and may even pair champagne jelly with caviar - a brilliant idea.

  10. Aww Kathy these look beautiful and amazing!!
    Yes I grow with gelatin too!
    Yes I heard about gelatine many things!
    I love the champagne idea!:)

  11. How pretty are those!! I love the third picture. If I host an Oscar party this year, I just may have to make these. So darn cute.

  12. They have turned out so pretty! Will make a great V-day dessert too.

  13. How brilliant! and SO perfect for the New Year or any elegant special occasion, they really are beautiful:)

  14. Wow, Kathy!! I read this yesterday right after you posted it and I showed it to my husband and houseguest so they could see those photos and hear what you'd done. That sounds absolutely delectable! What a way to make a no-go recipe into a work of art!

  15. If Mardi gets the 'innovator' badge this week, your version gets the "beautifier" one. The lighter gelée is gorgeous against the fruit. And how smart of you of buying and freezing currants. I will save room in my luggage next time I travel if they are in season.

  16. I love that you used those currants for this. The white ones would have been pretty here too (and maybe some gooseberries :-) )
    Love, love, love this!

  17. Katie, a very Happy New Year to you and your family as well - these champagne aspics with berries would be perfect at an elegant party! Very pretty presentation!

  18. I remember when you bought the currants. I love what you did with them too! Your little fruit jellos are absolutely beautiful and look delicious too. I'm sure they were much better than the fishy option, which I found edible but not something I'd ever dream about. I'm glad you went rogue!

  19. Wow, those are gorgeous! Great interpretation of this recipe.

  20. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Your platter of champagne aspic is spectacular, good enough for any cookbook. If Dorie does a reprinting of AMFT, I think your idea would be an excellent substitute for Arman's. He'd be upset, of course, but, phooey. It definitely is pretty enough to serve for any elegant occasion, as you say. I always made jello as a snack for my girls. My treat was to add mini marshmallows and maraschino cherries to the fruit concoction. Only after they had grown up did they tell me how much they disliked my "treats". I don't think Emma and Clara have ever tasted jello!

  21. Your photos are actually beautiful, I am basically seeing champagne jelly and it is stunning!
    How do you do it?

    Choc Chip Uru

  22. What a great idea, you are so creative. A nice sweet alternative.

  23. These are so pretty. I was never a jello person growing up (I missed so many desserts alas) but I might consider trying this. Champagne and fruit are such a classic combination, especially around the holidays--great idea!

  24. While I am sure I would have liked the caviar aspics, these are gorgeous! I bet they sparkle in the candlelight...