Tips for using Gelatin 


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Approximate Measurements and Temperatures

1 (1/4-ounce packet) of granulated unsweetened gelatin = total of about 2 1/2 teaspoons. 

1 teaspoon granulated unsweetened gelatin = 2 sheets of leaf gelatin.

1 tablespoon of unflavored powdered gelatin equals 4 sheets of leaf gelatin.

Gelatin sets at 59 F

Gelatin begins to  melt between 74-104 F

Firmness of Gelatin

Use 2 1/2 teaspoons or 1/4 ounce unflavored gelatin to 2 cups of water for standard firmness.  Decrease or increase water for your particular needs .  The more sugar in the recipe, the softer the gelatin will be.  When using sugar with unflavored gelatin, mix together the sugar and gelatin before dissolving with the liquid.

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gelatin bloom

Blooming Gelatin

As the gelatin absorbs the liquid, each granule becomes enlarged; this is known as “blooming.” Blooming gelatin is a step necessary to ensuring the smooth texture of a finished product. For powdered gelatin, measure out 1/4 cup of cold water per envelope. Sprinkle the powder over the top, then stir a little to disperse the granules. Let the mixture sit 5 to 10 minutes. If you used hot water, the exterior of the granules  will swell too fast and that will prevent water from getting into the center if there is a clump of gelatin granules.

Note: Gelatin takes twice as long to dissolve when used with cream or milk. 

Unflavoured gelatin granules must be bloomed before a hot liquid is added or you’re guaranteed to have lumps.  If the liquid is warm or hot, the gelatin cannot soften properly. For a clear, uniformly, gelatin must be completely dissolved.  Then add the remaining liquid needed for your recipe.

You can bloom gelatin in just about any liquid.  Note: fresh juices from papaya, kiwi, mango, and pineapple contain an enzyme that will deactivate the gelatin.  Pasteurizing kills the enzymes in these fruits, so canned or frozen juices are fine. 

Caution using alcohol to bloom your gelatin: Not only do high-proof spirits inhibit the gelatin from getting access to water for hydration, direct exposure to alcohol may denature the proteins altogether, rendering them useless.

Warming/ melting  the bloomed gelatin :   Gelatin begins to  melt between 74-104 F. Heat up the gelatin to about 130-180 F. (No need to bring it to a full boil).  Stir until all the granules are dissolved. Boiling destroys gelatin’s ability to set. 

Gelatin’s strength rapidly declines above 212°F, or when it’s held at that temperature for an extended period of time. 

Note: the damage caused by heat impacts rigidity, not viscosity, which explains how gelatin can still add body to slow-simmered sauce like demi glaze.

Disperse the warm gelatin in to the base. Make sure the base of whatever you’re adding it to is warm.  Mix the warm gelatin that is between 90-140 F into the rest of the warm base (the base should be about 90-150 F. If the base is below 80 F, first temper the warm gelatin into 1/3 of the total base.  Mix that together, and then combine it with the rest of your base. 

Set the gelatin in the Refrigeration:  Gelatin sets at 59 F. 
Most dishes take 3 hours; large dishes 4-6 hours or overnight.

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Tips to Unmolding Gelatin

    • Allow gelatin to set until completely firm, several hours or overnight.
    • Before unmolding, dip knife in warm water and run knife around edge of gelatin to loosen.
    • Dip mold in warm water, just to rim, for 10 seconds.
    • Lift from water and gently pull gelatin from edge of mold with moist fingers.  Place moistened serving plate on top of mold.  Gently remove mold.

  • Layering Gelatin :  Chill each layer until set, but not firm, before adding the next layer.  If the first layer is too firm, the layers may slip apart when un-molded.
    Many layers may be built up in this way.  Except for the first layer, the gelatin mixtures should be cool and slightly thickened before being poured into mold.  If mixture is warm, it may soften the layer beneath and they may run or mix together.
Bolo de Bolacha Maria, Portuguese cookie cake with slice cut out

Stabilizing Whipped Cream with Gelatin

Chantilly cream, or “Whipped Cream,” has a tendency to melt and leak liquid if left for too long. At room temperature; even refrigerated, emulsified cream will lose its structure.

The trick is to use a bit of gelatin which maintains the emulsified structure locking the water in place.


Makes 2 cups of  whipped cream

1 cup of whipping cream or heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons) white granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla or 1 vanilla bean pod

2 tsp powdered gelatin

Start by “blooming” the gelatin in 3 TBSP of cold water in a small pan. 

Let this mixture sit and bloom for 5 minutes

While the gelatin blooms, whip your heavy cream to “stiff peaks” stage.”Stiff peaks” means that the whipped cream should hold spikes.

Heat the bloomed gelatin in the small pan over low heat. Heat to a low simmer, no need to boil the mixture.

The gelatin should be fully liquid, but not too hot to touch. ( about 90-130 F).

Set aside 1/3 of your whipped cream to mix with the gelatin. This will be folded into the rest later.

Whisk the liquid bloomed gelatin into the 1/3 portion of whipped cream to combine. 

Then fold this gelatin-cream back into the rest of the whipped cream using a rubber spatula. If your cream is still too soft, you can continue to whip until stiff.

The stabilized whipped cream with gelatin, should hold its shape for quite some time—several hours to days.

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Add gelatin to make sauces, stocks, soups and stews richer improve mouth feel and a glossy appearance 


Traditionally one of the first steps to make a great sauce or soup is often to start off with a stock. A stock made from chicken bones or veal bones can take 6 to 12 hours at a slow simmer- in order to extract all the rich gelatin.  For centuries this technique has been the base for delicious soups and sauces. The gelatin produces a richer and more full bodied mouth feel, and glossy appearance that is praised by chefs. 

But using powdered gelatin is an easy way to duplicate the richness that gelatin adds to a stock. 

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What you need to do:  

For each packet of gelatin (about 2 1/2 teaspoons of powdered gelatin). You need to pour 1/4 cup of broth, soup, or the liquid from a stew into a bowl. The liquid should be somewhere between room temperature and refrigerator temperature 75°F to about 40°F. Sprinkle the gelatin on top of the cool liquid and allow to bloom for about 10 minutes. Next whisk in this bloomed gelatin into your soup, stew, or broth. It will dissolve into the warm liquid. That’s it! 

You get all the richness of gelatin that would’ve taken you hours to make by simmering bones. 

If you’re enriching a store-bought chicken broth or want to add some richness to a stew you want to add about one packet (2 1/2 teaspoons) of gelatin to every 2 – 4 cups of liquid.  

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Note: just like when making a homemade stock with bones that have simmered for eight hours and then cool down the stock will solidify the same thing will happen to your broth or stew that you have added powdered gelatin.