Party Food

With Christmas only just out of our systems and the new year creeping up on us, we are most definitely in the midst of party season. Monsieur Poisson and I had the fortune of being invited to Ms Macau and Mr Holden’s place for a small pre-Christmas get-together. I offered to bring along some food – I don’t know why, but I like to have an excuse to cook – and decided to go the dessert option. I also went against better cooking judgement and wanted to try a new recipe with ingredients that I had never dealt with before, when I am a person who normally never lives life dangerously.

A couple of weeks prior, I had spotted some wonderfully celebratory-looking jellies on The Way It Crumbles and filed the recipe aside thinking it would be a great way to make use of the bottle of moscato that I had in the fridge. When the call for a house party came, this is the first thing I thought of. The recipe looked pretty easy and all I needed to get was powdered gelatine…

Perhaps because it was close to Christmas, I had trouble finding gelatine – even after searching at two supermarkets. When I finally got my hands on some gelatine, I re-read the recipe and started to fret – what is meant by allowing gelatine ‘to bloom’? I had only ever played with packet jelly crystals before, never gelatine in any form itself. Google thankfully provided some answers but then I started to worry about whether the jellies would set as I was going to vary a few things in the recipe right from the word go.

There was delicious food on offer at the house party, including plenty of barbecued meats provided by the hosts and other foods brought along by guests. More importantly, there was relaxed conversation and general lazing about.

And the jellies had thankfully set and turned out quite well in the end. The bubbles were much smaller than what I’d expected, probably due to using a not very bubbly wine, but still they provided a pleasant tingle when the jelly slid across the tongue. My only complaint lay with the ‘froth’ that had set on the top – not visually displeasing, but a little funny in texture to eat.

So, what are your end of year celebration plans? And do you have any tried-and-tested staple party food tricks?

Red Moscato Jellies (makes 6-8 serves)
(adapted from The Way It Crumbles)

·         150mL cold water
·         2 tbs powdered gelatine
·         750mL moscato or other sparkling wine
·         100mL Ribena (or other cordial)
·         ½ cup caster sugar
·         frozen raspberries, thawed

  1. Place 6 or 8 glasses (I used plastic cups) in the freezer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, place water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatine over the top whilst whisking continuously with a fork to avoid any bits clumping together. Set aside for a few minutes and it will start to ‘bloom’ – the bowl of water will begin to set and look yellowy and slightly lumpy like a sea sponge.
  2. Pour 150mL of the wine into a small saucepan and reseal the bottle for the time being. Add the cordial and sugar to the saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, taking care NEVER to let the mixture boil. Remove from heat and let cool until warm.
  3. Add the gelatine mixture to the pan, whisking continuously until all dissolved and no clumps of gelatine are present.
  4. Divide liquid evenly between chilled glasses and throw a few raspberries in each. Slowly pour remaining wine equally into the glasses to minimise frothing. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes, before transferring to the fridge to set overnight. 
happy new year & happy eating!


  1. i've never used gelatine before, but maybe if you tried to strain the mixture? just a thought!

    i LOVE muscato wines, my favourite is the brown brothers mmm and one other one i tried at the hunter valley (some french one i think i told u abt it on email before) and also another one i tried at the hunter was a gingseng infused rose muscato mmmmmm!!!!

  2. Boy, I am confused! LOL. You said with Christmas just over, you were invited to a pre-Christmas get-together? Do you mean a pre-2010 Christmas get-together? ;-) Now that's organised! Hehe. The food looks delicious!

  3. wow....not your average jell-o! What a shot!
    The rest of the food looks awesome, too!

  4. I've always wondered about making my own jelly shots - thanks for sharing!

  5. I always assumed that allowing gelatine to bloom was for gelatine sheets... is it also for powdered? Anyway, the gelatine idea is definitely a great party idea. As for me, year end will be spent in my sister's house watching the fireworks!

  6. Looks great! I think Tim would approve of the addition of Ribena, it's his favourite drink! Allowing gelatine to bloom is important, as otherwise it doesn't dissolve evenly - I sprinkle it gradually over a wide bowl of cold water (100ml to the 2tbsp)until it all turns translucent =) I made another batch for tomorrow NYE!

  7. "blooming" makes me picture big populations of fungus, for some reason. Does fungus bloom?

    The jelly shots look fun, and I also love the look of those fresh spring rolls. I really need to make some of those one of these days.

  8. Hey Betty, the gelatine mixture wasn't lumpy so didn't necessitate straining. And you'll be tickled to know that I used a Brown Brothers' moscato for this recipe!

    Hey Joey, haha! Sorry to confuse you there =) I just meant that we were firmly into party season even prior to Christmas =p

    Hey Sophia, haven't heard from you for a while! Hope you've been well and that your exam stress is now out of the way. Can I entice you to berry red jellies jazzed up for adults? =D

    Hey Ladybird, they're really easy so please give them a try. Are you back from your travels already?

    Hey Trissa, I know gelatine leaves need to be soaked and squeezed but not sure about the 'blooming' part. Like I said, never used any gelatine before!

    Enjoy the fireworks and I hope you see in the new year surrounded by lots of happy people like yourself =)

    Hey Chris, thanks for dropping by and thanks again for sharing this recipe! I've loved Ribena since my childhood and thought it'd make a good substitute for the crème de cassis. Can't wait to make these again =)

    Hey Conor, 'blooming' does conjure up those sorts of images, doesn't it? The gelatine doesn't exactly grow, but I suppose it kind of 'develops'.

    Those fresh summer rolls were delish and were made by a Vietnamese friend. Mmmm...

  9. Would you believe that I brought a bottle of Ribena back from Copenhagen.....It is a drink I grew up with. How special...

  10. Hey Kitchen Butterfly, we always had a bottle in our kitchen and it's a drink I grew up with too! But did you have to go all the way to Copenhagen to get a bottle? Not sold in Holland?

  11. I didn't think you can improve moscato anymore, but the jellies are just so festive!!! Great 2009 and here's more blogging for 2010!!

  12. Hey Trisha, moscato is so easy to drink, hey? And boozy jelly is childhood nostalgia with an adult twist =p

    Looking forward to many new things in 2010, one of them being your new blog site!


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