18/07/2013 11:45 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Wonky Fruit Cordial Jellies

Good presentation can elevate the most humdrum of dishes into something rather more special. Here, I set elderflower cordial into a jelly, added some fruit and tilted the glass whilst the jelly set – once set, fill up the glass with some creamy topping sprinkle with more fruit and you have a simple, but stunning pudding. (My cordial was homemade and a few years old so had gone rather cloudy – using a different one would give you a clear jelly)

I have not made jelly for ages and had forgotten not only how easy it is to make, but it is also such fun to eat! There are a number of ingredients which can be used to set liquid into a jelly.

I dislike this as I find the smell really off-putting and although I eat meat I find the idea of it in a pudding unpleasant.

Vegetarian Gelatine Substitutes
I've used Dr Oetker's Vege-gel which is widely available.

Agar Agar
Made from seaweed. A box seems more expensive than either gelatine or Vege-Gel but contains far more product and no added nasties. Agar has a higher melting point so will not have the melt in the mouth quality of a jelly made from gelatine.

A new discovery is Ambrosia's Devon Dream ("Tastes like custard, pours like cream") which I found a pot of in a goodie bag last week. It is quite custardy by itself, but I rather like it whipped into cream where it gives it some flavour, sweetness and colour – it has 80% less fat than single cream, and the fact that it does not need to be stored in the fridge until it is opened makes it really rather useful and I will be thinking up some more ideas for it.

Balance a glass in a ramekin dish to set a wonky jelly

Here is a base recipe to get you started – the ideas for flavours and presentation are endless.

Wonky Fruit Cordial Jellies

Makes 4 large jellies


For the jelly

350ml water 2 tbs agar agar flakes

50ml elderflower cordial (I used my homemade which is why the jelly is cloudy)

Selection of berries – halved strawberries and blueberries

Pour the water into a small pan and sprinkle the agar flakes on top.

Heat and allow to simmer before stirring.

Simmer for a few minutes until the agar has dissolved.

Allow to cool and add cordial to give a strong flavour.

Pour into glasses add the fruit and set them at an angle to set (I balanced them in ramekin dishes).


For the topping

150ml double cream
260ml Devon Dream or other ready made custard

Whip the cream until stiff and then gently whip in the Devon Dream. The custardy cream should be quite soft but still hold a little shape.

Set the jelly glasses upright and dollop in the custard and cream mix. Decorate with some more fruit and sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve immediately.

The quantity of both the jelly and cream topping needs to be just under half the total volume of the serving glasses.

Allow the jelly to cool, but not start to set, before pouring into the glasses as the hot liquid could crack them.

Try using different cordials or liquids for the jelly.

Helen loves food. She spends most of her time thinking about food, reading about food, preparing food, eating food and then blogging about food. Not a chefy cook, the simpler fuss free approach works best for her.

Blogs at: Fuss Free Flavours
Twitter: @FussFreeHelen