Yup. Dessert. It’s on the SMAM menu.
Rejoice, lover s of all things sweet! You can have dessert and not hate yourself for it later. Double-dog promise.
The Bad News: this dessert does not contain chocolate. Sorry.
The Good News: this dessert contains something better than chocolate: Wine! Shake your collective bootys in celebration, readers!
Even better News? The wine in this dessert does not get boiled or flambeed, so the alcohol content is still in there, in its original form. You did know that, right? That if you cook the wine in a recipe, the alcohol evaporates? ‘Tis true.
This light and lovely dessert comes from Laura Calder, the host of the cooking show “French Food at Home.” I know that a lot of French food is a dieter’s worst nightmare, but not this recipe. Laura likes to mix things up and serve a wide spectrum of dishes on the Fat-o-Meter, which is why I like her.
I also like her because she’s not completely freaking annoying to watch. She doesn’t say things like “yum-o” or “flavortown” and her tits aren’t hanging out as she stirs her sauce and she can utter a sentence without saying “y’all.” In fact, while I was watching her show one afternoon, Awesome Stepkid Ro walked into the room and paused a bit to observe. It’s kind of a bonding thing with us; he’ll stumble into the living room when I’m watching a cooking show and stay a while. And then we’ll completely trash talk the chef on said show. It’s good fun.
This time, though, he narrowed his eyes in premature scrutiny, took a good look and then said, “Whoa. This lady’s actually kinda normal.”
High praise, indeed.
In the episode, Laura cooks lunch for friends and wants to keep things light. You don’t want mid-day food coma, right?
This dessert delighted me. It’s so pretty and playful (it was even prettier on the show because Calder used both red and green grapes in her version; I only had green). Who doesn’t return to their childhood when served a jiggly, gelatin-based dessert? It just makes you smile.
Calder served her grape and wine jellies with a nice, fat dollop of whipped cream, which was lovely but not good for the ass, so I had to settle for a bit of the fake stuff. But I imagine that it would be far tastier with the real deal. I’ll try it that way when SMAM is over and let you know.
Serve this dessert in good conscience and good spirit. It will put a grin on your face just looking at it.
Grape and Wine Jellies
recipe courtesy of Laura Calder
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons water
1 cup sugar
2 cups white or sparkling wine
small grapes, either green or red or a mixture of both
whipped cream, lightly sweetened
In a small dish, combine the gelatin and water. Set aside to soften.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the wine and sugar. Whisk it until the sugar just dissolves, making sure that the mixture doesn’t boil. Remove from heat.
Stir the softened gelatin into the wine mixture and whisk until dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
In 4 small ramekins or tea cups, place the grapes on the bottom in an even layer. Pour the wine mixture over. Cover the ramekins and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or longer.
To unmold, run a sharp knife around the edge of each ramekin and dip the bottom in hot water for a few seconds. Unmold and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.