We were idly thinking about jelly, and how much we love it, and wishing we could order it in a chic restaurant… when we had a doh! moment. Of course! What about Scott’s or Dean Street Townhouse or J Sheekey? We called upon Phil Usher, group pastry chef for Caprice Holdings for 13 years (awe) and arranged a jelly-wrangling session pronto.

His Twinkle jelly, you’ll agree, looks lovely as can be. And it’s not hard. You’ll need coupes or Marie-Antoinettes to serve it in, and it helps if you have an ice-cream machine, though you’ll get by without one. It was inspired by the pretty-sounding yet lethal cocktail of the same name, made with vodka and champagne.

So, here goes. Cover the gelatine with cold water in a bowl and soak until soft. Meanwhile, heat the prosecco in a saucepan with sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.

Wring the gelatine and add it to the prosecco/sugar. Stir well until dissolved. Add the elderflower cordial, vodka and gold leaf, and mix well – the gold leaf will break up naturally. Pour most of the jelly into individual glasses, such as champagne coupes (but not right up to the top!), and place in the fridge to set, leaving about a wine glass of mixture aside. Pour this remaining jelly mixture into a bowl and place it over larger bowl full of ice (sort of like a cold bain-marie). Mix vigorously with a hand mixer or whisk until foamy, then carefully pour on top of the setting jelly in the coupes. When it has set (about four hours) serve with lemon sherbet, as below, or buy in good-quality lemon or elderflower sorbet. Don’t forget a sprig of fresh elderflower – Phil had found some much-prized pink flowers.

For the lemon sherbet

This is like a sorbet but with dairy, which gives it a little more texture and creaminess. Bring the lemon juice, caster sugar, water and glucose to the boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Ensure all the sugar has dissolved before you remove from the heat. Whisk the sour cream and zest into the hot liquid. Pour into a bowl. Leave to cool and churn in an ice-cream machine.

J Sheekey and J Sheekey oyster bar; 28–34 St Martin’s Court, London WC2 (020 7240 2565)


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