Blood orange, grapefruit & campari gelée


Sweet Alchemy: Dessert MagicSometimes people ask me, “Is gelée just a fancy word for Jell-O?” To which I reply, “If by Jell-O you mean an awesome, delicious, sophisticated dessert that surprises and delights, then yes.” With this recipe, you be the judge. When I was on Top Chef: Just Desserts, we had a challenge to create a dessert based on our favorite cocktail. This gelée came from my love of the classic Negroni and features citrus notes and flavor with a kick of Campari. If you can’t get blood oranges, use all grapefruit juice.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 tbsp (9 g) powdered gelatin or 3 silver gelatin leaves
  • 1½ cups (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (90 g) plus 2 tbsp water
  • ¼ cup (90 g) plus 2 tbsp fresh grapefruit juice
  • ½ cup (140 g) fresh blood orange juice
  • 1¼ cup (70 g) plus 1 tbsp Campari
How to Make It
  1. If using powdered gelatin, sprinkle it over a small bowl of cool water, or bloom the gelatin leaves by placing them in a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes. Remove the leaves of gelatin from the water and squeeze out the water.
  2. While the gelatin is blooming, combine the sugar and 90 g ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp water in a small stainless-steel or enamel-coated saucepan and heat to boiling. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin directly to the boiling simple syrup.
  3. In a separate small bowl, combine the citrus juices, then add to the saucepan with the syrup and gelatin and whisk to incorporate. Add the Campari and whisk to combine. Remove the saucepan from the heat. You will have a translucent, orange-pink, shimmering liquid.
  4. Place an egg carton upside-down on a baking sheet. Divide the gelée among four stemless wineglasses, pouring about 3 oz (90 ml) into each glass. Set the glasses at a 45-degree angle on the egg carton and gently transfer the entire baking sheet to the refrigerator. Allow to cool for 2 to 3 hours, or until the gelée sets completely.

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