Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1105

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Jellies, Creams, Cold Sweets, Ices, Water Ices, Sorbets, Mousses, Ice Puddings, etc.

Preparation of Moulds.—Moulds, whether intended for creams or jellies, should be thoroughly clean, and when possible rinsed with cold water, before being used. In preparing them for decorated creams, they are usually coated with a thin layer of jelly. To do this quickly and satisfactorily it is necessary that the moulds should be quite dry, perfectly cold, and the jelly on the point of setting when put into the mould, which is turned over and over until thinly, but completely, coated. The decoration is a matter of taste; it may consist of pistachio shredded or finely-chopped, almonds, glacé cherries, etc., and may afford no indication of the composition of the cream. But just as frequently the decoration consists of fancifully cut pieces of the fruit which, reduced to a purée, forms the basis of the cream. This branch of cookery affords almost unlimited scope for display of artistic taste. Success in this direction depends largely on a suitable combination of contrasting or harmonising colours, and the decoration being neat and uniformly disposed. Each section of the mould must be decorated separately, and the decoration fixed firmly by means of a little cool jelly, which must be allowed to set before changing the position of the mould. For this reason the process is a slow one unless the mould meanwhile rests upon and is surrounded by ice. Without this aid the task is almost an impossible one in hot weather.

Gelatine.—Much has been written on the subject of gelatine. Held at one time in high estimation as a food, it was afterwards considered of no value because it could not unaided sustain life. The object of the experiments which ultimately led to this conclusion was to ascertain the relative value of the albuminoids and gelatinoids. Liebig found that animals fed on the latter substance died of starvation; but more recent investigations have discovered that gelatine is a valuable nutrient, for, although its elements lack the life-sustaining properties of the albuminoids, they may to a large extent replace these nitrogenous bodies in many constructive processes of the body. Hence, gelatine is now regarded as an albumen economiser or albumen-sparing food.