Ask our food expert, Pamela Clark

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What's the best gelatine? Powdered or leaf?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Pannacotta made with gelatine

Question
Dear Pamela, please could you tell me the difference between powdered gelatine and leaf gelatine? Is one better than the other?

Answer
Gelatine is a thickening agent made from either collagen (a protein found in animal connective tissue and bone) or certain algae (known as agar-agar). We tend to use dried (powdered) gelatine in our recipes, simply because it's readily available at all supermarkets. Leaf gelatine can be interchanged with powdered gelatine — 3 teapsoons of powdered gelatine (8g/1 sachet) is roughly equivalent to four gelatine leaves. Professionals use leaf gelatine because it generally results in a smooth, clearer consistency — it's perfect in dishes where appearance really counts. The only drawback of leaf gelatine is in sourcing it — it's usually not available from supermarkets, but can be found in specialist cooking shops.

Try out these cheesecake recipes that use gelatine.

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