I was intrigued by the possibilities of gelatin clarification that Harold McGee wrote about in this NYT article.
After a failed attempt at "cake juice" left me with a lump of regurgitated yellow cake rather than an intensely flavored clear liquid, I searched the web for some better instructions. I decided to make bacon consomme, because it seemed to have worked for other bloggers. Everyone seemed enthused about their creations, but I could not find clear, step-by-step general formula for making this consomme. What I did find was that people recommended using .5% to .7% gelatin (in grams) to liquid (in grams).
After much math-induced anxiety, I sat down with a calculator:
(A disclaimer: I'm by no means a perfectionist....please don't take my numbers as the ultimate truth)
•.5%-.7% gelatin for liquid so for 100g of liquid you need .7 g of gelatin.
• There are 7.5 grams in a packet of Knox gelatin,
• 236 grams in a cup of water,
• 224 grams in cup of oil,
•And 227 grams in a cup of butter
• This averages to 229 grams in a cup of liquid, assuming you are using a combination of fats and water....i.e. diluted bacon....
So, here is my equation (you can skip it and just go to the solution!)
for 7.5 g (in a pack of gelatin) / .5 =15
15x 100g =1500 g of liquid needed for one packet= 1500g/ 230 g per cup =6.52 cups
7.5g/ .7g= 10.71 x100g= 1071 g/230g per cup=4.66 cups
The solution: You need between almost 5 cups and almost 7 cups of liquid for one pack of gelatin.
Here's the instructions adapted from Harold McGee's article:
1. Cook about a pound of your flavoring ingredient
2. add water so that the total volume is between 4 2/3 and 6 1/2 cups.
3. cook some more so that the water is flavored (like a soup)
4. let cool a little and puree everything in a blender (be careful with this part--I ended up coated in pink, frothy, bacon smoothie)
5. let one cup cool further and dissolve gelatin into it, letting stand 5 minutes.
6. mix that cup back into the warm liquid, dissolving the gelatin
7. strain your liquid into a container and freeze.
8. line a fine mesh sieve with cheese cloth and let your frozen liquid thaw through it into a container in the fridge. This takes a couple days.
9. you should end up with clear, broth-like liquid in the container and a yucky jelly lump in your cheesecloth.