Cooking with Champagne: A sophisticated party dessert or Jell-O shot in disguise? You decide

Champagne Gelee

Cooking with Champagne: Champagne GeleeIt starts with Halloween. Sugar just laying around the house, tempting and taunting every time you pass. Then Thanksgiving hits with an onslaught of rich, sugary treats that, well, haven’t stopped yet. And New Year celebrations are right around the corner.

So if your sugar hangover is in full effect but you would still like to offer New Year’s Eve Party guests something sweet, Champagne Gelee is the perfect answer. It’s sure to add pizzazz to your get together, impress as a bring-along dish or put leftover bubbly to good use (if for some reason you have any left). And better yet— it’s extremely easy to make. Just five steps!

We tested this recipe out as the finale to our Christmas dinner, which led to an important observation and a burning question: Is this dessert really just a frat-party Jell-O shot all grown-up? Maybe, but no one seemed to care. What I’m getting at is — in the majority of recipes featured so far on this blog the alcohol cooks out, leaving traces of its flavor but not its effect. That’s not the case here. These treats are definitely boozy. This makes them fun, but be sure to warn those you serve and keep them off the kids’ table.

So with a thank you nod to friends and family for their willingness to be culinary guinea pigs, to Harper for assisting with the pictures and to Imbibe Magazine for publishing this very cool recipe from Sweet, let’s put some bubbly in the glass. Cheers!

Champagne Gelee
Serves 6

What you’ll need:

Cooking with Champagne: Champagne Gelee

1 Tbsp plus ¾ teaspoons of powdered gelatin
¾ Cup plus 3 Tbsp cold water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 bottle (750 ml.) Champagne or other sparkling wine, chilled

Large pitcher (for mixing ingredients)
Small mixing bowl
Long spoon
Medium saucepan


How to do it:

  1. Place the 3 Tbsp of cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over top. Let sit for 10 minutes until the gelatin softens
  2. Combine the remaining ¾ Cup of water and the 1 Cup of sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat.Cooking with Champagne: Champagne Gelee
  3. Add the gelatin to the sugar syrup, stirring until it has dissolved.Cooking with Champagne: Champagne Gelee
  4. Pour the gelatin and syrup mixture into a large pitcher, then add the champagne to the pitcher. It will foam-up, so I poured the bubbly in a little bit at a time. Stir the champagne and the gelatin/syrup mixture together with a long spoon.
  5. Thru the Cooking Glass|Champagne GeleeThru the Cooking Glass|Champagne Gelee
  6. Pour this mixture into glasses, or small glass bowls, and refrigerate for 3 to4 hours or until set. The gelee can be refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.Thru the Cooking Glass|Champagne Gelee
  7. To serve, we placed little dabs of whipped cream atop each treat. Enjoy!