DAVID WOODS: Champagne jelly is a sweet end to a romantic meal

Champagne Jelly served here with caramelized white chocolate mousse red velvet hearts, panna cotta and sorbet
Champagne Jelly served here with caramelized white chocolate mousse red velvet hearts, panna cotta and sorbet

If you’re popping the question this Valentine’s Day, then do it with champagne.

David Woods, executive head chef at the Sofitel, has a recipe to capture those bubbles for a fitting end to a romantic meal for two.

David Woods

David Woods

Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest nights of the year for chefs. It’s a chance to put our culinary skills to the test to create a meal that can spark a marriage proposal – or at least increase the spark between couples.

Chocolate and champagne are almost certainly going on the menu. If you are cooking a romantic meal at home, then this champagne jelly will surely melt a few hearts.

We will be serving it for our Valentine’s menu with caramelised white chocolate mousse in red velvet hearts, vanilla panna cotta and a strawberry sorbet. At home, just serve it with a few chocolate hearts.

This recipe for two is made 24 hours in advance and only uses 150ml of champagne. So, there is the big question of what to do with the rest? You can try putting a silver spoon in the end of the bottle or using a champagne stopper, but my answer would be drink it.

La Brasserie, Sofitel’s 2 AA rosette restaurant, will be hosting a Valentine’s Dinner on February 14 from 6pm. Three courses from the Valentine’s menu, for £32.95pp including a glass of proscecco. To book a table call 01293 567070 or email SLG@sofitelgatwick.com. Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or share your Valentine’s recipes with us on Instagram by tagging @SofitelLondonGA.

Champagne Jelly

Serves two

90g caster sugar

100ml water

Zest peeled from one lemon

150ml champagne

2 gelatine leaves


Put the sugar, water and lemon zest into a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Take off the heat and remove the zest.

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for five minutes. Once soft, squeeze gently to remove excess water and add to the warm sugar water. Place in the fridge until just starting to thicken but not set…takes about one hour.

Stir the champagne into the jelly and pour into individual glasses. Leave to set in fridge overnight. Serve with chocolate hearts for an easy Valentine’s dessert.

Chef’s tip

If you want lots of bubbles in your jelly – and in your glass – make sure it is poured from a newly opened bottle and is icy cold.

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