Festive champagne jellies with fresh berries

I’m sitting in the lounge at my parent’s house in Keurboomstrand, looking out over the tops of the ancient milkwood trees onto the beach. It’s a magnificent day, and we’ve been outside catching up on sunshine and seawater since 07h00 this morning.

New Year’s Eve at Keurbooms is always a casual affair: large cheese platters, fish pâté and other small bites – no formal dinner. The one thing that we never go without, is bubbly. Not expensive stuff, but sparkly nonetheless.

On the 31st of December 2012, I went the extra mile and made some fancy dessert – light but full of flavour. These jellies were made from sparkling wine (or champagne, if you can afford it!), with fresh berries locked into the beautifully golden clear centres. They were infused with lemon and orange rind, and they can even

be made a day in advance.

This is a beautiful, stylish dessert for grown-ups, and the perfect way to end off another year of hard work, amazing friendships, and fantastic new projects. I simply cannot wait to see what 2013 might bring for all of us. Happy New Year everyone!


  • 750 ml champagne or sparkling wine (dry/brut)
  • 15 ml powdered gelatine
  • 180 g sugar
  • 4 strips lemon zest
  • 4 strips orange zest
  • 250 g mixed fresh berries (choose from blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries etc.)



  1. In a small cup, pour 3 tablespoons of champagne over the gelatine, and leave to sponge for 5 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, heat remaining champagne over medium heat with sugar and zests, stirring gently to melt sugar. Do not boil.
  3. Remove from heat, then stir in sponged gelatine. Leave to cool for about 45 minutes, then remove zests and pour into wide champagne glasses.
  4. Add berries, then refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.
  5. Serve cold.


This post was especially written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Food & recipes: Ilse van der Merwe.

Photography: Tasha Seccombe.

Styling:  Nicola Pretorius & Tasha Seccombe.

Share this:


  1. I made this on Saturday and it went down a treat with my guests – it looked stunning and tasted divine! Thank you for a super easy and fun recipe. I couldn’t find berries so I used pomegranate seeds and black grapes and it worked just fine. Can see that I’ll be using this a lot in the future!

    1. Wow, Nicci, your versions sounds fabulous – even better than the berries! I can imagine those pomegranates must look like little rubies inside the jelly…

Comments are closed.

You may also like...