Beetroot gels

It has been a very long time since I posted here – sorry!

I thought I’d share some lessons learnt in the past few days having made what should have been very simple golden beetroot gel for Heston Blumenthal’s recipe of orange and beetroot jellies (the trick is that it’s blood orange and golden beetroot).


It transpires that the betalin compounds in beetroot (both red and golden) discolour easily under a variety of conditions including pH, oxidation, heat and light. The result is that the bright yellow colour of golden beetroot rapidly turns greeny-brown. Heston does not mention this fact in his recipe. Bad Heston.

To avoid this problem you need to do the following:

Keep the beets chilled prior to juicing.

Immediately mix in 2-5g ascorbic acid.

Pass the resultant juice through a chinois to remove any green particles.


Use about 8g leaf gelatine / 200g juice. Rehydrate the gelatine then heat with a small amount of water until thoroughly dissolved. Gelatine dissolves around 50C and solidifies around 25-40C. Betalins discolour above 30C. Do you see the trouble brewing? Allow the juice to warm up slightly to about 15C. Whisking all the time reduce the gelatine mixture to about 30C then add  the beetroot juice slowly.

Set in an airtight container in the fridge.