Cinnamon gelée (Gelo di cannella)
Gelo di cannella is a traditional Sicilian recipe for a jiggly water-based gelée with crunchy toppings. It is commonly watermelon flavored in summer and cinnamon flavored in winter. This recipe is naturally vegan and super easy to make, with very few ingredients, and a very short active cooking time.
Please allow at least eight hours for the cinnamon infusion and three to four hours for the gelée to solidify in the refrigerator. The gelée should be consumed within three to four days, and cannot be frozen.
INGREDIENTS (FOR 4 CUPS)
– 25 grams cinnamon sticks (approx. 5 sticks)
– 50 grams cornstarch
– 90 grams sugar (I used organic raw cane sugar)
– ½ liter of water (approx. 2 heaping cups plus 2 tbsp.)
Place the cinnamon sticks in the water, cover the container, and let infuse at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 24. Filter the water, and mix it with the sugar and cornstarch in a small pot. Put the pot on low-medium heat and mix continuously with a spoon or a whisk until all ingredients have dissolved, it is important that you don’t let the mixture get too hot, as it should not boil. After more of less 5 minutes, the mixture should reach a viscous consistency, similar to cold maple syrup.
Turn the heat off and pour the mixture into 4 heat resistant single-serve containers. Let cool at room temperature for approximately 20 minutes, then cover with saran wrap (which should not touch the gelée directly) and move to the fridge until completely cool and jiggly, around three to four hours.
When you are ready to serve, coarsely chop a handful of unsweetened almonds, sprinkle some Saigon cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa powder on top, and toast for a couple minutes in a small pan, moving the contents continuously so they don’t burn. Divide the almonds equally between the gelées and top them off with a sprinkle of vanilla sugar.
Another traditional topping for this gelée are unsalted pistachios, but you can experiment with other nuts or even crushed cinnamon cereals.