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I'm looking for a method to make a plate sauce with a jelly consistency. The type of suace you would typically see on a plate in a restaurant, where they place a dallop of sauce on the plate and spread it with a spoon.

I don't want to use mayonnaise as a base, but rather something with a jelly consistency, with preferably little or no flavor, this way I can add flavor to my liking.

I have tried to make a jello using beet juice and a packet of clear unflavored jello, letting it harden and then blending it up in a food processor, but the final product would not smear, it just recongealed despite the blending.

Any ideas?

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Hmmm. this will be tough. Most sauces that are dolloped and smeared are based on heavily reduced vegetable base, or a bean or legume, or a 'mayonnaise' or aioli base.

To get a thick, smearable sauce with jelly or gelatin is tough, as it will want to 'set' to thicken, which will not allow smearing.

There are new thickeners like Xantham Gum and Carageenan that might help. Cook's Illustrated has a nice piece on Xantham Gum and alternate uses here:

Xantham Gum at CI

  • Thanks for your answer! I think xanthan gum is going to achieve the look I am after, however I have never used it and am not familiar with how to use it. – harvey Jun 1 '18 at 3:17
  • Would plain old corn starch work if your sauce doesn't have to be perfectly clear? – remco Jun 1 '18 at 12:06
  • Maybe arrowroot or potato starch even? – rackandboneman Jun 1 '18 at 12:17
  • Another vote for Xanthan Gum. It's flavourless and only a small quantity is required to thicken the sauce substantially. (It can be a bit hard to mix, though. A blender is recommended.) – Popup Jun 1 '18 at 13:09
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You have the right idea but the wrong gelling agent. Use agar agar instead of gelatin. You can probably find it in the Asian section of your grocery store. Make the gel and then blend. As agar agar has different sheer thinning properties than gelatin, you'll get the result you're looking.

Here's a recipe for a port fluid gel (along with a lot of background information) and a picture of what you can expect: enter image description here

  • That's definitely the look I'm going for. Any reason to use agar agar over xanthan gum? – harvey Jun 1 '18 at 18:03
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    I'm not sure. I've done fluid gels with agar agar but never used xanthan gum for that purpose. Try both? Agar agar might be easier to find as most grocery stores stock it in the asian food section. – yossarian Jun 1 '18 at 18:26

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