Champagne and saffron jelly with cardamom shortbread

I like to serve this in individual, hand-blown glasses, rather than sleek flutes. If you'd rather present it in one bowl, you would need to add 2 extra gelatine leaves (or an extra 10g of powder). Serve the cream and shortbread in separate bowls on the side.

8 people

Serving size


For the jelly:
1 bottle champagne (750ml)
Generous pinch of saffron
150g sugar
5 leaves of gelatine (3g each) soaked in cold water (or 25g powdered gelatine)

For the shortbread:
100g butter
40g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
120g plain white flour
3 cardamom pods, freshly ground or crushed
Caster sugar for sprinkling

For the cream:
50ml double cream
50ml sour cream
½ tsp icing sugar


  1. Start with the jelly. Pour 200ml champagne into a saucepan, plus the saffron, sugar and 100ml of water. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Squeeze all the water out of the gelatine leaves, and add to the pan, stirring until they're dissolved (powdered gelatine will take longer). Pour the contents of the pan into a large bowl and add the remaining champagne. Stir, then pass through a ...#64257;ne sieve into a jug. Pour into 8 wine glasses, stopping 2cm short of the top of each one. Place in the fridge to set.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160C/310F/gas mark 2. To make the shortbread, cream the butter and icing sugar until light and airy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until just combined. To prevent the pastry sticking to everything as you roll it out, place a sheet of greaseproof paper on your work surface, the pastry on top of that, then another sheet of greaseproof paper on top of the pastry. Press down with your palm to make a flattish circle, then roll out, still with the pastry between the two sheets of paper, until ½ cm thick. Transfer to a tray, remove the top sheet of greaseproof, and let it rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Bake until golden (around 15-20 minutes). Once done, sprinkle with sugar and cut into 6cm-long fingers. Allow to cool.
  3. To serve, whip both creams and the icing sugar until they begin to thicken. Pour a 1cm-deep layer on each jelly, as if it were champagne foam. Serve with the shortbread.