Gelatin is a useful and versatile ingredient. It is widely used in commercial kitchens for both savory and sweet dishes. At home it is mostly used in desserts, stabilizing light and airy chiffons and other whipped fillings. Gelatin comes in two primary market forms, thin sheets and granules of powder. The two work identically, and the conversion is a simple one.
Convert the number of sheets called for in the recipe to an equivalent number of teaspoons. Each sheet of gelatin weighs 3 grams, roughly 1/10th of an ounce. This is the same quantity of gelatin found in one teaspoon.
Measure cold water into a bowl, allowing two teaspoons for every sheet of water called for in the recipe. Gelatin sheets absorb water at a predictable rate, and this is accounted for in recipes calling for the sheets. When converting to powdered gelatin, this amount must be calculated and used to dissolve the powder.
Sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the water. Allow it to rest and "bloom," or soak up water, for five minutes. The gelatin may now be used as directed in your recipe.
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Fred Decker is a trained chef, former restaurateur and prolific freelance writer, with a special interest in all things related to food and nutrition. His work has appeared online on major sites including Livestrong.com, WorkingMother.com and the websites of the Houston Chronicle and San Francisco Chronicle; and offline in Canada's Foodservice & Hospitality magazine and his local daily newspaper. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.