If you’re making a cake or tart with many layers, a layer of water gel is a nice, neutral barrier between the richer flavours. It also adds another texture, which is never a bad thing in my book.


Average: 3.9 (4 votes)


150g caster sugar
1 litre water
6g gellan gum

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place the caster sugar, water and gellan gum in a saucepan. Using a stick blender, mix to remove any white lumps. Stop blending once the mixture becomes thicker.

Put the saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves. After a couple of minutes, the mixture will thin out. Once this happens, bring to the boil for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Refrigerate the gel for 2 hours. When the mixture is set like a soft jelly, it’s ready to use.

To pipe the water gel onto cakes and tarts, use a 7mm nozzle on the piping bag.