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What thickener gives a gel-consistency, and not jelly-consistency? Answered

Hey people!
I have a liquid I would like to thicken to the consistency where it can be spread on bread.
I just don't want to blend in too many calories, so I just want to use some thickener.
But what thickener gives a gel-like consistency, and not a jelly-like?

The difference (in my head) is that if you poke the surface of a gel, your finger sinks into it, and if you do the same with a jelly, the surface bends.

So jelly is the wobbly stuff like jell-o, while gel is more like hairgel.

Problem is just that I don't know which thickener to use...

I have these in consideration:

Cornstarch, tried, worked kind of, but not when cooled down in the fridge. Went from almost tolerably jelly, to very jelly
Tapioca, should be like cornstarch, but more fridge-tolerant. Any thoughts?
Flour, not very powerful, and gives a bad taste in those quantities

Agar agar, less wobbly than gelatine, but still kind of jelly.
Pectin, still haven't tried it, but know it is used for jam, and jam can be spread, but can also be kind of wobbly, any thoughts?

Also, any other suggestions?


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10 years ago

No matter what you pick it will be very temperature dependent.

Starch: use less if you intend to fridge it.
Flour: complex carbohydrate. You have to cook it to get it down to gel status (what you do to gravy). once cooked properly, it should thicken nicely without solidifying too much. Again, once cooled, most will harden.

Pectin is great, if you're not allergic.


Answer 10 years ago

Well viscosity really isn't the problem...
I got my hands on some tapioca, and tried that, but it gets way more sticky and gooey than cornstarch.

It's more what stays as un-wobbly as possible


10 years ago

Arrowroot or corn flour but you need to heat it to activate the thickener.