The New Bakers Dozen
What's Clear Gel?

The The Bakers Dozen: What's Clear Gel?
By Markg on Wednesday, May 31, 2000 - 11:03 pm: Edit

Recently saw a cheesecake recipe using "clear gel." Can someone tell me if this is a brand name or generic name for a product? Anyone use it instead of cornstarch? Thanks.


By W.DeBord on Thursday, June 01, 2000 - 08:42 am: Edit

I get the names mixed up all the time, I hope I don't confuse you... Sure gel is found in the grocery store near canning supplys and used as a thickener. I use it when I make a strawberry pie to make a clear thick sauce/paste of strawberry that binds them together.

Clear gel I believe is the clear piping jel that some bakeries use to write on cakes. It can be tinted with food pastes and still have a transparent quality. It doesn't have any thickening properties.

By Meatchef (Meatchef) on Thursday, June 01, 2000 - 11:51 am: Edit

Clear Gel is the brand name for an agar agar based piping gel.

By tj on Thursday, June 01, 2000 - 03:17 pm: Edit

clear gel is also what HERO calls its commercial napage, or fruit/pectin base gel for glazing cakes and pastries.

By MarkG on Thursday, June 01, 2000 - 04:22 pm: Edit

Thanks everyone. The clear gel reference was in a cheesecake recipe in "The Baker's Manual" by Jospeh Amendola. It was in lower case so I assume it's not a brand name. In the recipe, he explains that the clear gel sets at 180 degrees. My supplier didn't know what it was.


By Panini (Panini) on Thursday, June 01, 2000 - 06:14 pm: Edit

Clear gel is a type of modified corn starch, it is a brand name that can be bought in 25lbs bags.
You can also use it as a clear thickener,cherry pie filling,etc. less floury taste, less cloudy,lower set temp.
Any bakery supply will have it.

By Hans (Hans) on Thursday, June 01, 2000 - 08:51 pm: Edit

Hi Marc

You must have a different edition than mine, I dont see it.
One cheesecake uses cornstarch, the other bread flour.
He also doesn't explain the difference between the starches. Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen does a better job with this.

It could very well be that a clear gel is a piping jelly, but most pastry chefs will think Clear-Jel, a brand of modified cornstarch.

Clear-Jel, an acid modified cornstarch is also available in an instant variety that doesn't require cooking.

Great to thicken cold fruit sauces.

Just mix with the sugar and incorporate.

Clear-Jel has another couple advantages over cornstarch, it makes a pasty gel (fruit pies) and is freeze-stable.

Plain cornstarch will set firm, weep, break and can't be frozen without deteriorating.

If you want to freeze your cheesecakes, use flour, clear-jel doesn't make much sense in this aplication.

By d. on Thursday, June 01, 2000 - 11:59 pm: Edit

Look up a search under "National Starch and Chemical Co.", I believe they are the makers of Clear Gel. They have various different types of starches, some specifically for bakery use.

By Hans (Hans) on Friday, June 02, 2000 - 10:13 am: Edit

Good idea, d.

Searchengines work, especially Alta Vista IMHO, but seperating the chaff from the grains.......

Their website is somewhat disjointed because they make more than starch for foodservice.

will give you info on CLEARJELŽ and other modified food starches.

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