Leigh Beisch Photo by: Leigh Beisch

Mandarin-Berry-Almond Floats

Notes: Fresh raspberries, mandarin orange segments, and cubes of almond-flavored gelatin float in a cardamom and orange syrup in this refreshing dessert. You can complete step 1 up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill. You can make the entire dessert up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill.

Sunset MARCH 2004

  • Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 orange (8 oz.), rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon whole cardamom pods
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, rinsed
  • 1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, chilled


1. In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan, mix 1/4 cup sugar and the gelatin. Stir in 1/3 cup cold water; let stand until gelatin is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir over medium-high heat until gelatin and sugar are dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in milk and almond extract. Pour into 9-inch square baking dish or pan. Chill until firm, at least 3 hours; cover if storing longer (see notes).

2. With a vegetable peeler, pare six thin 4- by 1/2-inch strips of peel from orange. Ream juice from orange and reserve. With the flat bottom of a glass, crush cardamom pods; remove and discard hulls. Place orange peel strips, black cardamom seeds, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan. With a wooden spoon, crush peel and seeds with sugar. Add 4 cups water; stir over high heat until sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Let cool, then add reserved orange juice; cover and chill until cold, at least 1 1/2 hours. Pour through a fine strainer set over a large bowl.

3. Cut almond gelatin into 3/4-inch squares; also run knife around pan sides. With a wide spatula, carefully lift out cubes and add to orange-cardamom syrup. Add raspberries and mandarin oranges with their syrup; gently mix to distribute fruit evenly. Serve or cover and chill until ready to serve (see notes). Ladle into small bowls or glasses.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 123
  • Calories from fat: 12%
  • Protein: 2.5g
  • Fat: 1.7g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrate: 25g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Sodium: 27mg
  • Cholesterol: 6.8mg

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Mandarin-Berry-Almond Floats Recipe