Saturday, 20 July 2013

11-Layer Rainbow Jelly

Is there anything more fun than jelly? I don't even think it is about the taste for me, but the total aesthetic quality of this fantastic substance. It is just filled with childlike nostalgia. I bet almost everyone could tell you their favourite flavour right off the top of their head.

For Mr. H's 1st birthday party last week. It was absurd to not serve jelly. But I wanted something different, something exciting, and something that was more than your usual. 

And I found it. In a fantastic post over at crafty c0rn3r. This tutorial was pretty easy to follow, with heaps of photos to help me along. 

Me and gelatin have a bad history together. Last time we met was over a raspberry sponge cake, that should have had a raspberry, gelatin infused filling. Alas, it did not, christmas day instead was greeted with a cheesecake, and gelatin and I went our seperate ways. This recipe/tutorial uses quite a bit of normal, unflavoured gelatin, which scared me. Adding extra to the jelly mix was easy enough with all the boiling water and what-not, but mixing it with condensed milk... (please don't freak out on me!)

Irrelevant to all this, it was super easy (although a little time consuming), and I succeeded most excellently with this recipe. I don't think I need to be as scared of gelatin as I have been... Maybe I will suck it up, be a brave girl and give something else a go while my ego is feeling good after this. 

How awesome are these!? I was so excited, and I am not bragging, but these were easily the favourite item of any at the party. And the party was MAINLY adults, only a couple of kids. I just think displaying jelly in a new and fun way is so worth it. I am so glad I took the time to make these and give them a go. 

They will be a regular at following parties for my kids, or so I am told by Miss. L, who is very disappointed these were not supplied at her previous parties (isn't it always surprising where the jealousy appears?)

6 normal size packets jelly, any flavours are fine (I just picked the most "boyish" colours)
4 1/4 Tablespoons unflavoured gelatin.**
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Mix your condensed milk with 1 3/4 cup really hot water (basically boiling)
Mix 1 1/4 Tablespoons gelatin with 1 1/4 cup boiling water.
Combine this with condensed milk, stir and set aside.

Combine your first layer of jelly with 1/2 Tablespoon of gelatin, and 1 1/2 cups boiling water. (this will create a firm enough jelly to stand like in the photos above. Cool your jelly a bit, then pour into a large dish. (I used 2 x 20 cm square baking trays, and it worked well). Place in the freezer for 15 minutes or until firm. While your jelly, make up your next colour using the same measurements (1/2 Tablespoon gelatin and 1 1/2 cups boiling water), as it will need time to cool before pouring on top. 

Once your first colour has set, pour enough milk mix on top that it covers, I didn't measure for this part, just eyeballed it, as in the linked tutorial.  Freeze again to set. 

Once milk mix has set and is firm you can add your second layer. 

If your milk mix starts to gel a bit while you are still using it, chuck it in the microwave for 15 seconds, just re-softens it all up, long enough to get you through.

BASICALLY, you are now going to alternate jelly and milk mix, freezing well between every layer, and making every packet of jelly exactly the same.

It is imperative that every layer is frozen seperately for about 15 minutes or until firm, or when you pour on your next layer it will just mix with the previous layer and will stop you from getting the lovely clear layers.

PLEASE NOTE: Do not leave in the freezer for any longer than needed, as if it freezes right through, upon defrosting it releases a lot of the liquid and sugar out of it, and it will not be salvageable.... please learn from my horrible mistake. Yeah, I lost one of my square baking trays worth to the freezer. LUCKILY, I had 2 and it worked out just fine!!

Once you have all 11 layers (6 of jelly, 5 of condensed milk), it will need to refrigerate as a whole overnight to really set in place, at least mine did. 

** (in the linked tutorial, they used KNOX gelatin which comes in envelopes, which we do not sell in our little town, and I purchased McKenzies gelatin, and figured out that each KNOX envelope is equal to 1/2 Tablespoon of gelatin)

I am sure I have forgotten something, and I am sorry I didn't get more images of the process, but as I say over at crafty c0rn3r, they have done a much better job and have all steps laid out. Big up's to them for a fantastic tutorial. Thank you!!

Talk soon,
Lou xoxo