July has come and gone, which means it's time for....Agar August!
(That's a joke. We all know what time it is: Spooky Season👻)
Jelly July Weekend
Purestmaiden and I kicked off the festivities with a deep dive into jelly-themed desserts, which I derailed a bit to discuss some of my recipes. Then, I took a nap. Our favorite game show host Mani Tokkigo resumed the fun later that evening with the most elaborate slide presentation I've ever seen, aka
I really enjoyed coming up with possible puzzles for this panel, even if most were rejected for being too tricky. The day concluded with our 3-in-1 mega-panel, Show-and-Jell, where we learned some very important facts:
If you're going to eat gelatin powder straight from the package, don't. But if you must, avoid sugar-free.
J-fashion enthusiasm does not necessarily translate into Jell-o shot experience.
Dressing for the summer heat is hard, but photographing gelatin desserts is even harder.
You can catch up on all of our panels here.
The next day, I put on every piece of Jane Marple's Anniversary Cake that I own to help host the Jelly Bowl Party. I very much enjoyed hearing about everyone's adventures in jelly-making, commiserating about general summer struggles, and of course, discussing the finer points of Cow Law.
A Dessert Addendum
There's always room for gelatin desserts! While I did have to take a week off to finish what I had already made, I do plan to continue my jelly journey for the time being, albeit at a slower pace. The first post-event recipe? Why, Santa's favorite Jellied Holiday Nog!
I'll cut to the chase - this didn't taste like egg nog. And while I made a few modifications, and came up with one more, there's a clear problem with the recipe: eggs. Or rather, the utter and complete lack of them. At this point, I would be venturing fully into major addition rather than minor substitution, which in my book means making an entirely different dessert. That being said, it didn't taste bad! My taste-testers both described it as "a rich lemon mousse", and the optional cranberry glaze recipe provided below would probably improve it more, had I bothered to make it.
1 3-ounce package lemon-flavored gelatin
1 3¼-ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix (Current US package size is a little larger)
1 tbsp sugar
2½ cups water (Perhaps substitute milk?)
1 envelope whipped topping mix (Used 2 cups of whipped topping instead)
½ tsp rum extract (Substituted actual rum)
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp nutmeg
Combine gelatin, pudding mix, and sugar in a large saucepan. Add water and cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Remove from heat and chill until thickened. (Kelp tip: I used an icewater bath and chilled it until cool.) Prepare whipped topping mix as directed on package (if not substituting with something else). Thoroughly blend whipped topping, rum extract, vanilla, and nutmeg into thickened pudding mixture. Pour into serving dishes and chill until firm (at least 4 hours). Garnish as desired.
People have asked "Are you sick of gelatin?" A valid question, given the cavalcade of chilled confections in my refrigerator. Being selective about what I made and reducing recipes as much as possible have helped. However, some recipes had such a high yield that even reducing by fourths resulted in fridge full of jellies. I spent the week after the event focused on clearing leftovers, aiming for a Too Easy Tuesday restart. But one thing after another led to additional delays...By the time I got back into the swing of things, I decided on this recipe, cuz ♪It's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake♪
Except it very much isn't! Stirring lumpy cake batter smooth is much more strenuous than dissolving gelatin in hot liquid; my cake pans ended up overfilled and took forever to bake; and then I still had to chill and frost the layers (but make frosting before that). This, however, was one of my most popular makes - within an hour of frosting it, a quarter of it was missing. A welcome development, because...I don't like cake. "What?" Well, specifically American cake. What is "American cake"? I'll leave that up to you to ponder.
1 package cake mix (enough for 2 layers)
1 cup boiling water
1 3-ounce package of flavored gelatin
½ cup cold water
Make cake mix as directed and let cakes cool in pan for at least 15 minutes. Pierce cake thoroughly with fork. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water, and then add cold water. Pour carefully over cake and refrigerate for 3 hours. Frost with whipped topping (or see frosting recipe below).
1 8-ounce package of whipped topping
1 3.4-ounce package of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup of milk (I used half-and-half)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine thoroughly and chill before using.
While this is the last Jelly July Journal entry, you can follow my Instagram to keep up with my latest works of gelatin.