Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Boozey Rainbow Jello Cake (A Pin a Day #1)

 I went to lunch with my cousin the other day and she told me about a great idea she had using a blog, and Pinterest. She wants to try a pin a day and blog her successes and fails, and I thought that would be a great project for me too, except I'd mostly be doing food since this is a food blog (duh). So here is my first post in my week of blogging a pin a day! Enjoy!

So now that summer is here, and BBQ's are a-plenty, it's time to make some really show stopping stuff to bring to your potlucks! If you're like me, then it doesn't matter how much time you spend doing something if the end result produces a "WOW! Factor" of epic proportions. I had seen this recipe online and thought it was just too beautiful not to make, I just needed the right occasion, so for our last family BBQ, I made it. I bring to you, the Boozey Rainbow Jello Cake!

A few years ago, my sister worked at a bar at the beach and she was the Jello Shot girl. She got to be really good at making Jello Shots and would always being them over to family get togethers (we're quite the troop of lushes). Hers, although tasty, we're so plain and boring in their little monochrome single serving cups. I decided to step it up a notch after a trip to The Jelly Shot Test Kitchen and viewing some of the most beautiful creations you would swear they couldn't be made of Jello.

Rainbow Jello Cake from Jelly Shot Test Kitchen

I became such a fan of JSTK, that I started buying boxes of Jello every time I saw them on sale at my local grocery store, and eventually had a huge stash of them (check the local ads and coupon savers, you can find them as low as 33 cents a box!). These treats are cheap, pretty and a total showstopper. Warning though, this does take up a good chunk of your afternoon  (or evening) to assemble and then an additional 24 hours in the fridge to firm up, so don't think 2 hours from now you'll be feasting on this. If you opt for an alcohol free version of this "cake", just substitute your favorite juice for vodka. Every step is incredibly important so if you're not of the directions-reading-patient-and diligent variety, do not attempt or it will look something like this.

You will need;
  • 4 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 6 3oz packages gelatin dessert mix (colors and flavors of your liking - I used Cherry, Orange, Lemon, Lime, Blue Raspberry, and Grape for the rainbow effect)
  • 3 envelopes plain Knox gelatin (6 teaspoons of gelatin powder total)
  • 3 cups vodka(or your favorite alcohol, flavored or unflavored)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (yogurt or cool whip will also work, you'll need about 12 tbsp)
  • a bundt pan
  • cooking spray or oil to coat pan
Place your vodka in the freezer to keep it chilled. Prepare your pan by lightly spraying it with cooking spray or oil, and wiping out the excess.

Start with your first layer (I used grape first)
  1. Heat 3/4 cup of water in a small sauce pan over low heat and sprinkle with 1 tsp (half a package) of unflavored gelatin. Stir to dissolve.
  2. Wisk in package of flavored Jello, stir to dissolve, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove of heat and add 1/2 cup of alcohol.
  4. Pour half of the mixture, about 3/4 cup into the mold and return to refrigerator to set up, about 20-30 minutes. Transfer remaining mixture to a separate cup and place in the fridge to cool about 5 minutes.
  5. Add 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk to mixture in separate cup and stir to combine. Let cool and thicken slightly, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Test the Jello in the mold. Place your finger on the top. If the mixture is sticky, but releases from your finger, it is ready for the next layer. Slowly pour the 2nd mixture on top of the Jello in the mold and return to the fridge to cool and set up. 
  7. Wash your sauce pan, and get ready to repeat steps 1-7 with the next flavor.
Make sure the layers are still sticky before pouring the next layer on top of the layers will not stick. Make sure when pouring the mixture into the mold that the Jello is not too hot, or it will melt the layer below and you will not get a defined line, which is the most striking element of this dessert.  If you plan on using yogurt or whipped cream instead of condensed milk, make sure the mixture is completely cooled, or you will get a lumpy curdled effect in your creamy layers. You should have 12 alternating creamy and clear layers at the end. As you work up to the top of the dessert the chilling time will shorten due to the dessert becoming more cold, so double check the stickiness frequently.

When you are finished, let the mold sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours. This allows the Jello to set and thicken so it's easier to remove from the mold, and cut into slices.

To remove the cake from the mold, dip into warm water for about 10 seconds. Make sure the water isn't too hot, or you leave it in the water too long as the Jello will melt and make an unsightly mess (Trust me haha). Place a plate on top of the mold, and flip over to release. There might be a bit of melty jello, so just clean it up with a paper towel and place back into the fridge until ready to serve so it can firm up one more time.

Your cake, if you followed all the directions above, should look like this.

Remove from fridge.

Revel in the awe.



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  1. This is awesome - thank you! Weird question - what is the name of that granite (or whatever stone) under the cake?!

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