the Jellomaniac's Manual

Volume 5-A - Tips and Tricks

Rev. 02-Apr-1997

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This is Volume 5-A - Jell-O Serving Suggestions, tips and tricks.

Jell-O Serving Suggestions

and other tips and tricks

Two-Layer Dessert Cups

One nice jelly dessert I saw in a hotel restaurant: use individual glass cups. Fill half cup with yellow jelly half set, and then pourred jelly half set. Shake it a bit, to get a sunrise effect. Before it completely sets, add a candied cherry at the center. Looks great!

April 1994, Gabi Shahar (mot.com)

Use a lined cupcake pan

Once it's mixed ... pour into cupcake pans (with liners) and let set. Using a bit less cold water and pouring a splash of grenadine into the individual cups makes a nice sunrise effect.

May 1994, Tillman (portal.com)

Salsa Cups: An attractive small single serving idea

I recently tried using 2-oz. plastic salsa cups (those little wide shallow ones you get condiments in) for making my individual servings. They have some advantages and disadvantages over Dixie Cups (below). First of all, being clear or nearly so, the color is clearly visible from the side; and with the wide mouth, it's also quite visible from the top. But hand-in-hand with this comes the fact that you can't get as many on a plate - I can fit 15 in a 9x13 pan, while the Dixie Cups will squeeze as many as 24 in the same pan. You need to come up with a way to layer them for transport.

Another advantage is that you can get your spoon in a lot easier. In fact, you might be able to come away with the entire serving, or almost all of it, balanced on your spoon. This is paired with the fact that they don't look much like "drinks." This could be a plus if you're trying to camouflage them; a minus if you're trying to emphasize the bar-drinks aspect.

Finally, a 2 oz. cup holds less than a 3 oz. cup. I've found that a large batch makes about 19 of these.

August 1994, Chaz Baden

Dixie Cups: Perfect for alcoholic Jell-O

Buy Dixie Cups, the 3 oz. Bathroom size. Give the jello liquid a chance to cool to room temperature, then fill the cups most of the way up. (You'll get about 2-2.5 oz. in them, or in other words 6-8 dixiecups per small batch.) You can put them all in a cake pan, like an 9x9x2 or 9x13x2 pan. Let them set that way, and you've got individual servings.

The advantage is twofold; not only are they individually dished out, but you can eat the jellos without a spoon if you wish (just squish the cup).

Shot glasses for frat-style "Jell-O Shots"

Bill Andrews's notes on serving the "original" version of Jell-O Shots.

[Note that my recipes tend more towards being mixed drinks, more dilute than straight shots. The jello shots mentioned here seem to be made with equal parts water and liquor. -hazel]

You suggested serving jello shots in 3 oz dixie cups. If you look in a bar supply store or a large liquor store, you will find bags of 1oz plastic shot glasses (more like medicine dose cups) with fill-lines on the side. You can turn out more "shots" per batch of jello this way. It is especially nice for things like "frat parties" where we sell the shots for $.50 - $.75 each. By your reckoning... that's 18-24 shots per batch or $9 - $18 per batch. Pretty good when you consider that you paid maybe $2.00 for the ingredients (including the 1 cup of alcohol).

[I pointed out that the hard plastic cups aren't easy to use; soft plastic cups don't come in that particular shape and size, and most spoons are too big to fit. -hazel]

You are correct on the plastic dispenser cups. They tend to be a bit difficult to get into. We had to break them apart to eat them. Or, after you've had a few drinks, you can put it in your mouth (ala blow-job-shots) and try to use your tongue to get the Jell-O. It's rather comical to watch some people do this. :)

How about those little wooden ice cream spoons like they give out with single serving cups of ice cream? Or small plastic "tasting" spoons.

[Another idea: how about adding a packet of Knox Unflavored Gelatine to the batch, and then demoulding the shot glasses before serving? A la "jigglers"? -hazel]

May 1994, Bill Andrews (rit.edu)

Serving idea: jello in eggshells

With all this recent talk about Jell-O, I think you guys have solved a problem that has been plaguing me for several years now.

I'm into dyeing and etching eggs. As they get older, the albumen breaks down, gets thinner and has a tendency to "weep" through the shell. Sometimes, eggs-ceptionally shaped eggs, or goose, or duck eggs need to be drained to keep them from exploding before I get a chance to get to them.

To remain submerged in either dye or acid, the egg has to be filled with *something*. The hole I drill is too small for what I have in shotgun shot, salt or sand are hard to get in and out. Of the injectables, water's viscosity lets it weep through the shell. Oil, being lighter than water would make the egg float.

Are you ahead of me yet? Of course! I think gelatin will do the trick. It can be injected while a liquid and at room temp, it will remain solid, provide weight and won't seep through the pores in the shell.

Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!!

May 1994, Diki Shamlian Gust (mcs.com)

... Diki had a great solution to his weeping-albumen problem. But, Diki, here's another trick. If you fill the eggshells with jello and you don't like the way they come out, you can peel them and have funny jello eggs to eat.

May 1994, Denise Gluck (nyu.edu)

Speed-Set Method

Completely dissolve a (small) 4-serving package of Jell-O brand gelatin in 3/4 cup boiling water. Measure 1/2 cup cold water and add ice cubes to make 1 1/4 cups. Add to hot gelatin and stir until slightly thickened (about 3 to 5 minutes). Remove any unmelted cubes. Chill. It will be soft-set and ready to eat in about 30 minutes. (Double quantities for 8-serving package.)

General Foods USA, 250 North Street, White Plains NY 10625

Blender Method

This is not only fast, it makes gelatin with a frothy top. Place a (small) 4-serving package of Jell-O brand gelatin and 1 cup boiling water in blender. Cover and blend at low speed until dissolved, about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of ice cubes and water and stir until ice is partially melted; then cover and blend at high speed about 30 seconds. (Or use 1 1/2 cups crushed ice and blend at high speed for 30 seconds.) Pour into individual dishes or serving bowl and chill 10 to 20 minutes. Mixture is self-layering, frothy layer on top, clear layer on bottom.

Do not use this method for an 8-serving (large) package. Most blenders will not accommodate the amount of liquid required.

General Foods USA, 250 North Street, White Plains NY 10625

Good Cook Tips

For prepared gelatin that's clear and uniformly set, be sure gelatin is *completely* dissolved in boiling water before adding cold water.

To double a recipe, double amounts of gelatin, liquid and other ingredients -- *except* salt, vinegar and lemon juice. For these, use 1 1/2 times the amount called for.

When storing prepared gelatin overnight or longer, cover it to prevent drying. (Store in the refrigerator, of course.)

General Foods USA, 250 North Street, White Plains NY 10625

To Add Fruit or Vegetables

Refrigerate gelatine 1 1/2 hours or until thickened. Stir in 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups (small 4-serving batch) or up to 3 cups (large 8-serving batch) chopped fruit or vegetables (well-drained, if using canned). Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.

NOTE: DO NOT use fresh or frozen pineapple, kiwi fruit, fresh ginger, mangoes, papaya, figs or guava. Gelatin will not set.

When adding fruits or vegetables, first chill the gelatin until it has thickened. Otherwise, fruits or vegetables will either float or sink.

General Foods USA, 250 North Street, White Plains NY 10625

Flavor Ideas: Quick Tricks

For extra flavor, replace part or all of the water called for in directions with fruit juice, syrup from canned fruit, or carbonated soft drinks.

Or add an extract - vanilla, almond or peppermint, for example. Just a few drops.

Create a new flavor by combining 1 package each of two different gelatin flavors. Try Lemon or Orange with any red flavor. Or try two reds together.

General Foods USA, 250 North Street, White Plains NY 10625

How to make layered effects

It's a lot simpler than you might think. You just make the first batch, pour it into the bowl(s), and refrigerate it. While it's chilling, start preparing another batch, and let it cool to room temperature. By the time it's cool enough to pour, the stuff in the fridge should be set enough so that if you slowly, carefully pull the next layer on top, it won't be so warm as to melt through the first layer.

Know-How for Molding

Never use an ice cube preparation method when you're going to mold gelatin.

Decrease cold water to 3/4 cup for a (small) 4-serving package (to 1 1/2 cups for 8-serving). [In other words decreate total liquid by an eighth; by one quarter cup for every two cups of liquid. -hazel]

You can use fancy molds -- or something simple: baking pans, mixing bowls, custard cups.

Be sure your mold isn't too big for the amount of gelatin mixture. It will be difficult to unmold. Most recipes tell you what size you need. For a plain gelatin mold, a 4-serving package makes a little less than 2 cups, an 8-serving package less than 4 cups. You can check how much a mold holds by measuring with water.

To make a decorative pattern of fruits or vegetables, pour 1/4 inch gelatin into mold; chill until slightly thickened. (Keep remaining gelatin at room temperature.) Arrange fruits or vegetables on the gelatin in the mold. Spoon remaining thickened gelatin over pattern; return to refrigerator.

General Foods USA, 250 North Street, White Plains NY 10625

... And Unmolding

First, be sure gelatin is completely firm. Allow it to set 3 to 4 hours or overnight. Also, have ready a chilled serving plate on which mold will be served. Then:

Dip a small, pointed knife in warm water and run the knife tip around the edge of the gelatin to loosen it from mold.

Dip mold in warm, not hot, water just to the rim, for about 10 seconds. [If you overdo it, it'll melt! -hazel] Lift up, hold upright and shake gently.

Moisten top of gelatin and the chilled serving plate with cold water. Place moistened plate over mold and invert. Shake slightly, then lift mold off carefully. If gelatin does not release, dip mold in warm water again for 10 seconds and repeat.

General Foods USA, 250 North Street, White Plains NY 10625

Glowing Jell-O?

Is there a recipe for glow in the dark jello? I thought I saw it on a TV commercial that advertised a cookbook of children's party foods. If you happen to have the recipe and the time, could you send it to me?

I believe the method they used for the glow-in-the-dark Jell-o in the commercial was to put a light of some sort under a glass serving dish . The Jell-o itself does not actually contain any glowing properties, but acts as like a stage light "gel," coloring the light as it passes through.

November 1995, A. Huff (ohio-state.edu);
for Rick Louie (aol.com)

Jell-O, Lasers, and Fiber Optics

...Jello is often used in physics demonstrations of total internal reflection. You take a laser, and shoot the beam into one end of a long piece of jello. The beam bounces up and down against the walls of the jello and comes out the other end (I'm a science teacher so I'm always doing strange things with food). I use this demo to demonstrate how fiber optics work.

November 1995, Rick Louie (aol.com)

Introduction | A-E | F-P | Q-Z | Non-alc. | Other Recipes | Pudding | Tips | FAQ | History | Flavors | Want Ads | Links | Gallery | Index | liquor | misc. ingredients

The Jellophile / C.M.J. (Chaz) Baden / hazelweb at boston-baden.com

Chaz ("Hazel") Boston Baden [Hazel]