Monday, April 20, 2009

The Joys of Jello: Part 2 - Molds

In my fight to educate the public about the awesomeness of Jello I'll be posting a series of my favorite Jello recipes. Today's topic will be the classic Jello mold.

My Basic Jello Mold Recipe
(This is the one I use for every single one of my Jello concoctions.)

2 3oz boxes of Jello (or 1 6oz box)
2 envelopes of Knox plain gelatin
2 cups boiling water (or more)
(just think 2+2+2 and if you double it 4+4+4)

Mix Jello and gelatin in a large glass mixing bowl. (Don't use metal it will absorb all the heat of the boiling water.) Add boiling water stir about 3 minutes until gelatin is completely dissolved. Pick your Jello mold. Most hold about 2.5 - 3.5 cups liquid. Pour Jello into mold and top off with extra water if needed. Stir lightly in mold. (If you're unsteady and clumsy like me. I would suggest putting your Jello mold in a pan before filling for easier handling. Spilling Jello on the floors will make them sticky for weeks.) Place Jello in refrigerator. Chill overnight or until completely set. Now you're ready to unmold it. This is the hard part. But if you used the recipe above it's going to be super firm and much less likely to break apart. Here are the three main ways to unmold your Jello:

(a) Run a small pointed knife that's been run under warm water around the top edge of the mold to loosen it. (I've had very poor results with this method and quite trying it.)

(b) Moisten tips of fingers in warm water and gently pull gelatin away from top edge of the mold. (I almost always use this method to release them and it works great.)

(c) Dip your Jello mold just to the rim in luke warm water (DO NOT USE HOT it will melt the whole thing!) for about 10 seconds. Repeat once if necessary. Do not make your water hotter or dip more than twice. (I only use this method for though ones, after the top methods have failed.)

(d) Lift from water and shake gently to loosen from edges.

(e) Moisten the top of the gelatin. (This makes it easier to position on plate.) Place lettuce around the edges and hold in place with plate. (Do not use warm plate it will melt the Jello.)

(f) Then invert mold and plate together. Lift mold off.

(g) If your Jello is absolutely STUCK, and won't come out after dipping it twice in the luke warm water. Do NOT dip it again. The problem isn't that it hasn't melted enough. You don't need to melt it at all. The problem is that it's created a vacuum and your Jello mold is acting like a giant suction cup. The best way to get it out now is to slip a finger down one of the sides carefully and work your way around the mold, until you hear the "Swoosh" sound. Then you'll know that the vacuum seal has been broken and you can carefully pull it out the rest of the way with your fingers or invert it on a plate.

Good luck!

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