Friday, February 6, 2009

The Joys of Jello

I have a fascination with gelatin. Especially the monumental creations of the 1950's, the towering, jiggling confections that inspire more awe than hunger. I have a modest collection of molds, several cookbooks from the gelatin experts (Jell-O and Knox) and due to strange circumstances, a very large amount of unflavored gelatin.

I think it's time to stop lookin' and start cookin', don't you? I had originally planned to post a handful of photos depicting some of the more awesome "structures" and let you decide which one I should recreate. But then I remembered that these actually require a little skill. It's far beyond the basic boil and let set variety.

Oh no, you must first be a master of the jello. You must be aware of how different ingredients will affect or dilute the gelatin. Did you know that raw pineapple contains an enzyme that inhibits the jelling process? You must account for the sheer size of your masterpiece so it will not collapse under it's own weight.

So I will begin as a humble jello novice and start at the beginning. I shall document my progress - successes and failures- so that others who may follow in my gelatinous path may learn from them. I shall begin with basic desserts and Bavarians and simple salads. Then I'll work my way into the savory realm of aspics, perhaps conquering my fear of warm salmon mousse (pictured in the previous post) and tuna ring. And maybe, just maybe I'll be confident enough to take requests and accepts challenges.

Oh yes, I have high hopes. Very high hopes. And a lot of gelatin.