My baby has just had his 5th birthday party, during which he requested an R2D2 cake, and rainbow jello. I thought convincing him to have chocolate cupcakes and an R2D2 jello mold would be totally awesome, and make life easier for me......but of course it's never quite the way is it? The day before B's big party (WAY big... 15 hyper children crammed into my house during a snow day, it was epic hyperness!) was spent cleaning (pointless really) baking cupcakes (why did I not save that for last!) and packing goody bags (CANDY!!!). I had been planning out jiggly jello R2D2 in my mind for ages and felt prepared. I pictured the cake pan, and layering the colors in the same way I would do for my rainbow jello molds, first the white, which would flow into the cake pan impressions just where it is supposed to. Perhaps I would have to scrape out some stray jelly as it firmed up, and then I would layer in the blue while I have a cuppa tea and watch some TV. I figured it was an easy project I could save for the very end of the night. The crushing realization that cake pans are NOT like jello molds didn't hit me until 10pm, when I had finally pulled my vintage Star Wars pan out of the closet and saw that the design actually is impressed from the outside of the pan to the interior. This makes it easier to frost a finished cake I am sure... but not for pouring in jello.
Alright then.... it's late... but there is no need to panic. I remembered a "broken glass" technique I had seen on The Food Librarian and figured I could translate that into "stained glass" to color in the R2 design. (I will admit, that I did just try to make one big blobby white driod and call it a night... it was creepy, ghostly and sad. I had dive all in!) Here's how I did it... and you can too!
*Mix and set up in your fridge the colors you will need for your design. (You're going to need to leave one package unmixed... the finial back round color if you will, to "glue" it all together.)
*To make white jello, you'll just need a pack of plain gelatin, which you will mix as instructed on the packaging and add to a small amount of a "cream". Some people use sour cream, yogurt, cool whip or coconut milk. I used condensed milk which I flavoured with vanilla. (Not a hit with every child I am afraid... I might try cool whip next time.) To get darker shades of the same color you can add food or frosting coloring.
*Once your jello is firm (or, if you're up at midnight still trying to figure this whole process out... firm ENOUGH.) flip it onto a cutting board and carve out your pattern shapes and position them in your mold.
* After you're happy with your design mix your last packages of jello according to the instructions and carefully pour it over your pieced creation. You may have a few lighter pieces float about on you. If you cannot push them down with a utensil don't worry, after you pop it into the fridge you can come back in 5-8.5 minutes and as the jello has slightly firmed up you'll be able to put those in their place. Let your whole creation set up overnight.
*Getting my jelly droid out of his mold was a little stressful. You're going to want yours to be around room temperature, otherwise it is going to be stuck tight! Make sure you pull it out of the fridge with plenty of time before serving, if you're impatient and have to run the pan under hot water you're just going to melt it a bit.
After staying up all night I had not thought to make a nice platter for my poor droid, and he ended up flipped onto a cookie sheet... squished into the corner. Once he was on there, there was NO shifting the 5 pound jello behemoth he had become. Looking back, he's really pretty excellent for a pre-party late night first time rush job, but I am pretty sure this "stained glass" jello technique is something I could master after another try or two. I do have a Rainbow Brite cake pan that just may need to be dusted off and put to the test.
Is this craziness something you might try? (The things we do for our kids right?) What's the most insane thing you've found yourself doing the night before a party? I'd say carving jello defiantly takes the cake for me! <3 -Kendra