Rainbow Doodle Jello is an easy to make but impressive coloured jello hidden under a vanilla milk jello skin layer. Doodling has never been this much fun!
There has been a flurry of rainbow-coloured desserts popping up here, there and everywhere, ever since the Whisk Kid unveiled her first rainbow cake in 2008, but as far as I can tell, my Rainbow Doodle Jelly is in fact a world-first! Please, do correct me if I’m wrong…
When I was brainstorming ideas for the Royal Selangor Get Your Jelly On challenge, I thought it would be great to make rainbow jelly. I loved it as a child – the colours have always fascinated me, and until I became aware of how the jelly was layered, I was forever intrigued how they got those colourful discs in the glass, so even and smooth… Fast forward a couple of decades (and then some), I still liked the concept, I just felt it needed a lift, an element of surprise, something that would make you go: wow! As I kept thinking up various ‘wow’ concepts, it dawned on me:
Why not make a Sweetapolita-inspired rainbow doodle jelly? Sure, it would be much harder, but I love a good challenge, so I put on my apron and got to work.
First and foremost, I wanted the jelly to both look stunning, or at least cute, and taste great because food is a sensory experience. I decided to go with a cream and vanilla bean panna cotta style jelly on the outside, and use store-bought lemon flavoured jelly crystals for the inner rainbow layers. I chose lemon for two reasons: the yellow as base colour is the easiest to mix with gel food colouring for the other layers, and in terms of flavour, it would go well with the creamy vanilla bean outer ‘skin’ that was going to cover the rainbow surprise inside! Together, the flavours reminded me of a good lemon curd Pavlova!
Mr Chipconnoisseur chipped in too! He surprised me by knowing the order of colours in the rainbow – it has to do with the wavelengths of different colours of light apparently. Sounds to me like his engineering thesis on fibre optics at uni has finally paid off, plus he was kind enough to help me work out the best way to make the vanilla cream skin by using both moulds.
And, on the last day of school holidays, the kids had a tonne of fun doodling on the jellies and then gobbling them up too!
Rainbow doodle jelly
I have obviously used 2 of my Royal Selangor jelly moulds to create the dessert, but you could achieve a similar effect using a small round bowl and a water balloon filled with water to create the cream and vanilla bean ‘bowl’ which, when turned out, would for the ‘skin’ over the rainbow jelly, concealing it until the first bite. When using the bowl and balloon method, you can prepare both jellies at the same time.
For the vanilla bean cream jelly:
- 1/4 cup fresh cream
- 1/4 of a vanilla bean, cut in half longways
- 1 tbsp stevia // or sugar
- 1 tsp gelatin + a generous pinch more
For the inner rainbow layers:
- 1 packet lemon jelly crystals
- 2 tsps gelatin
- boiling hot water
- red, green, blue and purple gel food colouring (I used Wilton gels)
To make the vanilla bean cream jelly ‘skin’: place cream, stevia (or sugar) and vanilla bean in a small saucepan. Cook, whisking, over medium heat until it comes up to a boil. Turn heat to low and cook for another couple of minutes.
Remove the vanilla beans from the pan and scrape all the seeds back into the cream. Remove the pan from the heat, sprinkle over with gelatin powder and whisk for a minute for the gelatin to dissolve. Cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally to stop the milk skin from forming.
When cooled, whisk one last time to agitate the seeds and pour half of the vanilla cream into one of the moulds placed upright in a mug (or divide between 2 bowls, see tip above). Place in the freezer for 10 minutes for the cream to thicken.
Move mug with mould into the fridge and place the other mould (or water balloons – see note above) into the cream-jelly filled cone. The liquid should come up the edges. Make sure the inner mould is not touching any of the other mould’s sides as this may cause colour running. Chill for 30 minutes. When set, gently wiggle the inner mould out and repeat the process by filling the empty mould this time. If the remaining cream has set you can reheat it just slightly (to room temperature only) and use again.
To make the inner rainbow layers: prepare lemon jelly crystals according to packet instructions, adding extra 2 teaspoons of gelatin (you should get about 2 cups or 500ml).
Divide the jelly between 6 or 7 bowls. Add food colouring to each bowl (red, orange, green, blue, purple) and mix well. Starting with red, pour a little of the jelly into the mould and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to set. Repeat layering with the other colours. Obviously, for the cone shape jelly you will require only a little bit of red jelly compared to purple.
Once finished layering and the jelly is somewhat set, cover it with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
To make the doodles: dip mould into some hot water for a second. Place a plate over the jelly and flip it outside down to release onto the plate. Using gel food colouring and q-tips doodle all over the jellies!