Christmas Jelly Shots

Don’t throw away those calendars yet!

Here’s an interesting way of re-using your empty Advent calendars – Christmas-themed jelly shots! This one came about as a result of a suggestion for another Christmas-themed experiment – it’s quick and easy, though the end result is a bit fiddly.

Simply take the tray out of the box, and wash off any excess chocolate and remaining glue – the majority of it should actually be peel-able before washing.

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Make up the jelly mix as instructed on the packet (though I opted to use less water than instructed, as less is required here), mix in your choice of juice and alcohol, then carefully pour into each section. Once they’ve cooled, place in the fridge and chill overnight.

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This was the first batch, made with Tango (fizzy Orange) and Jim Beam Red Stag Whiskey.

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For the second batch here, I tried again using even less water, just to see if I could get a thicker jelly – this still needs some work! They did have a bit more of a kick though. I also swapped out the fizzy Orange drink for Vimto.

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You can spoon them out and eat them individually, or perhaps add them to a dessert.

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Cocktail Lollies

If at first you don’t succeed….

Just a quick one – these occurred quite accidentally as a ‘Plan B’; another attempt at a homemade jelly cocktail (the second of which I might still post up) wasn’t quite working out, so I took the mixture and made them into lollies instead.

These comprise of:

A dash of Orange Juice
A dash of White Grape & Peach High juice
A dash of Red Stag Black Cherry Liqueur
Hartleys Jelly powder

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Jack Daniel’s & Cola Jelly Float

Happy Birthday Jasper ‘Jack’ Daniel

What’s a Birthday celebration without jelly and ice cream? Well, for JD’s Birthday this year, I thought I’d create a suitably grown-up version, having recently found out that I can now purchase jelly powder locally – a Jack Daniel’s & Cola Jelly Float, of sorts.

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Using one sachet and the measurements specified, I was able to create three jellies.

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Allowing time to set (I’d recommend overnight at the very least), here’s how it turned out – great! I was happy with the result.

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Happy Birthday Jasper Newton ‘Jack’ Daniel, and thanks – long may you continue to be invited to all celebrations. Cheers!

Apple Jelly Shots

Ever whittled a shot cup out of an apple?

I’m sure many people are already familiar wih the idea of eating a jelly shot out of a hollowed-out orange (I used a clementine once), but I’d never previously heard of anyone using an apple, so had to try it out myself.

The ingredients will all come down to personal preference, but I used the following:

– An apple (I used a Golden Delicious apple)
– Three cubes of jelly per apple (I used Blackcurrant-flavoured jelly)
– Roughly 50ml water per apple (though I wasn’t exact with my measurements)
– Jim Beam Red Stag Whiskey for one side of apple
– Bols’ Blue Curacao for the other side

Melt the jelly cubes in water, and allow to cool.

Carefully hollow-out your apple, add a dash of your chosen beverage, then top up with jelly mix.

There's no non-messy photogenic way of doing this, apparently,

There’s no non-messy photogenic way of doing this, apparently,

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Place in fridge and chill over night.

The end result of the Bols side.

The end result of the Bols side.

Also made a second attempt - I'l admit, the first one had a leak.

Also made a second attempt – I’l admit, the first one had a leak.

The verdict? Oh, definitely try it out yourself.

The Red Stag (Black Cherry) half.

The Red Stag (Black Cherry) half.

Jelly Cocktails

Zombie Brain Hemorrhage, jellified

Another quick one – ever wondered what might happen if you tried suspending a Zombie/Alien Brain Hemorrhage-type cocktail in jelly, instead of a shot glass? Well wonder no more. Not gonna lie, it looks kinda weird (perhaps more so than the shot) but still tastes nice nonetheless. I actually made these some time ago, but never got round to blogging – with Halloween just around the corner, thought it was an appropriate time to do so.

I used:
Orange jelly (instead of schnapps)
A dash of peach vodka
A dash of Grenadine
A dash of Blue Curaco
A dash of Irish cream or Baileys, applied via straw

Before setting.

Before setting.

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Make up the jelly according to the instructions on the packet, then divide it into the glasses, allowing time to cool before adding the rest of the ingredients. Add in each a small measure of vodka, Grenadine and Blue Curaco, then add a dash of Irish Cream/Baileys via straw (place one end of the straw in the bottle, place your thumb over the other end then withdraw the straw slowly, not releasing your thumb until the end of the straw is just under the surface of the jelly). You may even prefer to add in each shot via this method. Very carefully place each glass in the fridge, and allow to set overnight.

After setting.

After setting.

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What was a shot is now an adult dessert. I used a similar method when making cocktail cubes – https://randomkitchenexperiments.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/cocktail-jelly-cubes/. Have fun trying these.

Cocktail Jelly Cubes

Here’s a test run for an idea I made up as I went along – thought it might be a good idea to use for summer gatherings or for parties with friends. It’s simple enough but has to be prepared over a couple of days. I had originally hoped I’d get a marbled effect, but upon realising that that idea needed more work, I improvised and instead decided to go for a layered look. Here’s the method I used.

I used:
1 Orange jelly
A few cubes from a Blackcurrant jelly
Grenadine
Blue Curacao
1 ice cube tray
Drinking straws

Make the orange jelly as instructed on the packet.

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Being very careful to pour (or use either a spoon or smaller jug), pour a little of the jelly into each empty compartment, to around halfway.

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Then (and here it can get messy, so lay some kitchen towel down first!), drip a little Grenadine and/or Curacao into each – I opted to use the straw method to achieve this (place the end of the drinking straw in the bottle, place a thumb over one end, then draw out the straw, slowly releasing over each cube). The Grenadine will instantly form a layer at the bottom, whilst the Blue Curacao will form a wispy effect – it’ll need further tinkering to get it to set this way.

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Place in the fridge, keeping flat at all times. OPTIONAL PART – a few hours later or the following day, add a few drops of Curacao as an extra layer. Given time, it will set with the jelly, but leave for a few hours at least before adding the extra jelly on top. Leave overnight if chosing to do this the same day as the first jelly layer.

Next, take just three blocks of your second jelly, and melt down in around 100ml of water. Allow this jelly mixture to cool to room temperature, then carefully spoon onto each jelly cube. Place back in the fridge, again leave in overnight.

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You should hopefully end up with something like this!

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I’m happy with this result, so it’s an idea I’ll try again, continuing to tinker with it. For serving suggestions, I’d suggest placing a couple of cubes in a glass with some cream soda, or serving with some ice cream as part of an adult’s dessert, or simply as a substitute for a shot/jelly shot.

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Vodka Trifle

A party favourite for grown-ups

This was the first improvised recipe I ever tried out, starting out with something simple, when making the jump from just experimenting with cocktails. The first time I made it, for a friend’s party, I had my friends coming back for seconds, with one friend requesting that I make it when she eventually get married. I’m gonna need a bigger bowl….! I have since made it again for friends and family on request. It goes without saying that as this trifle contains vodka, keep it away from little ones! Also, despite the fact that I use two types of vodka here, it is not used to be overpowering – more as an extra flavour, something to give it a more adult appeal. A trifle is really easy to make, but I have nonetheless still described each stage.

I couldn’t resist using silver pearls (dragees) as a topping – as a child, I was confused by the concept of a decoration that resembled metal, yet was edible. To add to the appeal, they also featured during one episode of Doctor Who, where the Doctor refered to them as “edible ball bearings” – a phrase I’ve continued to use!

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For this recipe, you’ll need:

Around 210g of seedless grapes (amount can be adapted to suit preference), washed
1 Blackcurrant Jelly
12 sponge fingers
A 1kg carton of custard (or equivalent homemade if prefered)
A pack of Banana-flavoured angel delight/instant whip
Peach-flavoured vodka
Vanilla vodka
Silver pearls (cake topping)/Dragees AKA the “edible ball bearings”
Optional – any further toppings you wish to use

Make up the jelly mix as stated on the packet, and pour into a large dish/container. Add the grapes to the jelly, enough to appear evenly spread (though there will be some shifting when setting), also taking care not to add too many as this will prevent/delay it setting properly. Add one or two shots’ worth of peach vodka, and then place in the fridge, to set overnight.

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For the next layer, place some of the sponge fingers on a plate or dish, then carefully pour a tiny amount of vanilla vodka around the fingers, so that they soak up the vodka – tilting the plate around a little will help with this, and you only need a small amount to do this, not too much to be overpowering. Place the fingers on top of the jelly, and if desired, drip any remaining vodka on top, as pictured.

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Then gradually pour the custard over the sponge fingers, taking care to ensure it is poured evenly and no air bubbles remain, also making sure that any sponge fingers don’t float up. At this point, you may wish to add anything extra into the custard, choc chips/strands etc. Then place back in the fridge for the time being.

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Prepare the instant whip/angel delight mix as normal – I prefer to add more milk than the 300ml stated on the pack, to ensure it spreads evenly. Spoon the topping onto the trifle, spreading evenly with no gaps.

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Then sprinkle the pearls on top, and any further toppings you wish, like the more traditional hundreds and thousands. Done!

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At my friend's housewarming party, before seconds were requested.

At my friend’s housewarming party, before seconds were requested.

Had to share this one - by this time, we'd run out of bowls, so used glasses instead.

Had to share this one – by this time, we’d run out of bowls, so used glasses instead.

I hope you find this recipe appealing, and get as much satisfaction from it as myself, my friends and family did!