Monday, July 4, 2011

Braaaaaains: A How To

by Megan S.

I've been wanting to try making Jello internal organs since I read Penn and Teller's recipe for a bleeding heart when I was a kid, but I've never come across an appropriate mold.  That's why I was so frakking excited to find the Fred Brain Freeze ice cube mold at Target the other day.  I would finally have my zombie just desserts!

Find out how to make the Jello brains, where to buy the mold (because Target's sold out) and a nerdy guide to making Jello shots after the jump.

Tips before starting: Several related recipes suggest using peach or watermelon flavored gelatin for a better color but these are tiny Jello brains we're talking about.  Are we really going to bring realism into the conversation?  Besides, I like strawberry.  (Of course, you can always add a few drops of food coloring if you want to make it grey.)

All of those recipes also say it's critical to use fat-free evaporated milk.  Any other type of evaporated milk would curdle.  So, that's what I went with.

Oh and one more thing. You'll notice that the mouth of the molds aren't the widest section.  I didn't want to chance damaging the dessert so I snipped the lip of each brain in two places to make releasing the Jello easier. I did it where the two hemispheres meet so any seam I had now created wouldn't mar the Jello.

So what do you need?

Fred Brain Freeze Ice Cube Tray
0.3 oz Strawberry Jello
1 cup of boiling water
1/2 of a cup of Fat Free Evaporated Milk
1/2 of a cup of ice water
Nonstick Cooking Spray

In an appropriately sized bowl, pour the jello powder and add the boiling water then stir for two minutes.  Next, add the ice water and the milk and stir.  Make sure the liquid is well mixed.*  Now, grease up the mold making sure to get every crevice. Don't worry if there's too much, you can soak up the excess with a paper towel.  Spoon the mixture in to the brain mold and carefully pop in the fridge.  I put mine in an upside down plastic container to lessen the chance of a spill.  After chilling for several hours, carefully turn the mold over hovering just above the plate you plan to use.  If you need help releasing the brains, gently push on the back side.

And there you have it.  Braaaaains.

Wanna make Jello Brain shots instead?  Check out this handy dandy nerdy guide to pairing the best flavors together and how much alcohol you can mix in without losing structural integrity.  Just don't ask me how to do it.  My friend Meredith and I attempted to use cranberry vodka and cherry Jello in college and the result was the most disgusting gelatin concoction I've ever ingested and that's including a slice of a cold savory pie filled with chunks of grey meat suspended in aspic.

*You may have noticed my brain came out a little two toned.  I may not have mixed it enough or I may have needed to add more of the fat-free evaporated milk and less of the ice water.
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