Can I Make an "Area 51 Space Jell-O/Gelatin Cake"?
I saw this Tastemade YouTube video featuring Area 51 and outer space-inspired desserts: this Jell-O/gelatin one was so awesome! I wanted to try to make an easier version. I also already had blue Jell-O from my Eyeball Cake (see link) and some gelatin around for other art projects/dishes.
Thursday, November 14, 2019, Attempt #1:
In the video, they have different layers of gelatin (darker blue, lighter blue/aqua, white, brown) and build the planet from the sky down to the ground -- with the sky being made first and in the bottom of the pan. Then at the end when they flip it, the sky is on top and the ground (brown layer) is on the bottom.
They use red bean paste to make a gelatin for the ground (brown layer). I didn't have any of this around, but I did have Devil's food cake mix (brown cake), which I thought looked like a brown earth color.
So I decided to try to build my planet the other way -- from the ground up. First, I would make the cake (brown ground layer) and then build the different layers of gelatin the other way -- white, light blue/green, then darker blue (sky/cosmos).
What I used:
- Devil's food cake (just a little)
- Blue Jell-o
- Gelatin powder
- Yellow and Purple gel food coloring
- Sprinkles (stars and round ones to form the cosmos)
For the brown ground layer:
In this loaf baking pan, I baked a thin layer of cake, maybe ~1 cm thick or less.
The rest of the cake I used for a Zebra cake attempt and cake pops (see links)
For the white milky layer:
First, I followed the video for amounts of what to use: 150 mL of milk with 5 grams of gelatin.
I have never used gelatin before. I'm pretty sure I didn't follow the directions correctly. I just kind of microwaved the milk and put the powder in there.
I soon realized that the loaf pan was bigger than the pan in the video and that this small amount of milk/gelatin was not going to be enough to cover the brown ground cake layer. So then, I tried to make more and do it "correctly" and heat more milk in a pot and add more gelatin powder until dissolved. But I still think I didn't do this correctly, haha. I need to look up on other YouTube videos and people's websites how to do this gelatin stuff correctly. Gelatin powder is a little more finicky than Jell-O.
Then I put it in the freezer to set -- I don't think you're supposed to put gelatin or Jell-O in the freezer for it to set properly, but whatevs, this is just experimenting and it's faster. :)
For lighter blue/aqua layer -- I actually made it green:
I only had blue Jell-O and there wasn't a really good way for me to make it lighter in comparison to the top sky/cosmos layer, so I decided to make it green. In the video, interestingly, they use plum wine to make the light blue gelatin.
I added some yellow gel food coloring to the blue Jell-O mixture on the stove to make it green. Btw, I did not prepare the Jell-O according to package directions in terms of water ratio.
It became really green! Almost fluorescent yellow! I didn't know how much yellow food coloring to put in. Haha. :) I also put it in the freezer to set and it kind of turned to ice.
For blue sky/cosmos layer:
I decided to add some violet gel food coloring to a different batch of blue Jell-O liquid mixture on the stove because a darker blue/violet would resemble the cosmos better.
I also threw in some silver star sprinkles and round sprinkles into the mixture to help it resemble outer space also.
I put it in the freezer to set and fell asleep and left it overnight.
RESULT: Fail! :)
We are good at this?
First, I wasn't sure if it was going to come out of the pan because it was so frozen solid from being in the freezer overnight. I put it on low on the stove to gently heat it and help it get out of the pan. I definitely think you're not supposed to do that with Jell-O, haha. :)
I suppose it is a fail in that it looks nothing like the picture, but it is pretty badass looking, especially the neon fluorescent yellow layer. It looks radioactive!
See photos below.
The 2 reasons I think it was a failure were:
1.) The brown cake/ground layer became higher than the milky white layer and
green Jell-O layer and
2.) I made the sky/cosmos layer too dark.
When I added more milky gelatin and green Jell-O to fill the pan, I didn't account for the fact that that these layers would be heavier than the brown cake/ground layer and it pushed the brown cake/ground layer higher -- so the milky white layer and green sky are below the ground. In fact, the green sky part of the atmosphere is the lowest part of my planet -- wrong!
I also added too much violet food coloring to the blue Jell-O so it was too dark and you couldn't see the star sprinkles.
Next time, I may try using a chocolate pudding/gelatin mix for the brown ground layer instead of cake. I'm also going to investigate how to work with gelatin powder on other people's websites and YouTube videos. I will also add less food coloring, so you can see the stars shine (sprinkles).
To infinity and beyond! It was a super fun and cheap art project! You should give it a try!