I confess that I really, really love Jell-O. OK, maybe I don't entirely love the processed flavors and artificial colors, but I love the way gelatin melts in the mouth and wobbles and gleams on the table. I also love how gelatin is a great way to create a fresh, cool dessert out of nothing more than fresh fruit juice. If you are like me, then you have to check out Victoria Belanger's new book: Hello, Jell-O!. From mojito jellies to chocolate peanut butter cups, this is a festival of all things sweet and wobbly.
• Who wrote it: Victoria Belanger, the Jello Mold Mistress of Brooklyn
• Who published it: Ten Speed Press
• Number of recipes: About 50
• Recipes for right now: Green Milk Tea, Sparkling Champagne and Strawberries, Blueberry Yogurt Layered Mold, Rhubarb Rosemary Agar
• Other highlights: I loved this little book. It's just the right size for propping up on the kitchen counter, with plenty of colorful photos and well laid-out recipes. It spans cute treats, like the adorable mini "watermelons" on the cover, to more grown-up desserts like a generous and beautiful "carrot cake". It's retro yet fresh.
I appreciate how most of these desserts don't call for flavored gelatin, but add unflavored gelatin to fruit juice or purees. I also liked that Victoria offered a whole chapter of gelatin-free desserts with agar. (And I really like the boozy recipes — White Sangria jello? Yes please.)
• Who would enjoy this book? Anyone with a nostalgic love for wobby gelatin, but also cooks who want lighter, fresher desserts for spring and summer, desserts that don't need much added sugar other than that found in fruit juice. Also, moms who want to give their kids something fun and playful but still want to avoid processed flavored gelatin.
Two thumbs up!
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Hello, Jell-O! 50+ Inventive Recipes for Gelatin Treats and Jiggly Sweets by Victoria Belanger
• Visit Victoria's website: Jello Mold Mistress of Brooklyn
• See Victoria's guest post at The Kitchn: A Fresh Return To the Jello Mold: Peaches & Cream Jello
(Images: Faith Durand)