After I began brainstorming dessert recipes for my first cookbook Chicano Eats: Recipes from My Mexican American Kitchen, I conjured the bakery part of a Mexican grocery retailer, and the mercados and tianguis you discover anyplace in Mexico. There, among the many truffles and conchas and churros, is one other class of candy providing: gelatinas. Out of the blue I remembered how, rising up, every time there was a celebration, there have been gelatinas alongside the truffles on our dessert tables.
And like that, I discovered myself with a protracted record of various cake and gelatina recipes—and never sufficient house to incorporate all of them.
What’s it about gelatinas that makes them so standard? To search out out, I went to the supply I belief most: my mother. She boiled it right down to accessibility. Gelatinas are cheap to make, usually requiring only a handful of substances that you simply in all probability have already got in your pantry: unflavored gelatin, milk, sugar or condensed milk, and recent fruit. They work effectively while you’re feeding a big group, as a result of they journey effectively and are cheap to make in large batches. (The financial system of gelatinas can be the explanation why they are a standard merchandise amongst road distributors.)
Mother additionally talked about how a lot gelatinas permit for creativity: You may create vibrant layers of shade and taste (just like the Duvalin Jello in my ebook, impressed by a Mexican sweet with its vanilla, hazelnut, and strawberry layers), and, in the event you like, you possibly can work in recent fruit. One of many gelatinas that my mother would make for my siblings and I each summer season featured two distinct layers. First, she poured a creamy milk jello layer. On high of that, she’d add a layer of recent, ripe peach slices. Lastly, she’d pour in a peach-flavored gelatin, being cautious in order to not disturb the fruit. It was a match made in heaven, the juicy peaches contrasting with the richness of the milk jello.
However the gelatina that I used to be most fascinated by as a child was gelatina de mosaico. After I was in Sunday college, I’d look ahead to leaving class as a result of there could be road distributors lined outdoors church promoting heat tamales out of a cooler, sizzling champurrado (a sizzling chocolate drink thickened with masa), gelatina de Rompope (gelatin made with Mexico’s eggnog-like drink), and gelatina de mosaico in little plastic cups. After I completed stuffing my face with a sizzling tamal de pollo, I’d purchase a bit of cup stuffed with gelatina de mosaico. Earlier than consuming, I’d stare and marvel, questioning how the colourful cubes of gelatin have been in a position to droop contained in the milky white base.
As soon as I received sufficiently old to work my means across the kitchen, I discovered the key behind this tasty magic trick—and located that it was really fairly easy. Gelatina de mosaico will get its shiny colours and terrazzo look by that includes a number of completely different flavors (and thus colours) of gelatin. Begin by choosing your colourful gelatins—decide any three flavors/colours you want, and make particular person batches of every, then slice them into small cubes. Then make a creamy vanilla milk gelatin flavored with cinnamon and sweetened with condensed milk. Let the creamy milk gelatin cool fully, then pour it right into a pan or mould. Scatter the colourful cubes on high—the cooled vanilla base needs to be viscous sufficient that the colourful cubes shall be suspended. Whenever you reduce into it the ultimate dessert, the cross sections will appear like mosaics or shards of colourful stained glass.
Gelatina de mosaico is not a thriller to me, and now I make it with cherry, blue raspberry, and lemon jellos to match the colours of my brand (blame it on the artwork college background). However although I understand how to make it, I nonetheless typically discover myself wanting on the remaining product and staring in marvel.
Gelatina de MosaicoEsteban Castillo
Initially Appeared on Epicurious