I hope everyone had a lovely Easter and/or Passover! I'm not sure my Easter weekend could have been any more delightful and a highlight was definitely attending my friend Natasha's amazing brunch on Sunday. She is a dedicated Breaking the Mold blog reader (and commenter) and when she asked me to bring a jello mold for her brunch, I knew I had to step up my game. She also helped me brainstorm what to make and thanks to her inspiration (and color palette suggestions) the result did not disappoint. Natasha is fancy and has lived in France where a popular drink is champagne and sweet vermouth. I happened to have a bottle of super nice sweet red vermouth thanks to my friend Tyson (ahem, who doesn't read my blog, ahem) and a bottle of super low-end Cook's that I was reserving for my next boozey jello mold. When making champagne jello molds, the cheap stuff is actually best because the flavor comes through better and really, just save the good stuff for something else.
Natasha is also an interior designer and has a great eye for color and design. As we were discussing what fruit to put in the mold, she suggested a monochromatic approach that would go well with the other dishes she was planning to serve at the brunch. Yes folks, we sometimes color coordinate our party food. Martha Stewart would be proud.
The mold turned out beautifully and tasted pretty amazing. Some of the brunch guests had never had my jello before and were a little hesitant to give it a go. They didn't seem too traumatized after tasting it though...so, that's a win. Breaking the Mold blog: converting innocent people to jello-lovers (or jello-tolerators) since 2010.
1/2 cup + 5 tablespoons water
3 envelopes of Knox unflavored gelatin (approx. 7 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups champagne
1/4 cup sweet red vermouth
1 drop red food coloring (optional)
About 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries and pomegranate seeds
Start by soaking the gelatin in the 5 tablespoons of water. Then, dissolve the sugar in the 1/2 cup of water over low heat. Once dissolved, add the two cups of champagne and then whisk in the gelatin until it's also completely dissolved. Add 1 drop of red food coloring and reserve 3/4 cup of the mixture before putting the rest in the fridge until the mixture thickens into a gel (approx. 60-90 minutes depending on...a lot of things - just check back often!). Whisk 1/4 cup of sweet red vermouth into the reserved 3/4 cup of the gelatin mixture and leave out at room temperature.
Once the gelatin mixture in the fridge has thickened into a gel, stir in the fruit and spoon into your mold. Return to the fridge to firm up (maybe another 30 minutes?) but check back frequently. You'll want to pour the final layer when the jello is firm but sticks to your finger when you touch it. Once it's reached that point, you can add a bit more fruit to the vermouth/gelatin mixture and spoon gently into the mold. Return to the fridge for at least another few hours to firm up. Finally, unmold on a pretty plate and impress all your friends.
Paige did a mini-photo shoot of every fabulous thing at this brunch so I've included a few more photos for your viewing pleasure.