Monday, May 23, 2011

Berry Punch Jelly Shot

Berry Punch Jelly Shot, a glistening convergence of many good things . . .

Hope everyone is doing well!  I'm a bit giddy.  The book officially comes out tomorrow! ( has been shipping pre-orders early - yay!  I have heard from many of you that your books have arrived - hope you are enjoying!)  The thought of seeing JSTK right there on the shelf of my local bookstore is exciting!   Not that I have plans to rise at dawn and hit every bookseller in the Twin Cities metro - no, not all all . . .  Don't be silly.  That would be time consuming AND unbecoming. Besides, were I to embark on such a quest, Intern Doug would have absolutely nothing to to do tomorrow!  (Kidding of course.  Intern Doug has plenty to do - dishes, silicone molds to polish and floral aprons to iron.)

I posted this recipe over at a few months ago.  It's based on a really lovely punch cocktail - Winter Berry Punch (adapted from The Clover Club, original drink recipe here in the New York Times).  But the more I thought about it, this jelly shot would be equally yummy in warmer weather.  Why?  It's heaped with berries, which are seasonally warm weather fruits, it contains my springtime favorite -  elderflower liqueur - as well as sloe gin (a liquor which, like the jelly shot, is making a glam comeback!) . . . its so Spring-slash-Summer!  So I am relaunching the recipe here on JSTK, and redacting the the "winter" from it's name.  Hereafter, this jelly shot shall be known as "Berry Punch"!

Don't be afraid of the bundt mold.  I used a small (3 cup volume) bundt pan to set this jelly shot. Unmolding was pretty easy - I had a few issues the first time.  However, it was all user error.  I didn't loosen around all the edges before dipping, which led to a few tears - I promptly covered these up with berries, and no one was the wiser - at least not until I spilled the beans here on the JSTK blog.  (Or perhaps you suspected it was not all Swiss trains and soufflés here at the Test Kitchen?) The recipe could also be set in an 8”x8” or 9”x9” glass or non-reactive metal pan and cut into cubes. 
 Just also wanted to say thanks to all for your wonderful support, in all forms:  blog comments; Facebook notes and likes; and emails, for purchasing the book and especially for just showing up and looking at the blog once in a while.  It's awesome and makes me all warm and squooshy inside.  I confess my mad. mad love for each and every one of you!



Berry Punch Jelly Shot

  • 2 pints mixed berries (I used blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup sloe gin
  • 1/3 cup creme de cassis (raspberry schnapps or Chambord would also work!)
  • 1/3 cup St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 2 cups ginger ale (flat)
  • 4 envelopes plain gelatin


Prepare a three cup volume mold (mini bundt pan) by spraying lightly with cooking spray and then wiping out with clean paper towels.  This will leave a slight residue to assist in unmolding without affecting the taste or appearance of the jelly shots. 

In a medium bowl, muddle half of the mixed berries (or smash with the back of a wooden spoon if you don't have a cocktail muddler). Add the lemon zest and the liquors, stir and set aside.

Pour ginger ale in saucepan, and sprinkle with the gelatin. Allow to soak for a minute or two. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat.

Strain the berry/liquor mixture, pressing the solids to remove all the liquid. Stir into the gelatin mixture.
Pour into desired pan or mold. Refrigerate until fully set (about 4 hours).

Liberally sprinkle water on the serving plate.  To unmold the gelatin, loosen it from the edges by gently pulling away from the sides of the mold with your fingers. Dip the underside of the mold in warm water (not hot) for about 10 – 20 seconds. Invert  the mold onto a serving plate, and give it mold a little shake. If necessary, return to the water for a second or two, and repeat the process.

To serve, garnish with the remaining berries, and allow guests to carve off slices. Serves about 12.
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Elderflower Mojito Jelly Shot

Elderflower Mojito Jelly Shots look fetching in floral print . . . 

Ah, spring . . . it makes the thoughts turn to . . . Elderflower liqueur?  Jelly Shots? Wait a second . . .  Well, maybe that's a bit off the mark for most, but its precisely what happened when Dolce&Gabbana queried JSTK about creating a jelly shot for their luxury magazine,
Such a fun project!  Click here to read the full article on  Recipe follows . . . Hope you enjoy. 

(And many thanks to Dolce&Gabbana - loved to work with you and hope to visit your beautiful Bar Martini in Milan sometime soon!)  

XO Michelle

Elderflower Mojito Jelly Shot
  • 1 package fresh mint (3/4-ounce/21 g package about 50 mint leaves)
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml white rum
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1/3 cup/75 ml fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup/75 ml water
  • 1/3 cup/75 ml simple syrup or agave nectar
  • 2 envelopes plain gelatin (about 4 tsp gelatin powder)


Lightly muddle mint in a small bowl.  (Gently crush the mint with the back of a spoon if you don’t have a muddler!)  Add the rum and elderflower liqueur to the bowl and set aside. 

Combine lime juice, water and simple syrup/agave in a small saucepan.  Sprinkle with gelatin, and allow the gelatin to soak for a minute or two.  Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved (about 5 minutes).  Remove from heat. 

Strain the mint-infused liquor into the pan and stir to combine. 

Refrigerate until fully set, several hours or overnight.  A few hours before serving, “paint” a floral pattern on the surface of the jelly shots with a paintbrush and food coloring.  (I used natural colors – while the colors are limited, I love to mix my own custom shades!) Return pan to fridge to allow the food coloring to set, about 2 hours. 

Cut into desired shapes to serve.  Makes 12 to 18 jelly shots.  

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Bramble

A row of Bramble Jelly Shots, a la Toby Cecchini, beckons . . . 

I have been dying to have a go at the Bramble Jelly Shot recipe since it first appeared on the NYT blogs in March of this year!  A Bramble cocktail is quite divine - a lemon sour base, gin, and a float of blackberry liqueur.  The Bramble's translation to gelatin was conducted by noted cocktail expert/bartender/author Toby Cecchini, who also wrote the NYT  piece.
 Take a minute to read the article if you can - its a tremendously fun read, not only because JSTK is mentioned in the article - Toby's trials and tribulations in Jelly Shot Land are very entertaining!

Well, Bramble Jelly Shot was certainly worth the wait.  It's a wonderful recipe, tasty and gorgeous, with a handsome, well thought out garnish!  I tested the Bramble recipe first with gin, as indicated Toby's instructions, but made a vodka version as well, per the preference of one of the tasting groups.  The gin version was a bit more complex, but the vodka was extremely tasty too - both were gobbled up in short order!   Nice work, Toby - you are welcome at the Test Kitchen anytime!!!

Hope you enjoy!   The recipe for Bramble Jelly Shots follows, and is also on the NYT article link.

XO, Michelle

BRAMBLE JELLY SHOTS (with apologies to Dick Bradsell)
Recipe by Toby Cecchini and reprinted from the NYT Magazine Blogs
For the float:
6 ounces crème de mûre (blackberry liqueur)
7 grams (1 packet) Knox unflavored gelatin
1 package (3 ounces) grape-flavored Jell-O gelatin
1 cup hot water
In a small mixing bowl, sprinkle the Knox and the Jell-O into the hot water and stir until completely dissolved, 5 to 7 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir in the crème de mûre. In a small, nonreactive baking dish or loaf pan, pour a few drops of cooking oil (grapeseed works well) and wipe out with a paper towel, coating the entire vessel with the barest layer. Pour blackberry float mixture in and set to chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight, making certain it is level.
For the gin sour:
1 cup gin (lemon infused) (Note: vodka may be substituted!)
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
28 grams (4 packets) Knox unflavored gelatin
1 cup hot water.
Juice enough lemons to give you 2/3 cup juice, keeping the hulls as you squeeze. Roughly chop the squeezed hulls and put them in a coverable container along with the gin and the lemon juice. Leave at room temperature for at least 2 hours. It’s a good idea to do this before starting the float, so that by the time that has firmed up, your infusion is ready to go. When the float layer is firm, bloom the gelatin in the hot water by sprinkling it slowly while stirring, and continuing stirring until fully dissolved. Add the sugar and stir until that is also fully dissolved. Strain the gin mixture off from the lemon hulls through a fine sieve or chinoise and add it into the gelatin mixture, stirring well. Over a spoon, so as not to gouge a divot in the float layer, pour the lemon sour mix onto the float layer and return to refrigerator, again checking for levelness. Chill overnight. When ready to serve, cut into squares, or use a cookie cutter for shapes, and pull up carefully, using a cake spatula to get under the float layer. Garnish with a blackberry and/or a thin wedge of candied lemon. Or simply slurp.
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