'Brain Food' (Jello Brain)
Nothing gets your guests more squeamish than asking them to eat something revolting. Or perhaps eating brain gives your more more 'brain power'. In either case, its fun to offer bits of the ol' grey matter to your guests and even better to have them watch as you carve it up for them!
Here we will make a gelatin (jello) brain that, although looks quite unappetizing, tastes pretty good! So let's get started...
Step 1: Materials
You will need the following:
A brain shaped jello mold.
The jello mold I'll be using I purchased over 20 years ago from the SKS Sibley Company, a 'Qwiggle-gel' Brain Mold. In fact, I found someone on eBay selling the same item. I don't know if they are in business any more but you can find similar molds on Amazon, eBay and elsewhere on the internet. This mold is the largest capacity I have found, approximately 6-1/2 cup capacity. I believe that the finished brain is larger than the anatomically correct equivalent so don't try to fit it into a skull to serve it as its just too big. But, hey, more brain to share.
The recipe I will be using came with my 'Qwiggle-gel' Brain Mold.
- 3 Large boxes of gelatin (6 oz size). I could only find the 3oz size so I show twice as many.
(I use watermelon flavor for the light color, which tints nicely to a grayish hue).
- 1 Can Fat Free Evaporated Milk (12 oz size). For best results this needs to be the fat free type.
- Liquid Food Coloring - Blue and Green (6 drops each) - see text
- Kitchen nonstick spray (Pam, etc.) to spray the mold to prevent the jello from sticking
- 2-1/2 Cups boiling water
- 1 Cup cold water
Bowls, whisk, etc.
Step 2: Dissolve the Jello
Empty the Jello powder into a mixing bowl and add the 2-1/2 cups of boiling water.
Stir until dissolved.
Step 3: Add Cold Water and Evaporated Fat Free Milk
Add 1 Cup cold water and mix, then add one can (12 oz) of Fat Free Evaporated Milk.
Step 4: Color to 'taste'
Add drops of liquid food coloring to get the shade you want. To get gray, I used 6 drops each of green and blue.
I started with watermelon jello as this, along with peach flavor, are colors that can be tinted to flesh color (use green food color only and sparingly). However, if you want gray you can add both green and blue.
Feel free to experiment with jello flavors and food colors and let me know how it turns out. The fat free evaporated milk provides the opaque nature to the finished product so you don't have transparent jello. Of course if you want a transparent jello brain you can omit the milk.
Step 5: Fill and Chill Your Brain Mold
First! You need to spray non-stick cooking spray into the mold to cover all the surfaces to keep the jello from sticking.
I place the brain mold in a flat-bottomed mixing bowl with a towel so it is stable.
Now you can pour the colored jello into the mold. I stop filling at a level that is just were the folded bulges of the brain's surface in the mold stop. Otherwise the smooth flat sides of the mold create smooth sides to the brain which looks odd. Stopping the fill early insures that in the finished brain doesn't have any smooth area by the surface the brain is resting on and it looks like the folds in the brain continue under it.
Step 6: Wait for the Brain to Set
Refrigerate your jello brain overnight.
With this recipe you will note that there is about a cup of liquid jello left over... You can make some nice parfaits (unappetizing ones at least - that color just does nothing for food!)
Step 7: Remove the Brain (igor...?)
After the jello brain is set you can take it out of the refrigerator and hold it inverted in your hand (its actually right-side-up, but the jello mold is upside down, technically).
Give the jello and the mold a few jiggles and it will break loose and drop into your hand.
Step 8: Slice and Dice and Serve Up the Gray Matter
I usually have the brain sitting out on a cutting board - Guests just think it is a prop until l slice off a bit and eat it and then offer some to them....