Introduction: Witches' Brew Jello
Second Prize in the
Halloween Food Contest
What's more tasty than a witches' brew jello for Halloween? How about one made with real tormented souls. In this Instructable I will show you how I made vegan white cranberry jello with a Halloween theme. I spooky video is projected onto the bottom surface of the jello from inside a cauldron. Check out the video below.
Step 1: What You Will Need
- clear juice(light coloured with no pulp) - ie. white cranberry or white grape
- agar agar powder, flakes or bar
- green food colouring
- (optional) tonic water
- (also optional) Halloween themed candies to decorate Jello
- tapioca pearls (also called boba)
- agave nectar (or other sweetener)
- Large pot and stove(for cooking)
- Cauldron (I picked up a plastic one at a dollar store)
- Clear dish that fits into cauldron
- Magnifying sheet (found in dollar store)
- Smartphone or tablet
- Spider web or other decorations (can be found in dollar store)
- Cardboard box and felt
Step 2: Jello
3 cups clear juice - ie. white cranberry or white grape (warm to room temperature)
3 tablespoon agar flakes
Several drops green food colouring
(optional) replace 1 cup of juice with 1 cup tonic water
Agar Agar or Kanten is a vegan gelatin substitute derived from algae and can be found as powder, flakes or bars.
1tsp agar powder = 1tbsp agar flakes = 1 agar bar --> sets 1 cup of liquid
- In a large pot add 1.5 cups juice and 3 tbsp agar flakes
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 3-5 minutes until flakes are completely dissolved.
- Reduce to simmer, mix in remainder of juice, stirring well.
- Add several drops of food colour until desired shade of green.
- Pour into dish and place in refrigerator to set. Setting time may vary (2-3 hrs) so it is best to make the day before and set over night.
My intention to add the tonic water was that quinine, an ingredient in tonic water glows in the dark also it is carbonated so I wanted a sparkling jello, however it didn't work for me.
Step 3: Tapioca Pearls
5 cups water
1/2 cup tapioca pearls
1/2 tbsp agave nectar (or other sweetener)
To cook the tapioca pearls refer to the instructions on the packaging, cooking times can vary. It usually requires 10 cups water for 1 cup of tapioca. Best if made right before serving.
- In a large pot boil 5 cups of water
- Slowly add 1/2 cup of tapioca pearls while gently stirring
- Once the tapioca pearls become plump reduce heat to medium and cover with lid. Set timer for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, remove from heat and drain.
- Mix cooked tapioca pearls with ~0.5-1 tbsp agave nectar (to taste) in a bowl and serve fresh.
Step 4: Decorate Jello
To decorate the jello, I added the tapioca pearls around the edge of the dish. I also added a small gummy frog as well. When adding the decorations, avoid the centre of the dish so that you don't block the video. (I had originally added small candy bones and eyeballs in the jello itself before it set but unfortunately they dissolved turning the jello cloudy and too opaque to see the video through it, I had to make another batch).
Step 5: Video Projector From a Phone
For this to work, the dish that you poured the jello into should be shorter than the height of the cauldron, it should be transparent (glass or plastic), have a flat bottom with no writing on it (I was originally going to use a plastic dish but it had the Glad logo and the volume information embossed onto it, which gets in the way of the video). I found a small cardboard box that would fit inside the cauldron and support the jello dish (so that the jello dish sits higher in the cauldron). Next I cut out a piece of the magnetic sheet (use the centre of the sheet, it has the highest magnification). I then added some black felt with a rough cut hole in it to cover part of the screen and the box underneath. Start your video and place the jello over top.
It is best to use a video with a dark background, such as a disembodied head and you also want them videos to loop. The ones that I used were found on YouTube through a google search. You can also get DVDs from Big Scream TV or make your own (here's an example). Here is a trick to loop YouTube videos, just add the word repeat after "youtube" in the url.(For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfhM5Raqp1c&feature=youtu.be change to https://www.youtuberepeat.com/watch?v=tfhM5Raqp1c&feature=youtu.be)
Step 6: Tablet Version
If you want to use a tablet to project the video into the jello, you will need to cut a hole in the bottom of the cauldron and the cardboard box inside. Place the tablet on the table, start the video, place the cauldron over top and cover any parts of the tablet that stick out with the spider web or other Halloween decorations.
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