Introduction: Jello Flowers Without Milk and Extra Artificial Coloring
You have probably seen these jello flowers everywhere on Facebook, YouTube etc. If not, just Google "Jello Flowers". They look amazing, however don't necessarily taste as good as they look ... and can be quite unhealthy. Why? Because to achieve the opaque flower petals almost everyone uses milk to make the jello, and on top of that, to intensify the effect, people add a ton of food coloring to the mix.
I tried in the past to make these flowers without milk - only clear jello + translucent color jello, however the effect was almost invisible. I then tried with milk and the look was amazing ... but then, the taste was anything but good. So now I decided to try a different approach ...
Step 1: Required Tools and Ingredients
1. Crystal clear jello (if you can't find the colorless one, you can use really light lemon jello or similar)
2. Really intensive color canned fruit in syrup - e.g. berries
3. Some more jello but with intensive color - preferably matching the color of the canned fruit although that's not absolutely necessary
4. syringe + needle, or if you want to get really creative - with a complete set of attachments as pictured.
Step 2: Preparation - Day 1
Prepare your clear jello and let it set overnight in a bowl to make this nice dome shape.
Step 3: Preparation - Day 2
Once you have your jello set in the bowl, make a small dimple in the middle, which will collect the excess colored jello, when you will be creating (injecting) the flower petals.
To prevent the jello from cracking when you will be cutting out the dimple, it is best to preheat the spoon to a high temperature and melt-out the dimple.
Step 4: Preparing the Petals Mixture.
Blend the canned fruit of your choice to a fine smoothie. Heat it in a pan and dissolve the jello mix packet (try not to boil or overheat the mixture). Considering the acidity of the fruit, which can interfere with the jellification, use a bit less of liquid to what is required according to your jello packet instructions. Mine stated 500ml of water, therefore the 425ml can of fruit in syrup proved to be a perfect proportion.
Leave the mixture to cool down and gently thicken up.
Step 5: Making the Flowers
To make the flower posts - insert the needle into the clear jello and inject the colored mix whilst withdrawing the needle ... repeat.
To make flower petals - insert the needle into the clear jello, sweep it sideways and inject the colored mix whilst withdrawing the needle ... repeat.
As you can see, just a needle is sufficient, but if you want to get into making some more creative shapes and to simplify the job, it is great to get yourself a set of specialized syringe attachments.
Also, it would be great to use more colors as compared to my short presentation here. Adding for example green leaves behind the flower. (although green color might be tricky to achieve using fruit - do not use for example kiwi - the jello doesn't want to set with that)
Step 6: Demold
To remove your jello from the bowl, pop it for a minute or two into a larger bowl of hot water and then flip it over onto a plate. (watch out, so that the water does not splash on top of you jello).
The visual effect perhaps won't be as spectacular as with using milk (the inner petals might still be quite translucent). However, the taste is great and if you use fruit like berries, can actually be quite healthy for you, considering the high content of bioflavonoids which are responsible for those fruit colors.