The Sweet Smell of Success.

Have you ever wondered what success smells like?

It smells like artificial fruit.

Today I experienced what may be my greatest Cathy success yet.  Rainbow Jell-o Cathy!

In a sudden burst of inspiration on Friday, I decided that this weekend’s Cathy was going to be layered rainbow Jell-o.  And in the interest of finding a recipe as quickly as possible, I googled “layered rainbow jello”.  Through those Google results I found a blog called Adventures of a Food Slut.  She had a blog entry from 2008 called “Rainbow Jello” (see her original blog entry here).  Her photos looked gorgeous and I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do with Cathy.  Sure, the recipe seemed time-intensive and borderline OCD, but, come on, rainbow Cathy!  And, in true Jessica fashion, I decided to double the recipe without really knowing what I was doing.

The first, fun part of this recipe was assembling all the Jell-o colors.  I didn’t even know they had a blue one!

Then it came down to precision timing.  I started with red (of course) – strawberry.  Though, just FYI, the strawberry flavor is pretty cloying.  If I ever make this again, I might go with cranberry.

So.  I’ve got Cathy to my left, greased and chilled.  I’m stirring two cups of boiling water into the strawberry Jell-o.  I’ve got my measuring cups ready to pour 1 1/4 cups of the hot Jell-o into Cathy.  I’ve got the timer so I can set it for 15 minutes after I stick Cathy in the fridge.  And I’ve got the Cool Whip.

The Cool Whip is for stirring into the remaining 3/4 cup of strawberry Jell-o.  I stir in 1/2 cup of Cool Whip, whisking to dissolve it, and when the timer goes off I pour the “opaque” strawberry layer over the first strawberry layer and set the time for another 15 minutes.

And that’s how it goes for every color.

Aiden was starting to get excited, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the Jell-o wasn’t going to be ready to eat for another 4 hours.

Elsie helped me whisk the Cool Whip into the orange layer.

And here’s what Cathy looked like with the opaque orange layer just set.  The lemon Jell-o is waiting patiently to be poured on top.  I’m about 1 hour into the process here.

Finally, after I poured the clear blue (“Berry Blue”) layer on, I realized Cathy could hold no more.  There was no room for the purple (“Blackberry”) layer.  And I was starting to worry that all the colors were swirling into each other and creating an ombre or gradiated effect.  I wanted stripes!  With nothing left to do but let Cathy chill, I stuck her in the fridge one more time.

About 2 hours later, I pulled her out and prepped her for unmolding.  First I ran around the edges with a butter knife.

Then I dipped her in a warm water bath.  Tim and Elsie were pretty skeptical at this point.

Then I put the platter on top of the pan, flipped it over, lifted the pan off…

VOILA!  Success!  Elsie hair on the right of the photo – it was hard to keep her away from the giant, jiggling, glistening rainbow Cathy.

So proud!  So relieved!

Look at those pretty stripes!

It really was amazing how she unmolded.  Every detail in the cake pan was captured perfectly.

Amazing translucency.

Everyone was getting excited to cut Cathy!

I sliced into her and found that it was actually easier to pick the pieces up with my hands.

Tim said that it reminded him of bacon.  Visually, that is.

Aiden and Elsie show off their fruity rainbow Cathy bites.

And the verdict?  Well, honestly, it was more visually stunning than it was tasty.  It had a generic, artificial “fruit” taste.  But I was so pleased with how it looked.  And I would like to try it again with a more specific flavor profile.  Also, Tim suggested adding a half gallon of vodka.

Rainbow Jellocopied from the blog Adventures of a Food Slut

Small boxes of Jello, in rainbow colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, or whatever colors you want)
Cool whip, sour cream or plain yogurt

Grease a pan with baking spray. Clear out a level spot in the refrigerator. Put the prepared pan in the refrigerator to chill.

Add one packet of Jello to 1 cup of boiling water. Stir 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve completely. Pour 2/3 cup of the Jello into the prepared pan, and chill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add enough Cool Whip to the remaining Jello to make 2/3 cup. Stir to completely melt the Cool Whip. When first layer has set for 15 minutes, carefully pour Jello/Cool Whip mixture over it, and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining colors. Once all layers have been poured, allow to chill for at least 2 hours. Unmold onto a serving platter, if desired, or cut into squares and serve.

Also: Food Slut Cheryl provides this helpful tip that I probably should have followed for even better results:

The way I did this was to mix up the next color as soon as I poured the first layer of the previous color. For example, as soon as I poured the first layer of yellow jello, I heated up water and mixed up the green jello. Once it was dissolved, I poured 2/3 cup of the green jello into another measuring cup, then stirred in the Cool Whip to the rest of it. You need three measuring cups to do it this way. That gives it some time to cool down a little before it’s time to pour it into the pan, but not so much time that it begins to set up too much to pour.

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