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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gibberish and Coffee Jello.

My dad still does not acknowledge my passion for cooking and baking. As a matter of fact, my dad and I argue about my career path and choices on almost a daily basis. Some days, I feel guilty because I feel like I let him down, but other days, I feel empty because I lack his support. If a father does not have faith in his very own daughter, then who will have faith in her?

Ultimately, I think what hinders my old-fashioned, strong-minded, prideful dad from sharing my passion, is the way people perceive me. "Did she not do well in college?" "Does she not know what to do with her life?" Although my dad has never expressed it to me, I am sure 95% of the people ask such questions when he tells them I deviated from Psychology and Sociology and stepped foot into the culinary industry after college. I am sure these questions upset and irk him in various degrees. I mean, who wouldn't be with such unenthusiastic 'feedback'?

Honestly, I get these initial responses, too. You know, the single eyebrow lifts, the awkward smiles with underlying skepticism of my abilities, and the 'oh..'s followed by silence. It bothers me, but I'm slowly learning to not care. If people want to think I failed academically, then so be it. If people want to doubt my passion and think this is just a 'temporary' thing, then so be it as well. As long as I know the truth, that's all that matters. And, who knows? Maybe, just maybe, I may want to call it quits and have a career change years from now, but at least I had the courage to give my passion a chance amidst all this opposition. I would much rather 'fail' doing something I love than succeed doing something I hate.

Anyways, enough gibberish and now to dessert!



After making the Stained Glass Jello (sgj), I got inspired to make jello out of my favorite beverage: coffee! I took the two components of sgj and played around with it! Fortunately, I was quite successful after my first attempt. However, some of you may need to play around with the recipe a bit as it all depends on how strong and how sweet you like your coffee.

I will also divide this recipe into two parts, however, you can make both parts at the same time! : )

Ingredients (list of both Part I and II combined):

- 4 envelopes of Knox unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup cold coffee
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 1/2 cups hot coffee
- 1/3 cup sugar

Part I (Milk Coffee Mixture):

- 2 envelopes of Knox unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cup of hot coffee (strength depends on preference)

1. Bloom the gelatin in the 1/2 cup of cold water.*
2. Pour hot coffee into the gelatin and mix until dissolved.
3. Add the sweetened condensed milk and stir until dissolved.
4. Set until it cools to room temperature.

(* You can bloom the gelatin in cold coffee, but I did not because I felt like the coffee will overpower the flavor the of scm.)

Part II (Black Coffee Mixture):

- 2 envelopes of Knox unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold coffee
- 3 cups hot coffee (strength depends on preference)
- 1/3 cup of sugar (sweetness depends on preference so you can add more or less)

1. Bloom the gelatin in 1/2 cup of cold coffee.
2. Add sugar into coffee until desired sweetness.
3. Pour coffee and sugar mixture into the gelatin and mix until dissolved.
4. Set until it cools to room temperature.

Assemble:

1. When both mixtures are cooled to room temperature, pour a cup (using a liquid measuring cup) of the black coffee mixture into a 9x13 pan and refrigerate it for at least 20 minutes.
2. When ready, pour in a cup of milk coffee mixture, and set in fridge.
3. Repeat this process until you have three layers of milk and three of black.
4. Combine what is left of both mixtures and pour over the top (mixture will be very thin) and refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. Cut into small blocks or into bite-sized cubes.

Note: If mixtures firm up during the waiting process, then put the bowl over a pot of hot water for a few seconds at a time until it comes back to liquid state.

17 comments:

  1. I only just found your blog and I will definitely try this recipe because I'm a coffee addict and find this a wonderfully playful way to consume it :D I look forward to hunting through your archives :D

    I want to say that I find it absolutely inspirational that you decided to follow your passions and peruse your culinary career. Very few of us have that sort of courage and I applaud you for it.

    I'm sorry your father doesn't appreciate your career choice, but we readers certainly appreciate you sharing your talent with us :D Keep doing what you do :)

    --Jenn

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  2. Hi Jenn,

    Thanks for your encouraging words! : ) I hope you enjoy making this recipe!


    Best,
    Miso

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  3. What a beautiful and dessert! I am not a coffee drinker but would make it for my coffee addicted friends!!! I think you are BRILLIANT to think of this take off of the Stained Glass Jello -- which is always a favorite at our house!!! Live and enjoy life for yourself!! You are wonderful!!
    --alohaspirit

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  4. Ive seen this dessert before but never dared to make it as it looks so perfect yet complicated. Now that you have explained it well I will try to make it for sure since I love coffee. Be proud of what your good at and enjoy, cooking must come from the heart.

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  5. thank you all for your interest in my post! : )

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  6. This looks fantastic!! With the whole "stepping into the culinary world", I think I'm in the exact same place. I have no clue what I'm going to do with my life and major in but I love cooking and baking. Only time will tell i guess. Good luck to the both of us!!
    Would you mind checking out my blog? :D ajscookingsecrets.blogspot.com

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  7. This looks and sounds fantastic. I can't wait to try it. How do you get the finished Jello to pop out of the pan without breaking it up?

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  8. Alwaysssss proud of you! Double major degrees in 3 years, London, culinary graduate & now THIS. You know you deserve all of it. Cho family = #1 fan. lol

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  9. This looks sooooo good!

    I have one question: Do you dip the pan in hot water to loosen/remove the jello?

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  10. Hi - looking forward to trying this recipe, but also wanted to comment to offer support about your family situation. A dear friend of mine is a chef, too, and also struggled with a lack of family support -- to the extent that she went back to school to do a nursing degree. Eventually she quit nursing school, because she realized that cooking was her most natural way of expressing care, and that anything else she did would make her wish she was working in food. So take heart! My friend's family came around, and yours will too. If you need to feed people, there's nothing to do but embrace it and be joyful. XO

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  11. I just found your blog and am DEF trying this recipe. As far as your passion goes-just remember that your dad might not ever understand it, but he will learn to respect it. Take it from a blogger/actress who makes no money like, EVER-following your passion will lead to your happiness :)

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  12. this dessert is just stunning. a delightfully complex execution of a few simple ingredients. i commend your creativity and talent. as a young, female, korean-american college graduate who also went rogue and is pursuing a culinary career, in pastry to be specific, i sympathize with you completely. it's better to look back and say you tried rather than wonder what could have been. i try not to let the antiquated ideals of a "successful" life get in my way, no matter how many times my mom tells me, "it's not too late to get your MBA!"

    i'm glad to have met your blog.
    from atlanta, best of luck!
    christine h.

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  13. : ) thank you so much!

    Susan Rose: You can dip the pan in hot water for a few seconds! Or, what I do is I cut a little cube out from the corner, flip my pan over onto a large cutting board, stick my finger in the empty spot and gently peel a part of the jello away from the pan, and then the whole thing peels away by itself. does that make sense? oh, and i typically let the jello sit out at room temperature for about five minutes. i've never had a problem with the jello breaking on me when doing it this way, but it may have just been pure luck.

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  14. Just found your blog and you are VERY talented! I play around with fondant and cake decorating but am nowhere as good as you are! I find it very hard to get my cakes smooth enough so that when the fondant goes on they do not look bumpy... any suggestions? and I am definitely trying this jello recipe- looks amazing and I LOVE coffee:)

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  15. Hey,

    What wonderful desserts!

    And, as someone who has not yet had the courage to do what you've done, you are inspiring! Even if the one's you love the most cannot find it in them to be in your corner, I guess you have to love yourself enough to be your biggest cheerleader.

    Keep loving yourself and what you do.

    -T

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  16. I support you!!

    <3 Your Sister

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