Game-night snacks are my absolute favorite. And what’s better than popping in some ooey-gooey, deliciously sweet jelly cubes? Because my friends like various snacks, I have been tinkering with gelatinous jelly cubes recipes with various fruits (and often alcoholic twists).
My fiance often hosts game nights with different game themes, sometimes for Magic the Gathering (MtG) but mostly for Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) meets. Regardless of which one we’re playing, though, we still need a lot of snacks during the game.
And while buying bags of chips and cookies help out, I love baking. So I came up with a yummy fruity and punchy jelly cube recipe that hits that hangry spot!
Now since these are game nights (or even evenings) I plan to utilize these jelly cubes. For example, Dungeons and Dragons let you use inspiration, which benefits your player character. You can add these points to your attack roles, and abilities, improving your gameplay by a notch.
You earn that point by perfectly roleplaying your in-game personality or coming up with a fantastic idea to save your party members from a gargantuan beast! So if you play well, the DM might offer you one on the spot.
I was thinking about asking the DM if they can offer these inspirations in the form of my jelly cubes. These cubes look like dice, and we players can consume them to use their abilities!
Every time someone earns an inspiration point, the DM can offer them a jelly cube. And since I love adding different food dyes to these, the players can choose their favorite colors!
If you want any other shape, get yourself some silicone jelly molds to whip up some vibrant sweet snacks.
So What Are Jelly Cubes?
I’m from India and we call these jello cubes “Jujubes” (joo-joo-bes.) They are super squishy, soft, and full of flavor! I like to coat my jelly cubes with powdered sugar for that added color contrast on the surface.
People also call them gummy candies and they are available in many shapes and colors.
Using Food Dyes
Since my jelly cube recipe has food dye in it, I want to highlight the possible and serious allergic reactions to these coloring agents.
They go well with meringues, creams, and jelly cubes. However, some people are allergic to food dyes. So before using it, ask your friends, guests, and family members if they have had any prior reactions to colored food.
And to help you detect food dye allergies, the following are some classic symptoms::
- Problem breathing
- Skin becomes reddish and itchy.
- Face flushing
- Face swelling up
So before using any food coloring, I will ask my friends about their allergic reactions. Thankfully, the flavors of jelly cubes stay consistent, dyes or not.
The “Jelly” Base
You can create jelly using one of these two ingredients:
- Gelatin sheets/powder
- Agar Agar
Gelatin is created from animal bones and hides (collagen.) So if you want a vegan substitute, then agar agar is a great option! Agar agar comes from seaweed extracts, so no need to worry about using any animal products in your jelly cubes.
I asked my friends what they would like, and they seem comfortable with gelatin. The powder form works best for jelly bases, but this time, I want to try the sheets.
All you have to do is submerge the gelatine sheets in water till they are completely soaked and ready to blend with your recipe. There is something so magical about making jelly, like turning a drink into a chewable snack!
And while I love pureed fruits to be my jelly base, you can choose anything for yours. You can go for coffee, molten dark chocolate, or even add tiny slices of fruit to your jelly before refrigerating it overnight, just to play around with the vibrancy.
Step 1: Soften the Gelatin Sheets
Gelatin sheets take no longer than five to 10 minutes to soften. For this recipe, I recommend four sheets to a maximum of five for a bouncy and soft yet solid texture.
However, you can tweak this depending on your preferred jelly stiffness.
Step 2: Mix The Softened Gelatin with Your Jelly Base
Pour the gelatin and your fruit puree into a heavy-bottom pot over heat. I let some of the water from the gelatine bath stay so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom.
Keep the heat to medium-low and gently stir the mixture till there is a thick, soft, and squishy consistency. You will find it looking like a molten marshmallow at this point.
Step 3: Add in Your Sugar and Food Coloring
Once you see the jelly mix becoming thicker, add your sugar and food coloring. Since this mix has a gooey texture, I recommend using food coloring gel. A few drops will do the trick!
Keep stirring the mix to help the dye spread evenly into the jelly. Stir the jelly continuously, or else you will end up with broken jelly molds here and there in the pot!
A quick tip: If you want to make multi-colored jellies, divide the mixture into several pots before heating, and add different colors to each.
Step 4: Prep Your Baking Tray!
If you use cling film on the tray, it will help in two ways. It keeps the jelly from sticking to the tray and also helps maneuver the jelly once it sets.
Take a large cling film sheet and drape it over the baking sheet. Press it over the surface, all edges and corners included, and your jelly’s base is ready!
Step 5: Transfer Jelly From Pot to Pan
At this point, you will notice that your jelly seems sticky, thick, and spongy. So cut the heat immediately. Take the pot off the flame or heat and pour it evenly over the cling filmed baking tray.
Take precautions and do not burn your fingers with molten liquid goodness during this process. If you see bubbles or uneven surfaces, use a pin or toothpick to even them out.
This jelly sets within seven hours, so you can make the jelly mix a day before and leave it to set overnight!
Step 6: Cut Up Your Jelly into Small Pieces
After seven or eight hours, it is time to take the jelly out of your fridge.
Since it is set and solid by now, you can place it atop a dish or a clean cutting board. Flip the baking tin to let the cling-filmed jelly plop to a surface.
Warm your knife blade in lukewarm water for clean and precise strokes over the jelly. Cubes and squares are the easiest shapes to cut from the flat jelly surface, so there is no need to worry about presentation!
Step 7: Coat Your Jelly Pops with Powdered Sugar
Granulated sugar coating prevents the jelly cubes from sticking to each other. Moreover, it enhances the surface texture and gives these gelatinous cubes more structural integrity.
In a separate dish, spread a generous amount of granulated sugar evenly. Drop a few jelly cubes and coat them with the sugar powder on all sides.
Sugar-coated jelly cubes look pretty and hold their texture even after hours! If you run out of sugar powder, make some more because you need to cover all the jelly pops evenly.
You can present them in various styles, such as:
- LEGO blocks
- A bowl of dice
These jelly cubes can set your friends’ game-night mood in no time, so enjoy!
Jelly Cube Recipe
- 1 Spatula
- 1 square or rectangular cake tray
- 1 sharp knife
- 1 cling film plastic
- 1.1 pound pureed berries
- 4 sheets gelatine sheets
- 1.3 pound sugar
- 0.66 pound granulated sugar
- 6 drops good coloring gel You can choose multiple food colors to add ome playful tones to your jelly cubes.
- 2-3 cups water
- Take four to five sheets of gelatine and put them in boiling water. You can use a fork or a spoon to stir the sheets in the water till they dissolve completely.2-3 cups water, 4 sheets gelatine sheets
- As the gelatine sheets melt, chuck in your fruit puree. The puree will blend in quickly with the gelatinous paste.1.1 pound pureed berries
- Once your fruit puree almost blends, add the sugar and food color. Add around 4-5 drops and nothing more. Keep stirring it gently.1.3 pound sugar, 6 drops good coloring gel
- Cover the insides of your baking tray with a sheet of cling film, and even out all corners.
- Pour your hot jelly mixture into the lined baking. I pour it till 50% of the tin is full. And now that the jelly needs to set, refrigerate it for around 6-7 hours (or overnight).
- Take the jelly-filled till out after 7 hours, and flip it over a dish. For precise cuts, dip your knife's blade in some lukewarm water. Now gently slice the jelly into small, even cubes.If you prepped multiple smaller tins with various jelly colors, do the same for all!
- Fill a dish with granulated sugar and drop the cubed jelly pieces on it. Coat each side generously with sugar powder and plate them any way you like!0.66 pound granulated sugar