Nina Nixon


I'm Nina, a photographer, film maker and forever wanderer.  Passionate about nature, the great outdoors and all of life's adventures.  This is the place where I keep all my 'field notes'

Jelly cake


 ...or a cake constructed purely of jelly - and some other lovely stuff.

A few weeks back I had a bit of a wobble when it came to a certain young man's birthday.  The presents were bought (I had to hunt high and low and bargain for a...'phew!' - get it?) all wrapped up, picture bunting made, organising had been organised, but what to do about a cake.

For years I've relied on a good old fashioned stack it high triple chocolate cake and have only deviated away from this once or twice.  More recently the donut cake has featured (on and off) but they are so huge.  We never actually manage to finish it all before it goes hard.

Searching for the complete and utter opposite of our reliable traditional was falling short and my frazzles were wearing thin.  Then a chance conversation with the boy about his like of jelly straight from the packet gave me the epiphany I had been hoping for.

How about a cake made of jelly?  Well why not I say.  

My first thought was I maybe I could cut the individual squares up and use them as bricks, construct it like a kind of hollow igloo...but not being technical 'at all' in that kind of department and the nature of jelly being slipper little suckers I just stuck to leaving the packet jelly whole.

And so my jelly cake came to be.

With a pint glass in the middle of my cake stand I stood the jelly up and loosely wrapped and tied it with bakers twine.  Then ever so slowly I removed the glass and filled the empty void with sweets.  I chose the chewy variety as they felt like they set the jelly off perfectly.  All sweet and gummy!

Then once I was happy I tightened the twine to hold the whole construction together a little more firmly.  Placed it under a glass cake dome to stop the air contact making it go gooey too quickly or disintegrating.  Then that was that - the cake was done!

And the end of the tale is this.  The boy loved it, no one had 'ever' seen a birthday cake fashioned in this way before (extra brownie points for me) and there are still two pieces of the jelly wall left over - under the glass cake dome, still lovely and fresh.

Some times - just some times - if I can get away with 'quick and easy' but pleasing and yummy then I'll choose that option.

I'm not a lazy person (far from it) but all in all this cake took me (roughly) about ten minutes to make.  Instant result and success - I'll say.  Blowing my own trumpet and all!

Extra info :: I used six packets of strawberry jelly to construct the walls and three packets of family sized sweets to fill the middle.  My initial idea was to fill it with old fashioned sweets that I had as a child - sherbet dib dabs, black jacks, drumsticks, refreshers....and so on - but I found all (apart from the sherbet dib dabs and black jacks) in a chewy sweet form - like Haribos. Talk about a revival.

I haven't a clue what 'jelly' would be called in other parts of the world - like jelly or jam.  In the UK it is just jelly.

And...finally!  I know this is a fully loaded sweet filled creation, but how often do you turn thirteen?  Plus it was shared out so the sugar intake (per child) was very low.