Creativity and Culture Shared in Jelly Cake Art

posted in: SeniorAdventure

The month of February was filled with exploring and celebrating Vietnamese culture.  SPSC’s Chef Tam shared her amazing jelly cake art with our Seniors.

Jelly cakes aren’t made of flour, but they are filled with flowers. Jelly flowers can be flavored with the likes of dragonfruit, strawberry, and green tea, while coconut or coffee jelly often serves as the cake’s base.

Jelly artists can make flowers bloom in a pan of clear, preset jelly by using needles or special nozzles attached to syringes. The nozzles fire colored liquid jelly into the base in shapes like petals or leaves. After chefs flip over the pan, the glorious 3-D flowers are revealed.

The cakes likely originated in Mexico, where they are still a popular party food. Eventually, the gelatinas florales made their way to Mexican bakeries in the Western United States. From there, the desserts crossed the Pacific, picking up fans in Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia. Vietnamese chefs, who have long specialized in jelly desserts, particularly embraced the cakes, known as thạch rau câu 3D.

Watch a video of how this art is made: