They’re part of Heston’s Fantastical Food Christmas episode, but when we saw Heston’s Edible Christmas fairy Lights recipe on the Channel 4 website we knew we had to serve them as part of our early Christmas Dinner.
Another good name for this recipe would be “Let’s Spend Thirty Quid at Muji”, because that’s the only place we found suitable moulds for the baubles. Specifically, their Marble Silicone Ice Cube Tray. We also picked up their trendily minimalist felt tree to hang the baubles on, which was a mistake (more on this later). Muji also sell clear-white LED lights, the third essential component, but we bought ours at a discount store for half their price.
Special Equipment: Silicone mould, LED lights, Mini Christmas Tree
Special Ingredients: Citric Acid
Time: 30 minutes plus overnight cooling & chilling
Cost: Under £5 (or up to £35 if you need to buy all the equipment)
The ingredients list isn’t all that complicated. We used a drop of orange flavouring in place of mandarin essential oil, and omitted the citric acid because, well, which-the-hell shelf of Leigh Morrissons is that on?
Step 1: Orange Juice Reduction
Very easy: Put jug on scales. Put juice in pan. Keep tipping juice into jug until scales read 200.
When filling the moulds ensure you do it on a flat surface, and that each sphere is filled all the way to the top. We’d recommend overfilling if possible, to ensure each bauble is as full round as possible. Some of ours could’ve done with being rounder.
Step 2: Unmoulding
Our first bauble was a disaster. Chunks of the jelly stayed stuck to the inside of the mould, giving the bauble a rough, broken surface. To avoid further embarrassment (and really crap blog photos) we put the mould into the freezer of a couple of hours. This seemed to do the trick.
Step 3: Decorating Your Tree
This is where our poor choice of tree became apparent. Muji’s rigid tree design doesn’t offer much scope for playing with your baubles (matron!), or their position, at least. The result was that the lights hung in odd places because the spacing of the LED lights didn’t match up with the six-sided shape of the felt tree.
This wouldn’t be so bad, but the jelly baubles have quite a bit of weight to them, and will cause each fairy light to hang down a bit. If we’d had more freedom to place the lights where we wanted the tree would’ve looked a lot more presentable. As it was it looked more like a sex toy for daleks.
Speaking of smut, you have to be very, very careful when inserting the LED lights into your baubles. If you’re too rough the jelly will split. Be gentle if it’s your first time.
Tricky final assembly and user-unfriendly tree aside this was quite fun and easy to make.
We liked the festive orangeyness, but the clove flavour was far too strong. If making again we’d use only 3 cloves, and maybe add a bit of cinnamon stick. We think you could vary the recipe to make red mulled wine gums as well, or even whisky flavoured baubles, using the whisky-gum recipe found in Heston at Home. (Over to Andy to find out if that’s feasible)
We had these between 2 of us, after our early Heston recipe Christmas dinner. And after 2 dessert courses (trifle, then mince pies & potted stilton) we weren’t feeling up to scoffing 15 jelly sweets each. The would be great if you’ve got a crowd coming. But whatever you do don’t buy your mini tree from Muji.
Would you try making this, and what do you think of Heston’s edible decorations? Let us know in the comments section below.