Life Video·Video

Deconstructed Ambrosia Salad — a pretty pastel take on the retro party-food fave

This dessert has EVERYTHING (if by everything you mean gelatin, marshmallow cream and maraschino cherries).

This dessert has EVERYTHING (if by everything you mean gelatin, marshmallow cream and maraschino cherries)

This is not the Ambrosia Salad you remember from your grandmother’s dinner table. Sure, it shares many similarities with the old-school sweet often served at Christmastime in the Southern United States — there’s lots of fluffy marshmallow, coconut flakes and even maraschino cherries. But our version abandons the trifle bowl concoction in favour of cheery gelatin moulds and a decidedly modern plating style that makes this dessert just as fun to prepare as it is to eat. Check out the video below to see how the whole dish comes together, then scroll down to grab the recipe. 

Deconstructed Ambrosia Salad

This dessert has EVERYTHING (if by everything you mean gelatin, marshmallow cream and maraschino cherries). 1:39

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (each 85 g) cherry-flavoured gelatin powder
  • 1 package (85 g) lemon or pineapple flavoured gelatin powder
  • 1 package (85 g) orange flavoured gelatin powder
  • 4 cans (each 354 mL) evaporated milk
  • 4 cups water

Whipped Coconut Marshmallow Cream:

  • 1 ½ cup prepared whipped topping
  • 1 tub (213 g) marshmallow fluff or creme
  • ¼ cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp coconut extract (optional)

Assembly:

  • 12 pieces fresh cut pineapple
  • 8 canned or fresh mandarin orange slices
  • 12 maraschino cherries or fresh cherries
  • ⅓ cup large flaked coconut

Preparation

For an intricate plated design (as in the image above), use all three flavours of gelatin and three moulds that vary in size and shape. In this case, you will have extra prepared gelatin, simply add to a separate bowl, refrigerate and let set and reserve for another use.

For the cherry gelatin mould, lightly spray four larger-sized moulds with cooking spray — you can use mini bundt cake pans or other food-safe moulds. Empty packages of cherry gelatin powder into a medium bowl; set aside. Combine 1 cup water and one can evaporated milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour boiling mixture over cherry gelatin mix. Stir constantly until cherry powder is completely dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in another can of evaporated milk; stir until blended. Pour mixture into prepared large moulds. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or until completely set. 

For the lemon gelatin mould, lightly spray four medium-sized moulds with cooking spray. You can use mini tart shell pans or other food-safe moulds. Empty package of lemon gelatin powder into a bowl; set aside. Combine ½ cup water and ½ can evaporated milk in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Pour boiling mixture over lemon gelatin powder. Stir constantly until lemon powder is completely dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in remaining ½ can of evaporated milk; stir until blended. Pour mixture into prepared medium moulds. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or until completely set. 

For the orange gelatin mould, lightly spray four small-sized moulds with cooking spray. You can use small round chocolate moulds or other food-safe moulds. Empty package of orange gelatin powder into a bowl; set aside. Combine ½ cup water and ½ can evaporated milk in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Pour boiling mixture over orange gelatin powder. Stir constantly until orange powder is completely dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in remaining ½ can of evaporated milk; stir until blended. Pour mixture into prepared moulds. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or until completely set. 

Note: If you’d like to go with a simpler plated design, use one flavour of gelatin, using two packages of gelatin and one larger mould so you have about 1 cup of prepared gelatin for each serving portion. 

Whipped Coconut Marshmallow Cream: 

In a large bowl, beat marshmallow fluff until it loosens slightly. In batches, add in whipped topping and whip until smooth and creamy. Fold in shredded coconut and coconut extract (if using) until well blended. Use right away or store in a covered container for 2 to 3 hours. 

Assembly:

Spoon or smear Whipped Coconut Marshmallow Cream onto four plates. Unmold gelatin moulds and arrange on each plate. Garnish with fruit and coconut flakes.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

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