Sweet, colorful, soft, warm, cool, citrusy, refreshing, bitter, crunchy, crumbly, in your hand, or with a spoon, few things compare to the simple and magical pleasure of eating a dessert. Except, just maybe, making one for the very first time. Presenting, Chicha Morada en Gelatina, or Peruvian purple corn jello shots. What inspired me to create these colorful, sweet, and citrusy, bite-sized, little cubes? Two of my favorite chefs, and the way they combined traditional flavors from Peru with a beautifully modern presentation.
Last year, I was delighted to discover a video that featured Gaston Acurio and Jordi Roca collaborating on a project — making desserts using Peruvian potatoes. It was a joy to witness their playfulness and creativity, and almost immediately after watching the clip, I started to dream of making a new dessert. Something that was colorful, aromatic, with texture, and could be eaten by hand. When I closed my eyes, I saw small purple cubes, and I realized they could only be made with Peruvian purple corn.
After the inspiration, came the experimentation. Starting with the base recipe for Chicha Morada, I added gelatin and adjusted the balance of the ingredients to get a flavor I liked. The texture comes from adding diced apples that appear suspended in the jello, waiting to give each bite a little crunch. While the aromatic touch is a sprinkle of cinnamon dust on the cubes, reminiscent of the garnish in the Mazamorra Morada purple corn pudding. Now, hold a piece up to the light, close your eyes, and take a bite. That’s the taste of magic from Peru.
- 2 cups chicha morada elixir
- 8 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin powder
- 2 oz. fresh lime juice
- 4 tablespoons finely diced apple
- cinnamon powder for garnish
In addition to the ingredients above, you’ll need a sauce pan for simmering, and an ice cube tray for the jello shots
- Mix in a saucepan the purple corn elixir, sugar, and gelatin.
- Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the lime juice, stir to mix well, and remove from heat.
- Pour into an ice cube tray, and add pieces of diced apple.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Use a thin knife to carefully remove jello shots.
- Dust with some powdered cinnamon before serving.
15 jello shots, depending on the ice cube tray.
After simmering, transfer the 2 cups of liquid to a measuring cup with a pour spout, and then pour the liquid into the ice cube tray. Use an ice cube tray that holds about 2 cups of liquid. I used a silicone ice cube tray with 15 cubes.