The Story of Goldilocks' Cathedral Window

It's one of the bakeshop's original recipes.

IMAGE Goldilocks

Did you know that the Cathedral Window of Goldilocks was originally called Rainbow Gelatin?

Goldilocks was the first to introduce the colorful Cathedral Window to the market because it's an original Goldilocks recipe developed by one of its co-founders.

This dessert was developed during the 1960s when gelatin dishes were still very popular. Many magazines and cookbooks featured gelatin dishes, also known as aspic, and not all of these recipes were desserts. Some of the more unusual vintage recipes feature savory ingredients such as cooked shrimps and vegetables locked in suspension in a gelatin ring mold. Others included sliced eggs, chunks of chicken, and other savory ingredients in gelatin molds shaped like fish, stars, loaves, or in classic rings. Others were simpler such as the tomato aspic with was basically a soup in solid form as gelatin. 

Gelatin desserts were also popular during this era, the simplest being fruits suspended in solidified fruit juices in molds. 

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While we may have moved past enjoying savory aspic dishes, some of these vintage gelatin dessert recipes have stood the test of time. Not only are gelatin desserts easy to make, but it also doesn't require an oven. One of the most popular gelatin desserts to emerge from this era that is still popular today has to be the Cathedral Window.

Photo by Riell Santos
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According to Pinky Yee in a Facebook post, her mother-in-law and Goldilocks co-founder Milagros Leelin Yee created the Cathedral Window for Goldilocks. At the time, monotone gelatin desserts were popular. These gelatin desserts consisted of a single sweetened flavored gelatin, but Mrs. Yee had another idea in mind. In the theme of the more elaborate savory dishes at the time, she incorporated all of the colors and flavors in one, creating a rainbow-colored dessert that was more colorful and appetizing.

"Mrs. Yee's idea was to have all these flavors in one product by cutting them into cubes and placing assorted colors in the bottom of the mold. She cooked all of these colored and fruit-flavored gelatin separately: red (strawberry), orange (orange), green (lime), violet (grape), and yellow (lemon)," Pinky said. While she originally used more flavors and colors while experimenting with the recipe, Mrs. Yee ultimately chose only four flavors (strawberry, orange, green, and lemon) because she wanted it to be acceptable to the local taste. She also wanted it to taste like citrus, which Filipinos liked. 

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"She developed a fruit and milk gelatin sauce that she poured and mixed with these flavored and colored gelatin cubes, then cooled in the chiller to set. The result was phenomenal. It was visually appealing and its unique fruity-milky combination was delectable."

Photo by Goldilocks

According to the Goldilocks Bakebook, this milky gelatin sauce contains pineapple juice, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream, all ingredients we Filipinos love! (This mix of fruity and milky reminds us of another popular dessert that is fast and easy to prepare that we love as well: the fruit salad.)

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Pinky said in her post that the light and creamy dessert was first called "Rainbow Gelatin", but was changed in the 1980s to Cathedral Window since it looks like translucent stained-glass windows.

It's not just the name that has changed. The gelatin Mrs. Yee first used to develop the dessert was tweaked to create homemade gelatin that had a better texture and thus, better to eat, too than commercially-bought gelatin to ensure that the Goldilocks original recipe tasted better.

All that time and effort into the creation of the dessert has paid off. It has become a Goldilocks classic dessert that many still love today.

Do you love the Cathedral Window, too?

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.

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