Cathedral Window Bars Recipe
What is Cathedral Windows?
Cathedral windows is a childhood favorite dessert, and for anyone who loves gelatin desserts, it's comfort food. Did you know the Cathedral Window was originally called "Rainbow Gelatin"? In fact, 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.
The idea behind this colorful dessert is many fruity flavors in one product. The assorted colorful and fruity-tasting cubes were covered in sweet milky gelatin that made the gelatin dessert whole. The dessert was originally called a "Rainbow Gelatin", but was changed in the 1980s to "Cathedral Window" since it looks like translucent stained-glass windows according to Pinky Yee whose mother-in-law is Goldilocks co-founder Milagros Leelin Yee.
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How to Make Cathedral Window Bars
The Cathedral Window dessert is still the same but in this recipe, the kind of gelatin used is swapped out. Instead of animal gelatin, this uses agar-agar, a gelatin from seaweed we more popularly know as a gulaman.
The way to use gulaman is not to be confused with gelatin which actually melts at high temperatures. That's one of the main reasons gelatin needs to always be chilled or refrigerated. Gulaman however isn't as temperature sensitive which makes it perfect for the tropical weather we enjoy.
Not only that, if you are on a plant-based diet, the use of gulaman makes this dessert into a vegetarian, and even a vegan, version. Just switch out the fresh milk for the nut milk of your choice, and you'll still achieve a creamy, flavorful, and colorful dessert that anyone can eat and will love.
How to Serve Cathedral Window Bars
The best way to serve this dessert is chilled, straight from the refrigerator, sliced into bars, and served on a plate. Since these bars are pretty solid, you can even make smaller cubes that you can pick up and eat like a brownie!
Thinking of other ways to serve it? Why not cube these up small into bite-sized pieces and pile them into serving cups. Top with whipped cream, sweetened or not, for a more decadent way to enjoy this gulaman dessert. You can even make these in layers!
Tips to Make Perfect Cathedral Window Bars
The best tips for making cathedral window bars are also the best tips for making any no-bake dessert using gulaman:
1 Remember that gulaman is not gelatin.
This is important to note because these two gels need to be treated and handled differently. While gelatin needs to be bloomed, gulaman does not. Just dissolve and then heat it up to boiling before pouring into a mold.
2 Sweeten to taste.
Remember that each bite of these bars should be sweetened, even if just slightly, so you're not biting into something bland.
3 Start with cold water.
If you're using gulaman for any dish, you have to start with cold water. Cold water will help dissolve the gulaman powder and soften the gulaman bars if that's what you're using. Hot water will start the gelling process and since gulaman doesn't remelt easily, you'll end up with a grainy gulaman dessert.
4 Boil it!
Unlike gelatin, gulaman needs to be boiled to fully activate its gelling properties so go ahead and heat the mixture to a boil before transferring the mixture into a mold.
How to Store Cathedral Window Bars
What's so wonderful about this recipe is that if you happen to leave it out on your dining table, it won't melt into a liquid mess, even during a Philippine hot summer day. This characteristic is what makes it easy to make and serve for any occasion, including picnics and trips to the beach! Just slice and serve.
However, it's best to remember that it's not recommended to freeze these bars, so you don't alter the consistency of the gulaman.
Watch: Cathedral Window Bars Recipe Video
Cathedral Window Bars Recipe
Cathedral Window Bars Ingredients
How to make Cathedral Window Bars
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