Ptichye Moloko (Bird's Milk) - A Russian Jello

Ptichye Moloko or bird's milk is a popular Russian candy and a famous soufflé cake.  "Bird's milk" is an idiom of ancient Greek origin meaning "an unobtainable delicacy".  It appeared in a folk tale that the beautiful princess tests her suitor by sending him out in the wilderness to find and bring back the one luxury item she does not have: bird's milk.  The place of origin of this candy is Poland and it is called Ptasie mleczko.

In Russia, Ptichye Moloko was originally a type of meringue candy covered with chocolate introduced in 1967 in Vladivostok and in 1968 by the Rot Front factory in Moscow.  It became so popular that a mass production was started later in 1975.  In 1978, this popular candy was then transformed into a light sponge cake filled with an airy soufflé and topped with chocolate glaze.  This melt in mouth dessert was so luscious and its extraordinary texture made it so scrumptious and popular worldwide.

You must be wondering how I got the recipe.  Well this is not the authentic recipe in which the soufflé is steamed.  One of my Russian Colleague brought this dessert to work.  As a foodie I asked for the name of the dessert while getting a piece but the name was hard to remember, but bird's milk was easy to remember.  As soon as I had the first bite, my taste buds screamed the truth that, it’s a delicacy that I had to try my own. It was a piece of sponge that dissipated in my mouth like cotton candy.  I had to get the recipe from my colleague.  He pointed me to this recipe.  I was so excited to tell my kids and hubby about what I had at work.  Later I made this dessert at home for a get together.  I didn't give enough time for the chocolate layer to set properly, so it was bit hard to get the pieces cut properly.  So I left it in the refrigerator for one more day and it came out perfect.  I recommend you try this recipe and judge yourself.  You will not be disappointed.  Please make sure to give at least 12 -24 hours for the layers to set properly.

There are different flavors of the bird's milk jello available now as this recipe is so versatile and can be adjusted per your choice of flavors.  I found it really hard to style this beautiful and delicious dessert.

Cream filling/bottom layer
16 oz - sour cream
16 oz - whipped cream /cool whip
1 cup - sugar
2 (.25oz) packets - unflavored gelatin
1 cup - milk

Chocolate layer/top layer
5 tbsp - unsweetened cocoa powder

5 tbsp - milk
7 tbsp - sugar
1 (.25oz) packet - unflavored gelatin
1 cup - water

  • Grease a 11 x 13 inch dish with butter or cooking spray.
  • In a sauce pan, combine milk and 2 packets of gelatin and whisk together.  Cook on medium heat by whisking continuously till the milk starts to steam.  Turn off the flame and let it cool.
  • Meantime whip together the sour cream, sugar and whipped cream in the bowl of a stand mixer or using had mixer to get a smooth silky consistency.  Add the milk gelatin mix into this and whip for 30 seconds.  Pour into the prepared pan and even the top using a offset spatula and refrigerate for at least 4 to 8 hrs.
  • Whisk the water, milk, cocoa powder, gelatin powder and sugar together in a sauce pan to remove any lumps.  Cook on medium heat till the liquid starts to steam and the sugar is completely melted.  Whisk continuously for 5 minutes on medium heat and turn off the flame.  Let the cocoa mix cool for one hour.  It will start to thicken like a glaze.  Pour it evenly over the refrigerated cream layer.  Cover and let it cool in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
  • Slice them using a cold knife so that the chocolate layer won't spread to the cream layer.  Top them with chocolate curls if desired.  Enjoy!

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