Almond Jelly with Longan

Saturday, March 03, 2012

This recipe, like most of the others, was a result of craving for something not available where we were living at the time. My Almond Jelly need came during our stay in Cologne, twelve years ago. For some reason, recipes for Almond Jelly were scarce on the internet and no one I knew had one ("Buy the instant mix" was the kindly advice). It took me ages but I finally hit gold on a website which wasn't even a cooking one. The site belonged to a Malaysian young man studying in a UK university who had the same craving, begged his mum for her recipe and out of the kindness of his heart, published it on the internet for those in the same, sad shoes.

So I took his recipe, gave it a couple of turns, each time costing me a pretty penny as agar agar powder, condensed milk and tinned longans were expensive in the Asian supermarket in BarbarossaPlatz.

But everything is an investment if you want to get it right, so this is my final version which I've used all these years. The ingredients are the same, but the measurements have been altered to suit my tastebuds. You can, of course, do some tweaking on your own. The texture of the jelly is akin to firm silken tofu with a bit of bounce. Use more water or less agar agar powder if you like yours really soft. And if tinned longans are not an everyday event in your supermarket, both local or Asian, tinned mixed fruit will do the job too. Traditionally the jelly is set in square or rectangular forms, cut into squares or diamonds and served. I just decided to go fancy pants with decorative molds which I had recently acquired and can't get enough of.

Almond Jelly with Longan

You need:

4.5 cups of water
4 teaspoons of agar agar powder
1 tin of condensed milk (I like Dutch Lady!)
2 tsp of almond essence
Square receptacle or jelly mold(s)
Tinned longans, reserve the syrup

You do:
  1. Pour water in a saucepan. Mix in agar agar powder and stir well till dissolved.
  2. Using a medium flame, bring mixture to a soft rolling boil, all the time stirring gently. 
  3. Let boil for about a minute, taking care not to over do it. You want a a gentle boil, not Mount Vesuvius on an angry day.
  4. Turn heat off. Add in 2tsp of almond essence and the entire tin of condensed milk. Stir well, making sure the milk is evenly incorporated. I use a whisk for this.
  5. Pour contents into square receptacle or jelly mold. Again, gently does it as you don't want any air bubbles trapped in the jelly. It's purely aesthetic, taste will not be affected, of course. 
  6. Chill in the fridge until set. Once set, pry it out gently from mold. If using a square tin or container, tip it out and cut into squares or diamonds. 
  7. To serve, assemble some jelly and longans in a bowl. Pour some longan syrup over and enjoy it cold.


The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 12:54 pm

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