Coffee and Coconut Cream Jelly recipe

    Yum
  • Cook Time
    30m
  • Yield
    4 - 6 servings
  • Difficulty

If you ask, probably every kid that you meet in Vietnam will know about jello (a.k.a agar jelly), a dessert that is so delicious and refreshing – perfect for the summer tropical heat. It is made from agar agar, a gelling substance that is similar to gelatin, but because it is extracted from seaweed, agar agar is suitable for vegetarians. Agar agar is very versatile – because it is flavourless, it can be used in many flavoured desserts, the most popular of which include coffee, coconut, or pandan. I, on a personal note, am especially fond of the combination of coffee and coconut. The bold taste of coffee and the creaminess of coconut milk is one of the most popular flavour combinations in countless number of Southeast Asian desserts.

Talking about coffee, when I was a child, every morning I would wake up to the smell of coffee in the air. There in the kitchen, my dad would be brewing his favourite Vietnamese coffee. He would drink it straight black, but sometimes because I so insisted, he would brew me some coffee and add in a tablespoon or two of sweetened condensed milk. Such amazing colour and amazing flavour: that’s how my addiction to coffee started. A good cup of Vietnamese coffee should take a good long brew and deserve a good long enjoyment. That feeling of rich and smooth caffeinated liqueur passing down your throat, leaving your taste buds delighted with the intense burst of bittersweet goodness, is one of the most relaxing gourmet experiences in the world.

On days that I need to run for work, a package of instant Vietnamese coffee is definitely my go-to. All I need to do is to empty the package into a cup, boil some water, and stir. Then, add in any types of coffee creamer as desired: be it milk, whipping cream, milk powder, half and half, or, like me, a good spoonful of condensed milk :)

 coffee and coconut cream jelly recipe

I’m sure I can keep going on and on about the art of Vietnamese coffee, but let’s get back to the dessert. The recipe I will be introducing in this post is a multi-layered Coffee Coconut Cream Agar Jelly. It is quite simple to make but can be pretty time-consuming, as you have to make each layer individually and allow some time for one layer to set slightly before starting with the next.

I will address a few keys to succeed later on. Eventually, you will end up with a dessert that is bold in flavor, creamy in taste, and interestingly chewy but slightly crunchy in texture. It is definitely a go-to recipe if you are looking for a simple and delicious Southeast Asian-inspired treat.


Coffee and Coconut Cream Jelly recipe

INGREDIENTS

A. Coffee Jelly

  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) water
  • 5 grams (1.5 tsp) agar powder
  • 340 ml (1 ½ cup minus 2 tsp) coffee – warm
  • 50 grams (3 tbsp + 1 tsp) sugar – or adjust to taste

B. Coconut Cream Jelly

  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) water
  • 5 grams (1.5 tsp) agar powder
  • 200 ml (3/4 cup + 4 tsp) coconut milk – room temperature
  • 70 ml (1/3 cup minus 2 tsp) milk – room temperature
  • 70 ml (1/3 cup minus 2 tsp) whipping cream (30 – 40% fat) – room temperature
  • 50 grams (3 tbsp + 1 tsp) sugar – or adjust to taste

(*) IMPORTANT NOTES:

– In this recipe, I use agar agar powder, which is different from agar flakes. Normally, for the same amount of liquid, we will need more agar flakes than agar powder (for the liquid to solidify). Hence, if you’d like to use agar flakes, make sure to check the instructions on the package for correct measurement. 

If you use a teaspoon to measure agar powder, be careful. 1 tsp of the agar powder that I used is equal to 4 grams. However, when I checked some conversion websites based in the U.S., it’s stated that 1 tsp agar powder = 2 gram. If you are not sure about this, try 1/8 tsp agar with 100 ml water and see how the jello comes out. If it’s crunchier to your preference, reduce the amount of agar. If it’s too soft or even does not solidify, increase the amount of agar. 

– The whipping cream in part B can be replaced with regular milk of the same amount, or part milk and part coconut milk if you want a more coconut-y taste.

INSTRUCTIONS

Detailed step-by-step instructions and notes can be found in the video in Savoury Days’ YouTube channel (don’t forget to sign up and subscribe to receive the latest notifications as soon as our videos come out!). You can watch below or at this link.

Printable Recipe

1. Dissolve 5 grams agar powder into 160 ml water in both part A and B in 2 small saucepans. Let the agar powder sit in the water for at least 1 hour to prevent separating later on.

In the meantime, brew the coffee and place the jelly mold into the fridge (a cold mold will help the jelly set faster, thus will save us time while layering the jelly)

2. To make the coffee jelly:

– Put one of the 2 saucepans on high heat. When the water starts boiling, the agar powder has completely dissolved and the liquid becomes clear, remove the pan from heat.

– Add in coffee and sugar and mix until well blended. If there are still clumps of agar powder or sugar, put the pan back on medium heat and stir until they completely dissolve.

– Discard any foam on the surface. Keep the pan warm by putting it in a basin of hot water or have it on the stove at the lowest heat setting; stir every now and then to prevent the surface from setting.

3. To make the coconut cream jelly:

– In a bowl, pour in coconut milk, milk, and whipping cream. Note that this mixture has to be at room temperature.

– Put the other saucepan on high heat. When the water is boiling and the agar powder has completely dissolved, start to add in sugar and the coconut cream mixture with the pan removed from the heat. Again, if there still appear clumps of agar powder or sugar, put the pan back up on medium heat and stir until they completely dissolve.

– Discard any foam on the surface. Keep the pan warm by putting it in a basin of hot water or have it on the stove at the lowest heat setting; stir every now and then to prevent the surface from setting.

4. Assemble:

– Take the mold out of the fridge and place it in a tray filled with ice. We try to keep the environment as cold as possible to the jelly to set faster, saving us waiting time between the layers.

– Pour a thin layer of coffee jelly into the mold. Wait for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the layer starts setting slightly.

– Using a spoon, pour a thin layer of coconut cream jelly on top. Do it very gently so that it won’t break the layer under. Again, wait for this layer to start firming up, then repeat with another layer of coffee jelly.

– Repeat until everything is used up.

Notes:

  • In order for the layers to stick together, pour the new layer on top when the previous layer has not yet completely set, that is, when you feel a bit tacky (but not wet or sticky) when pressing your finger against it. If you wait too long, the layer will solidify and you will end up with layers of jelly that just slides off one another. But if you pour the new layer too soon, the coffee and cream will mix together. Again, the key to success is correct timing.
  • Keep the pan warm by putting it in a basin of hot water or have it on the stove at the lowest heat setting; stir every now and then to prevent the surface from setting. This is to prevent the jelly from hardening before we assemble, and also, warm jelly helps the layers to glue together more easily.
  • Do not move the mold during assembling since it may cause the jelly layers to move and become uneven.

5. Once done, let the jelly cool down a little, then place the mold in the fridge for at least 1 hour for the layers to set completely.

6. When the jelly is set, remove from mold and cut into small pieces.

Keep chilled and use in 1 – 2 days. You can also serve it with coconut milk and sugar syrup or with Vietnamese milk coffee.

 coffee and coconut cream jelly recipe

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  • Recipe & Photos: Linh Trang
  • Written by: San Lương
  • Edited byThảo Đan

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