Jelly mooncakes have been becoming quite a popular Mid-Autumn Festival treat as they are less calorie-dense yet still absolutely delicious, and of course, what kids (or even adults) do not like jelly? I have previously introduced to you How to make Multi-layered Coffee and Coconut Jelly, inspired by a very famous Vietnamese coffee drink called ‘bạc xỉu’, which consists of Vietnamese filtered coffee, condensed milk and coconut milk with ice). A coffee fanatic as I am, therefore, the Coffee Flan Jelly recipe today was inspired by another well-known coffee drink of Vietnam – ‘nâu đá’. ‘Nâu đá’ literally translates to ‘iced brown’, due to the colour of the iced black coffee mixed with condensed milk. I made this jelly when Mid-Autumn Festival was very close, so I used the mooncake mould for the recipe to make the jelly more seasonal. However, it will taste rich and milky and silky regardless of its shape and size.
The ‘flan’ part of the Coffee Flan Jelly is similar to Crème Caramel, a French custard pudding (for recipe, check out this link here). I only added a bit of cream cheese to bring some tanginess to the dish.
I am aware of some concerns about using raw eggs in custard recipes. If you get your eggs from a reliable source, raw eggs or partially cooked eggs are generally safe to consume; however, if you are quite unsure, check out my Coffee and Coconut Jelly recipe that does not involve the use of eggs.
- 1 litre (4 cups) water
- 10 grams (1.5 tbsp) agar agar powder
- 150 grams (3/4 cup less 4 tsp) caster sugar
- 6 grams (3 packets) instant coffee powder
- 3 large egg yolks (18 – 20 grams/yolk)
- 75 grams (1/4 cup) condensed milk
- 75 grams (4 tbsp / 2.6 oz) cream cheese
- 75 ml (1/3 cup) whipping cream (30 – 35% fat)
- 150 ml (2/3 cup) milk
– Instant coffee can be substituted with 15 – 20 ml very strong coffee.
– Cream cheese can be substituted with 70 ml whipping cream. If you want your flan to taste richer and milkier, substitute one part of milk with equal part of whipping cream or cream cheese. However, bear in mind that the higher the fat content of your flan, the more careful you need to be while cooking the liquid as the fat may curdle.
– If you don’t have either cream cheese or whipping cream, you can substitute it with 150 ml coconut milk.
– Agar agar powder can be substituted with 25 grams gelatin (leaf or powder) but do expect a slight difference in the texture of the final product as agar agar jelly has a crunchier texture while gelatin jelly is a bit softer and more chewy.
– The amount of agar agar powder used can be adjusted depending on the brands. It is best to look at the instructions at the back of the packaging as a guide to determine the amount of agar agar powder you will need for about 1.2 litres of liquid. If the final product is a little bit too firm, reduce the amount of agar agar powder used next time. On the other hand, if the final product is too soft, increase the amount used.
A detailed recipe with specific instructions is available at this link here, or you can watch the video right below.
1. Mix agar agar powder with water and let it sit for about 1 hour so that the jelly will set better and will not be watery later.
2. Prepare the flan:
– In a bowl, whisk to combine egg yolks and condensed milk.
– In a small pot, add in whipping cream, cream cheese, and milk. Warm up the mixture on medium heat while stirring continuously. When cream cheese has completely melted and the mixture becomes warm to the touch, remove from the heat. DO NOT let the mixture boil.
– Gently pour the warm liquid into the egg mixture while whisking continuously. Run the mixture through a sieve into a saucepan. DO NOT pour in the liquid while it is still too hot or pour the liquid in all at once, otherwise the heat will cook the egg and make the mixture lumpy.
– Cook the mixture on low heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture turns a bit thicker (it can coat the back of a spoon), turn off the heat. Watch the heat carefully while cooking the custard – if the heat is too high, you will scramble the egg and make the flan quite lumpy.
3. Bring the agar agar water to a boil on high heat, stir well. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it cook for another 2 – 3 minutes until the powder has completely dissolved, the liquid becomes clear. Remove from the heat, add in 150 grams sugar and stir to dissolve.
4. Take out 360 ml agar agar water, slowly pour into the flan mixture and mix well. Similarly, the water should be cooled down a bit before being added into the flan mixture.
5. Add instant coffee into the remaining agar agar water. Adjust the amount of coffee to your preference.
6. Pour into the prepared mould a layer of flan, then coffee, then flan, then coffee… until the mould is filled. Several notes to bear in mind:
- It is best to put the mould in the fridge or freezer for about an hour prior to making the flan. A cold mould will help the flan to set faster.
- You should pour the next layer of jelly while the previous one has just set on the surface but not completely. Make sure the jelly mixture is kept warm throughout the whole process. This is to make sure that the layers of jelly will stick together and form one whole block of jelly.
- Use one size of spoon to spoon the jelly mixture so that you will have even layers of jelly. Do not move the mould during the entire process.
- Recipe & Photos: Linh Trang
- Written by: San Lương
- Edited by: Thảo Đan