Light and refreshing, Almond Jelly is a classic Asian dessert of almond-flavored jelly that can be eaten on its own or usually paired with lychee or other fresh or canned fruits.
This almond jelly with lychees is one of the easiest desserts I've ever made. It is also quite refreshing as it is served chilled. Perfect for regular day dessert but elegant enough for special occasions.
With its subtle flavor and sweetness and overall being a light dessert, it is not surprising that one serving is never enough.
The original almond jelly or almond (Annin) tofu, as it is known in China where the said dessert hailed from, is really made from the apricot sweet kernel and not almonds.
They look and smell alike and have the same Chinese translation, "Xingren" leading to the confusion in translation.
Traditionally, apricot kernels are soaked in water, then ground to extract the 'almond milk'. This liquid is then sweetened and mixed with a gelling agent, usually agar, and then heated. It is then chilled to let it set into soft tofu-like consistency.
Nowadays, almond jelly is still a popular dessert, not only in China but in most Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and, of course, the Philippines.
It is also much easier to make with as less as six (6) ingredients, that includes jelly powder, water, almond essence, sugar, milk and, in this case, canned Lychee, I am quite happy with this recipe.
You can, of course, make alterations and use fresh fruits in season. I am thinking of melon, mango, and peaches right now...
I've already mentioned the difference in using jelly powder and gelatin powder in my Coffee Jelly recipe, which you might also want to check out. I've also used jelly powder in this recipe.
Deliciously Easy Almond Jelly with Lychees
- 3 cups water
- 1 pouch clear jelly powder (gulaman/agar agar) - 25g (see Note 1)
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ⅓ cup sugar - adjust as preferred
- 1 can whole lychees with the liquid syrup - 565 grams
- In a pot, add the water and gradually sprinkle jelly powder, stir until dissolved.
- Bring to a soft boil then remove from heat. Add milk, sugar, and almond extract and stir until completely dissolved.
- Pour mixture in a 9x9-inch square pan and let it cool to set.
- Using a knife, cut through the almond jelly horizontally and then diagonally to make diamond-shaped cubes.
- Transfer almond jelly to a large bowl or container with lid. Add the lychees including the liquid syrup from the can. Cover and chill.
- Serve cold.