Seeing it’s Lunar New Year, it seems only right that I put up another oriental recipe – this time something sweet. The Chinese aren’t really known for their puds; from the few that come to mind Almond Jelly is probably one of the more popular – opaque white cubes served with colourful fruit cocktail straight from the can. I’ve chosen to refine it slightly, making it wobblier (as jelly should be) and serving it in dainty ramekins. It makes an ideal dessert after a big Chinese banquet as it is so light and just slides down the throat. I like to serve them with a skewer of lychees on the side and a lychee vodka shot (1 part vodka to 1 part lychee juice or syrup*).
7 sheets of gelatin (or according to packet instructions)
1 litre (4 cups) water
90g (6 tbsp) caster sugar
175ml (3/4 cup) evaporated milk
1 1/2 tbsp almond essence
Cut up the gelatin sheets into small pieces and soak in 150ml of the water which should be cold. Meanwhile bring the rest of the water to a boil in a saucepan, then tip in gelatin along with the soaking water and simmer for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally (keep an eye on it to ensure it does not boil). Once the gelatin has melted, add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
Remove from heat and pour in the evaporated milk, and give the mixture a couple of quick stirs.
Strain the mixture into a pouring vessel then add the almond essence, again stirring to combine. Taste and add a little more sugar if desired though this dish is not meant to be overly sweet.
Pour into the ramekins and leave to cool for 15-20 minutes then chill in the fridge until set. These can be made a day ahead and kept, covered in clingfilm, in the fridge.
* from a tin of lychees