Here’s another one of my jelly recipes – coffee jelly. This delicious coffee dessert is a must try for all coffee lovers.
Made in individual serving cups, the jelly consists of a layer of black coffee jelly, followed by a layer of creamy milk coffee jelly and topped with tiny coffee jelly cubes. How is that for a coffee dessert?
I used agar agar powder for this jelly recipe. Agar agar powder is derived from seaweed and is a vegetarian substitute for gelatine. It has the gelling properties almost similar to gelatine and is typically sold in powder form or in long strands.
Other than the agar agar powder, you only need coffee, condensed milk, sugar and water to make this jelly. Simple right?
This jelly is at its best when served chilled. Nevertheless, it can also be served at room temperature.
How to Make Coffee Jelly
Ingredients for coffee jelly
- Agar-agar powder
- Instant coffee
- Condensed milk
Preparing the mold
- As in all jellies, start by preparing the molds. This is because jelly sets very quickly after cooking and it is best that the molds are all ready to pour the jelly in as soon as it is cooked.
Cooking the jelly
- Mix the sugar and agar-agar powder in a bowl. This step helps avoid the agar-agar powder from clumping when added to the water later.
- Measure water into a pot. Add the sugar and agar-agar powder mix and stir to combine. Turn on the heat to low.
- Add the instant coffee into the pot. Stir until the coffee, sugar and agar-agar are completely dissolved. The agar-agar powder will take the longest to dissolve. On medium heat, it should take about 8 to 10 minutes.
- To test if the jelly is completely dissolved, scoop some of the coffee jelly solution in a large spoon. If you see tiny dots in the solution, the agar-agar powder is not completely dissolved yet. Continue to cook the coffee jelly, stirring it often to help the agar-agar powder dissolve quicker.
Making the coffee jelly cubes
- Once the agar-agar is completely dissolved, turn off the heat. Transfer about 2 to 2.5 cups of the coffee jelly into a shallow tin or container. I poured mine into a 6 inches square tin. There is no need to line the tin.
- Leave the jelly aside to set. To help speed the process, place the container in a tray filled with ice water. Once the jelly has cooled down, move the jelly container to the fridge. Let is set completely while assembling the rest of the coffee jelly.
Assembling the jelly
- Scoop half of the remaining black coffee jelly into prepared jelly molds. I used individual cups.
- If there are too many bubbles on the jelly surface, remove them with a small spoon. Transfer the jelly molds into the fridge to help the jelly set quicker.
- Add condensed milk to the remaining jelly in the pot. Keep it warm by heating it up again if you see it cooling down. Also, constantly stir the solution to prevent skin from forming on the surface of the milk coffee jelly. This is an important step here because you need to wait for the black coffee jelly layer in the molds to set before you can add on the milk coffee jelly layer.
- As soon as the black coffee jelly in the molds is set, the next layer of jelly can be added on. At this stage, you need not wait until the black jelly is completely firm, suffice if the top is sufficiently firm. Test by gently pressing the surface, if it’s firm to the touch, it is ready for the next layer of jelly. Remove the molds from the fridge and use a ladle to gently scoop the milk coffee jelly onto the black coffee jelly. Leave the jelly aside while you prepare the black coffee jelly cubes.
- For the cubes, remove the black coffee jelly made in the first step above.
- Use a jam knife to cut it vertically and horizontally to get small cubes.
- Remove the cubes onto a plate.
- Drop the cubes into the milk coffee jelly layer. Drop them in before the milk coffee jelly sets. You will see the cubes float up. Reserve the remaining black jelly cubes for the topping. Move the jelly molds into the fridge for the jelly to set completely.
Making the coffee jelly topping
- For the topping, cut the remaining black coffee jelly cubes into smaller cubes.
- Once the molded jelly is completely set, spoon the jelly topping on. Chill until ready to serve.
How to avoid the agar-agar powder from clumping when added to the liquid?
- The agar-agar powder has a tendency to clump when added to the water. And it will often take a very long time and a lot of stirring to get these clumps to dissolve. If they are not dissolved, your jelly with not be smooth and you will be able to taste the lumps as you eat the jelly.
- The best way to avoid this is to mix the agar-agar powder with sugar first before adding it to the water. That way, the agar-agar powder itself is well distributed and there is an unlikely chance for clumps.
Pouring hot jelly into plastic molds
- If pouring hot jelly solution into plastic containers or molds is a concern for you, you can always cool the jelly solution down before pouring it into the containers. The best way to cool the jelly down is by placing it under the fan. To avoid the surface of the jelly from forming a skin as it cools down, keep stirring it as it cools down.
- You will not be able to wait until the jelly solution cools down completely without it setting, so you would need to pour it into the container before it reaches that stage.
How to avoid the jelly from setting before pouring into molds
- Jelly sets as it cools down. While this is not a problem in most cases, it can be when you are using the jelly solution to make layered jelly.
- When making layered jelly, you literally pour one layer of jelly into your molds, and wait until it sets before pouring the next layer on. This waiting process sometimes causes the jelly that in not yet poured into the molds to set too.
- To avoid this, you would need to keep the jelly solution from cooling down. You can do this by turning on very low heat on your stove. But do take note to avoid the jelly from boiling too much as that can thicken it up too.
- The other way would be to turn the heat on and off. As the jelly starts to cool down, turn on the heat. Once the jelly is heated up, turn it off. That way, your jelly solution does not get thickened too much. And remember to keep stirring it often too.
Can you replace condensed milk with milk or evaporated milk?
- The reason I choose condensed milk rather than milk or evaporated milk is to avoid diluting my coffee jelly solution. When diluted, the jelly will not set as firm as it should. Hence, it is best that condensed milk is used for this jelly.
Can you substitute instant coffee to brewed coffee?
- Yes, you can. However, when measuring the water, pour the coffee solution into your measuring cup. Top it up with water until it reaches one liter.
- Remember to keep the total liquid in the jelly to the amount indicated at the back of your agar-agar powder sachet. If there is none, use 1 liter. Hence, when using brewed coffee, it should be included in the 1-liter liquid required in the recipe, and water should be added only until the liquid measurement reaches 1 liter.
- Mine indicated 1liter, hence the total water I used is 1 liter.
Can you adjust the amount of coffee in the jelly?
- Yes, you certainly can. Reduce the amount if you want a lightly coffee flavoured jelly, and add more if you want a stronger coffee taste. But do keep in mind that the more coffee you add, the bitter the jelly will become. You would need to add more sugar into the jelly accordingly.
Can you adjust the amount of condensed milk in the recipe?
- Yes, you can. I used 2 tablespoons in my jelly. This did not make the jelly too sweet and was just nice when combined with the black jelly layer.
- If you reduce the condensed milk in the jelly, the taste will still be fine, but the color might not be as light as you see in the images here.
- Increasing the condensed milk will make the jelly sweeter, so the choice is all yours!
Can you make the jelly in a larger mold and cut it into smaller pieces to serve?
- Yes, you certainly can.
- Pour the jelly into a large silicone mold or tin. Cut it into smaller pieces and serve.
- While removing the jelly from a flexible silicone mold is easy, it is the contrary for metal molds. To effectively remove the jelly from the metal mold, use a spatula to lose the sides of the jelly and then turn it out onto a large plate. If that does not help, you can try cutting out the jelly in the mold itself and then remove the cut pieces onto serving plates. Add the jelly topping after that.
How long do you need to chill the jelly before serving?
- This would depend on the mold into which the jelly is poured. Smaller, shallower moulds would tent to set faster as complared to larger, deeper ones.
- To test if the jelly is set, press it down lightly with your finger. if it is firm to the touch, the jelly is ready.
How long does the jelly last and how to store it?
- This jelly lasts for a good 4 to 5 days, however, it must be kept chilled in the fridge. Keep it in a covered container to prevent it from drying out in the fridge.
- Sometimes, you will notice excess liquid in the jelly container after a day or two. This is normal, the jelly tends to release some liquid as you keep it longer. Having said that, the jelly is still as good to eat and can be safely consumed.
Coffee Jelly Recipe
Here’s the full printable version of my coffee jelly recipe.
- 10 g agar agar powder
- 250 g sugar
- 2 tbsp instant coffee granules or powder
- 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
- 1 liter water
- Prepared the molds and set them aside.
Cooking the jelly
- Combine agar-agar powder with sugar. Mix well and set aside.
- Measure water into a medium sized pot. Add the agar-agar and sugar into the water and stir.
- Next, add instant coffee to the pot. Cook the jelly over low to medium heat.
- Stir and cook the jelly solution for about 10 minutes, until the jelly is fully dissolved.
Assembling the jelly
- Pour about 2 to 3 cups of the jelly into a small dish. Let the jelly set slightly before placing it in the fridge to set completely.
- Spoon half of the remaining black coffee jelly solution in the pot into the prepared mini jelly molds. Let the jelly set.
- While waiting for the black jelly layer to set, prepare the milk coffee jelly. To do this, add condensed milk to the remaining jelly solution in the pot. Mix well.
- Also, prepare the black coffee jelly cubes. Remove the dish of black jelly placed in the fridge earlier. It should have set completely by now, given that it is a shallow layer of jelly. Cut the jelly into small cubes of about 1cm sizes. You can cut the jelly directly in the dish or you can also turn it out onto a board and then cut it.
- Remove the jelly molds from the fridge. Check that the top of the black jelly is firm by pressing it lightly. So long as the top of the jelly is firm to the touch (the bottom can still be wobbly, that is fine), it is ready for the next layer of jelly.
- Gently spoon the milk coffee jelly onto the black jelly layer.
- Add a few of the cut black jelly cubes into each of the jelly molds. You will see the jelly cubes float to the surface of the milk coffee layer. At this stage, not all the jelly cubes will be used up. Reserve the remaining for the topping.
- Return the jelly in the molds to the fridge to set completely.
- While waiting for the jelly to set, prepare the jelly topping.
- To make the topping, cut the remaining black jelly cubes into smaller squares.
- Chill in the fridge while waiting for the jelly in the molds is set.
- Spoon some of the jelly toppings onto each mini coffee jelly in the molds before serving.
And that’s pretty much how I make my coffee jelly.
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