This is an easy, no bake, coffee dessert recipe that is a showstopper! Agar agar jelly is used instead of gelatin, which makes it vegetarian, or vegan if you only use coconut milk. Watch the video to see how simple it actually is to make this beauty! #coffeedessert #vegan #coffeejelly #agaragar #nobake
Agar agar jelly is a popular dessert in Thailand because it's so hot all the time! It's light, refreshing and delicious. This latest addition to my agar jelly recipe collection is quite different because of the robust Thai coffee flavour, perfect for all coffee lovers out there!
Making a big jelly with several layers like what I have here takes a while because you have to wait for each layer to set, so if you don't have much time, make your jelly in smaller molds so you don't have to wait so long. Any size cups work will work, any jello molds, animal shapes, flower shapes any shapes you want will work for this recipe!
Agar agar is made from seaweed so it's a great vegetarian or vegan alternative to gelatin! However, the texture between the two is quite different, agar agar doesn't melt in your mouth like gelatin does, and it's not jiggly and wobbly. It's firmer and crumbles in your mouth, but still really refreshing!
This is an easy, no bake, coffee dessert recipe that is a showstopper! Agar agar jelly is used instead of gelatin, which makes it vegetarian, or vegan if you only use coconut milk. Watch the video to see how simple it actually is to make this beauty!
MAKE THE COFFEE LAYER:
- Steep the Thai coffee powder in 1 ½ cups (360ml) of hot off-the-boil water for about 5 minutes. I put my coffee in a cloth "coffee bag" and let the bag sit in water (see video), but you can also add coffee directly to water and strain it out through whatever coffee filter or fine-weave cloth you have.
- Meanwhile in a small pot, mix agar agar powder and the remaining 1 ½ cups (360ml) water in a small pot. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
- Once it comes to a full boil, turn down the heat and check to see that the agar agar powder has completely dissolved by spooning some liquid into a metal spoon, then pour off the liquid and look to see if there are any grains of powder stuck to the spoon. If not, you're good to go!
- Add the coffee, sugar and a little pinch of salt to the agar agar solution. Bring to a simmer to make sure all the sugar has dissolved, then at this point you can taste to see if you're happy with how sweet it is. Feel free to add more sugar to taste.
- Keep the pot covered and hot while you make the cream layer.
MAKE THE CREAM LAYER:
- In another small pot mix the agar agar powder and the water in a small pot. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
- Once it comes to a full boil, turn down the heat and check to see that the agar agar powder has completely dissolved.
- Add the coconut milk, evaporated milk, sugar and salt to the agar agar solution. Bring to a simmer to make sure all the sugar has dissolved, then at this point you can taste to see if you're happy with how sweet it is. Feel free to add more sugar or salt to taste.
- Keep the pot covered and hot.
Tips for keeping the agar agar hot when not using: You can keep them on the lowest heat setting on the stove, but be careful, you don't want it to be simmering away, and some stove's "lowest" heat setting (especially on gas stoves) is still too hot. In that case you can keep the pots covered in a hot water bath, or try keeping them in a low oven (150°F). If your stove has a "warming plate" that seems to work really well.
- If using a large, non-flexible mold like me, you may want to grease it with a very light layer of oil.
- Choose which colour you want to end up on top and start with that one. Pour a desired thickness of agar agar mixture into the mold (I used 1 cup per layer), then let it set just enough that you can press on it, but it should still be a bit soft and elastic underneath. (See video for when I do this). Do not let it get too cold and solid or the layers will not stick together.
- Once the first layer has set, pour on the second layer GENTLY so that you don't break the bottom layer. Make sure the second layer is hot enough that there is still steam coming off of it when you go to pour.
- Repeat until done. Then chill in the fridge until cold before serving.
- To unmold a large, hard pan like the one I used, run a thin spatula around the edge of the mold, you can dribble in a few drops of water around the edges while you do this as well to help it slide out more easily (see video for this technique). Flip onto a serving platter or cutting board, and wiggle it a bit and it should come out. If using a silicone mold you can just flip it and push the bottom of the mold inward to release it. For little individual molds you can use a toothpick to run along the sides and "flick" it out pretty easily.
- I put a fan to the pan to help each layer cool faster. If making a large mold like me, the first layer took about 5 minutes to set enough, subsequent layers took longer and longer, and the last layer took about 15 minutes. For small molds, it will take a very short time.
- Pour the white layer through a fine sieve to catch any milk skin that has formed.
- Again, do not let the layer set cold and solid before pouring on another layer or the layers may separate.
- If you're concerned with the layers being the same thickness, make sure you measure how much liquid you use for each layer. FYI: There are about 3 cups of liquid total for each colour.