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Vietnamese Coffee Jelly Dessert…easy

super easy, clean and tasty cool dessert for a summer party.
OR…just kick start your day,
maybe brighten a June gloom afternoon…
coffee jelly, or JELLO as we call it, is a popular dessert in Asia.  in Japan they serve it black, slightly sweetened in a cup…or sometimes offer it with ice cream or in milkshakes.  it’s even served with student lunches in public schools.  this cute little easy dessert is Vietnamese inspired simply because it is a strong brewed coffee paired with a healthy spoonful of sweetened condensed milk.  my friend Cathy gave me some delicious coffee from her Mother’s Pho restaurant (best Pho in Little Saigon)…so i thought i’d use that for this treat.  her preferred brand is Cafe La LLave.
Vietnamese coffee is usually very strong, brewed in a Phin Filter or can be made in a French press for larger quantity.  use a bold flavor…Cafe du Monde is popular with it’s chicory flavor, but a nice French or Italian roast will do.  see my post on Vietnamese coffee HERE.
sweetened condensed milk…the most preferred Vietnamese brand would be the Longevity Gold Brand, but good old American Eagle Brand will be just fine.
NOTE about “jelly”…  quite often you will see jellys made with “agar agar”, but i prefer the texture of good ol’ jello.
VIETNAMESE COFFEE JELLY DESSERT
COFFEE JELLY…jello
1/2 cup cold strong coffee
1 1/4 cup very hot STRONG coffee
2 packet plain gelatin
sweeten or flavor coffee to your liking
put the gelatin into the 1/2 cup cold coffee, wait 5 minutes for gelatin to “bloom”.  heat 1 1/4 cups strong coffee to almost boil and pour into cold mixture.  stir to completely dissolve/combine.  lightly, i say lightly spray a square or rectangle vessel of choice.  choose a vessel that will make it easy to cube.  refrigerate until firm and set….a few hours.
NOTE…these measurements (1 3/4 cups liquid) make a wiggly jello texture, but DOES cut into cubes.  i thought this ratio was a perfect texture for this particular dessert, but if you want it just a bit more firm, cut the liquid to 1 1/2 cups total.
TO ASSEMBLE…
cut the jello into 1/2 inch cubes, set aside 
1-2 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk at the bottom of cup
put cubes in cup with the condensed milk
whipped cream of choice for topping
cocoa powder for sprinkle
chocolate covered espresso beans to garnish
NOTE…in the morning i like my “jelly treat” a little less sugary.  try a thick vanilla or chocolate protein shake with the coffee jelly cubes.  it’s definitely not “Vietnamese” style…BUT it IS a quick fun protein  pick-me-up.

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