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Almond Jelly (Annin Tofu)

Annin Tofu

Are you looking for a great, light dessert?

This is my favorite dessert of all time. Annin tofu originated in Hong Kong and is usually found in dim sum restaurants. It is extremely popular in Japan too. Many restaurants make faux-annin tofu made with agar and almond essence but the real version is made with southern Chinese apricot kernels. If you are lucky to be able to get real kernels, you can make the best annin tofu.

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Apricot kernels from Southern China

Powdered apricot kernel is available at larger Chinese grocery stores but usually a lot of extra ingredients are added (sugar and starch). But it still tastes extremely great and you can cut preparation time dramatically. I usually carry a few bags of powder with me when I come back from my visits to Japan but I also found one online Asian store (Asianwok.com) that sells it.

almond powder

Two different brands of Chinese almond powder (The one in front is available at the online store).

almond powder

Almond powder (powdered Chinese apricot kernel with other ingredients)

As you can guess by the name of the dish, the texture is very similar to soft and creamy silken tofu. In this recipe, I use unflavored gelatin for convenience rather than agar. Please try this super easy, make-ahead dessert for your next Chinese dinner party. I can guarantee everybody will love this and ask for more.

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Almond Jelly (Annin Tofu)

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Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons Chinese almond powder
  • 380ml whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 100ml heavy cream
  • 5g unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons water

Cooking Directions

  1. In small bowl, add gelatin and water and mix well.

  2. In a medium sauce pan, add milk, almond powder and sugar. Put it on medium heat and dissolve sugar and almond powder completely.

  3. Add gelatin in the milk and almond powder mixture and stir until the gelatin melts. Remove from heat.

  4. Add heavy cream and mix well with a whisk. Strain mixture through a strainer into a large bowl.

  5. Pour mixture into individual serving cups or one large shallow container.

  6. Cover and refrigerate at least three hours.

  7. Garnish suggestion : Annin tofu is delicious as it is without any toppings. But you can add on your favorite fruits like diced fresh peaches and apricots (canned apricots would work very well too). But my favorite is pureed canned apricot. Simply blend apricot and some syrup with a blender.

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