I think i am one of the very last Singapore bloggers who blogged this dessert. It is easy to prepare and very common in the Hong Kong style tea restaurants but I have no idea when this dessert has became popular in the region.
These 2 miserable pieces of jelly cost me about S$5 and I knew the cost is very much less than that. I spend only about S$2 to prepare a big box of jelly that can be eaten for 2-3 days. I therefore decided to prepare some since it is easy and kids really loved them.
There are only a few ingredients. One is gojiberries (枸杞子）and this is easily available in traditional Chinese medicine stores. It is especially good for eyesight and Chinese used it to boil soup or even steeped into tea. It is flavourless but it is health beneficial and a good item for decoration.
Another main ingredient is osmanthus flower (桂花）。This flower has a distinct aroma and usually used to flavour Chinese desserts like tangyuan or eight treasure glutinous rice. As per Wikipedia,
“Osmanthus /ɒzˈmænθəs/ is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the family Oleaceae. Osmanthus range in size from shrubs to small trees, 2–12 m (7–39 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite,evergreen, and simple, with an entire, serrated or coarsely toothed margin. The flowers are produced in spring, summer or autumn, each flower being about 1 cm long, white, with a four-lobed tubular-based corolla (‘petals’). The flowers grow in small panicles, and in several species have a strong fragrance. The flowers of O. fragrans are used throughout East Asia for their scent and flavor, which is likened to apricotand peach. In China, osmanthus tea (桂花茶, guìhuāchá) combines sweet osmanthus flowers with black or green tealeaves. Osmanthus wine flavors huangjiu or other rice wines with full osmanthus blossoms and is traditionally consumed during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Traditional Chinese medicine claims that osmanthus tea improves complexion and helps rid the body of excess nitric oxide, a compound linked to the formation of cancer, diabetes, and renal disease “ (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmanthus). Picture from Wikipedia
There are two alternatives for this ingredients. You can either used the dried osmanthus flower as you can see in the picture below.
Alternatively, you can use the osmanthus flower syrup. The osmanthus flower syrup has a more intense aroma than the dried osmanthus flower. In Singapore, I have purchased both of these items at Kwong Cheong Thye at Lorong 27, Geylang at a rather reasonable price.
Besides the osmanthus flower and sugar, the last ingredient besides water is the setting agent. It can either be konyakku jelly as in the picture below or agar agar powder. Both this will provide a delicious dessert but konyakku powder provide a more transparent jelly and a slightly chewy texture. Agar agar on the other hand provide a firmer texture and slightly translucent. Whatever the type or brands of setting agents used, it is advisable that you follow the packaging instruction on the water used and sugar needed. Don’t worry, they are not as sweet as most manufacturer has toned down the sweetness too.
I have prepared twice, once using agar agar powder and another time using konnyaku jelly powder. Personally, I prefer the konnyaku jelly version which was moulded using a fish mould. I believed most restaurant are using konyakku jelly powder too.
You can use any type of plastic mould you have. Do use your own creativity to create your very own osmanthus goji berries jelly. I have decided to use the fish mould because since I issued my Chinese new year recipe as in this post: Auspicious Koi Agar Agar (吉祥鲤鱼燕菜） , I do not have a chance to use the mould. Do not ask me where I get the mould, I can’t remember but I knew it is very cheap less than S$5.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: About 6-8 adult servings
- 1 packet (about 12 grams) of agar powder or konnyaku powder
- 2 tablespoons of dried osmanthus flower
- 2 tablespoons of goji berries
- 150 grams of rock sugar or white sugar
- 1 litre of water
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Mix the agar agar powder or konnyaku powder with the white sugar, stir until well mixed. Add the cold water and osmanthus dried flower, bring to boil. During the boiling process, it is necessary to have constant stirring. Once it boils, add the goji berries, reduce the heat to low and continue to boil for 2-3 minutes before offing the heat. Let it sit in the pot for about 5 minutes before transferring to your desired mould. Cool completely before unmoulding using a toothpick and keep in the fridge. Best served as a light dessert.
This recipe is ultra simple. Even without my recipe, you can always follow the packaging instruction of the jelly powder and add the dried osmanthus flower and goji berries. You can also used gelatine powder as per the packaging instruction too. The only step that is important is that dried osmanthus flower need to be boiled for a few minutes to get the maximum aroma. if you use osmanthus flower syrup, you will need to reduce the sugar by 50% and add about 5 tablespoons of the syrup. Alternatively, you can use a combination of both.
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