Coffee jelly hails from England, but I haven’t seen it since my grandparents’ time. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is still now a beloved dessert in Japan, where it has become one of the most popular summertime treats.
Coffee jelly is a delightful jelly dessert made by combining strong brewed coffee with gelatin to create a jelly-like consistency. In Japan, it takes on various delightful forms – served on its own, cut into cubes, or topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
After trying the harmonious blend of bittersweet coffee goodness and the subtle sweetness of the jelly, I decided to make this Japanese jelly dessert right after getting back home. The coffee jelly recipe is quite similar to the fruit jelly recipe, but instead of combining jelly and fruit, I combined jelly with coffee.
Here is how to make Japanese Coffee Jelly.
Japanese Coffee Jelly
- 1 tbsp agar-agar powder or gelatin powder
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp instant coffee powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract optional
- Plain cream or milk or whipped cream optional
- Combine 1 tablespoon of agar-agar or gelatin powder in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water. Stir and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the gelatin is fully dissolved.
- Add 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla extract, and 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder to the boiling mixture. Stir until everything is well combined.
- Turn off the heat, remove it, and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Pour the coffee mixture into a square or rectangular mold. Allow it to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until the jelly is fully set.
- Once the coffee jelly is set, carefully remove it from the mold and place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the jelly into small cubes of your desired size.
- Serve the coffee jelly cubes with plain cream or milk. Top with whipped cream if desired.
You can serve this jelly with various accompaniments, such as:
- A generous dollop of freshly whipped cream on top of the coffee jelly
- A scoop of vanilla ice cream
- Condensed milk drizzle:
- A drizzle of caramel sauce
- A side of whipped yogurt
- Fresh berries like strawberries or raspberries.
- Almond or coconut flakes
- Unsweeten milk to make a cafe jelly drink