There was a dessert, coffee azuki gelatin, that I used to make in Hawaii for office parties and kind of forgot about. Then, last month, when we were going to entertain Satoshi's friends and I was trying to plan a menu, I remembered about the dessert. I asked my mom for the recipe since the books that I have, didn't have it.
By the time I got everything together it was too late for the dinner party, but I still wanted to try it. The recipe called for gelatin, but I wanted to try it with kanten (agar). The only thing with kanten is that it has to be heated for it to start to congeal and once it sets, you can't re-heat it again to get it soft.
I used the kanten, koshian (smooth sweet bean paste), condensed milk and instant espresso and regular coffee. I cut the recipe drastically, because I didn't have much koshian, I also don't have a 9x9 inch pan and it was only for Satoshi and I.
It came out so hard that the spoon could barely pierce it! Plus, there wasn't that nice layered look that it is supposed to have. See, when you mix everything together, the an (sweet bean paste), sinks to the bottom and the milk and coffee tend to make layers too. Oh, well, so much for trying to use kanten...guess I'll have to tweak the recipe more if I want to use kanten.
I hated the fact that I failed, so I decided to try it again with gelatin and cut the recipe in half....success! I used a coffee that is made on Miyako Island (Okinawa)--Banbo(previously Ruka Coffee), they have interesting flavors, like Pineapple, Hibiscus and Sugar cane flavors, and they also have a very nice flavored coffee called U-ji Caramel. If I remember correctly, u-ji means sugar cane. The aroma of this flavored coffee is very sweet and paired nicely with the condensed milk and tsubuan (chunky sweet bean paste).
This is what the coffee azuki gelatin is supposed to look like--a nice gradation of colors.
The consistency came out nicely too--not hard as rock! This dessert reminds me of the times I used to ask my father to drink some of his coffee. Of course, he would say that coffee is only for adults and then he would save the last sip of his coffee, pour in LOTS of milk and sugar in it and then give it to me.
Here's the recipe if you'd like to give it a try yourself.
Coffee Azuki Gelatin from Favorite Island Cookery Book IV (Hongwanji)
3 packages unflavored gelatin (1 packet of gelatin that is about 7g)
1/2 cup cool coffee
2 cups hot strong coffee
1 (14 oz) can condensed milk (about 414 ml)
1 (12 oz) can tsubu or koshi an (chunky or smooth sweet bean paste) (about 355 ml)
Dissolve the gelatin in cool coffee. Add hot coffee and stir well. Add milk, an and stir well. Pour into a 9 x 9 inch pan. Chill.
NOTES: Follow the directions for your gelatin, the one I had said to dissolve it into hot water, so dissolved the gelatin in the hot coffee instead of the cooled coffee. Also, I didn't have enough condensed milk so I poured out what I had and added regular milk to it to make up the rest. I mixed the milk and an together to soften up the an, then added the coffee with gelatin and then poured into different dessert cups.