Coffee Jelly: The Perfect After-Dinner Dessert

Coffee Jelly Dessert with Sweetened Condensed Milk and Whipped Cream

Coffee Jelly Dessert with Sweetened Condensed Milk and Whipped Cream

Coffee jelly makes the perfect after-dinner dessert as it combines your dessert and coffee in one. Coffee jelly consists of coffee gelatin mixed with sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream. This combination of ingredients and textures—strong coffee gelatin, light and airy whipped cream, and luscious sweetened condensed milk—marry together to create a delicious dessert.

I first encountered coffee jelly through meal sharing—a website that allows you to meet up with others to share a home cooked meal. Krishna invited me into her home and prepared a lovely Japanese brunch reminiscent of her time traveling in Japan. She served traditional miso soup with tofu and wakame seaweed, cold buckwheat noodles with a soy dipping sauce, and savory rice porridge with salmon and pickled plum. To my delight, she ended the meal with coffee jelly.

Why had I never heard of this before? For a culture that seems coffee obsessed, it surprised me that this dessert wasn’t more popular in the US. Coffee jelly is prevalent throughout Japan and booming in popularity, even the local Starbucks serve it. Japan has a history of embracing ideas from other cultures and adapting them in a unique way and making them their own. Inspired by European café culture and cooking techniques they made coffee jelly. Now, I’m going to show you how to make coffee jelly in your own home.

Panther Cold Brew Coffee Beans and Café Bustelo Espresso Ground Coffee

Panther Cold Brew Coffee Beans and Café Bustelo Espresso Ground Coffee

Coffee jelly starts with good, strong coffee! You want the coffee gelatin to stand out and taste bold and full-flavored. I like to combine Panther Coffee’s cold brew and Café Bustelo’s espresso. You need both cold and hot coffee for this recipe, so these coffees work well together.

Making Coffee Jelly at Home

Making Coffee Jelly at Home

Since making coffee jelly is a relatively fast process, it helps to have your ingredients and tools ready to go. You need a stainless steel bowl or other mixing bowl, 2 ½ cups freshly brewed hot coffee, ½ cup cold brew coffee (or chilled coffee), 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 envelopes Knox gelatin*, and a whisk.

* Traditional Japanese coffee jelly recipes use kanten also known as agar—a gelatin made from seaweed. I chose to use Knox gelatin instead as it’s more readily available in the US. However, agar is great alternative for vegetarians or vegans.

Gelatin Sprinkled Over Cold Brew Coffee

Gelatin Sprinkled Over Cold Brew Coffee

The first step is to pour ½ cup cold coffee in a mixing bowl. Then sprinkle 2 envelopes gelatin over the cold coffee and let stand for 1 minute.

Dissolving the Gelatin in Hot Coffee

Dissolving the Gelatin in Hot Coffee

Next, you add the hot coffee to the cold coffee gelatin mixture, stirring constantly until the gelatin dissolves. Once dissolved, whisk in 3 tablespoons sugar.

Coffee Gelatin Mixture

Coffee Gelatin Mixture

Let the coffee gelatin mixture cool slightly until most of the bubbles have dissipated. Then ladle the mixture into 4 martini glasses and chill for a minimum of 3 hours.

Coffee Gelatin Mixture Poured Into Martini Glasses

Coffee Gelatin Mixture Poured Into Martini Glasses

Pouring Sweetened Condensed Milk Over Coffee Jelly

Pouring Sweetened Condensed Milk Over Coffee Jelly

When ready to serve, remove glasses from the fridge and pour a thin layer of sweetened condensed milk over each glass, 1/8 to a ¼ of an inch thick.

Coffee Jelly Topped with Sweetened Condensed Milk and Whipped Cream

Coffee Gelatin Topped with Sweetened Condensed Milk and Whipped Cream

Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Coffee Jelly Dessert

Coffee Jelly Dessert

Coffee Jelly Mixed with Sweetened Condensed Milk and Whipped Cream

Coffee Jelly Mixed with Sweetened Condensed Milk and Whipped Cream

When eating, break up the coffee and mix it with the sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream.

I hope you get to try this unique Japanese dessert soon!

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Coffee Jelly Recipe

Serves 4
Meal type Dessert
Region Japanese
By author Rosanna Bell
Coffee jelly consists of coffee gelatin mixed with sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream. Learn how to make coffee jelly with step-by-step instructions

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cold brew coffee (or coffee that has been chilled)
  • 2 1/2 cups freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 envelopes Knox gelatine
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • lightly-sweetened whipped cream

Directions

Step 1
Pour ½ cup cold coffee in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over the cold coffee and let stand for 1 minute.
Step 2
Add the hot coffee to the cold coffee gelatin mixture, stirring constantly until the gelatin dissolves. Once dissolved, whisk in 3 tablespoons sugar.
Step 3
Let the coffee jelly mixture cool slightly until most of the bubbles have dissipated. Then ladle the mixture into 4 martini glasses and chill for a minimum of 3 hours.
Step 4
When ready to serve, remove glasses from the fridge and pour a thin layer of sweetened condensed milk over each glass, 1/8 to a ¼ of an inch thick. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.
Step 5
When eating, break up the coffee and mix it with the sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream. Enjoy!

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