Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tea Recipe: Layered Tea Jelly Mold

I have become a bit obsessed with jelly molds lately.  I started picking up vintage copper molds at thrift stores, and I've even started collecting photgraphs on a Pinterest board.  The need to make a tea-based layered mold wasn't a huge leap.  After all, tea jelly has been around forever.  In Japan, jelly desserts are plentiful and beautiful, and when tea is added, it is often a green tea, perhaps matcha.  In Taiwan, jasmine tea and oolongs are favored, and cubes of the resulting jelly are often diced into bubble tea as an alternative to tapioca.

For my layered mold, I wanted to highlight the beautiful colors you can get from the liquor of different kinds of tea.  I wanted a pale white, a brilliant green, and a deep black tea.  (I chose a white tea with pom from a local tea shop, Joy Luck green tea, and Twinnings English Breakfast, but you can choose your own favorites).  I alternated these with milky layers that incorporated the tea from the layer above.  The bubbles at the top are filled in with a pure white milk jelly for contrast.  The tea layers are only lightly sweetened, which balances the very sweet milky layers.  The following recipe is for a 5 cup mold.

Layered Tea Jello Mold

1 1/3 c. room temperature brewed white tea
1 1/3 c. room temperature brewed green tea
1 1/3 c. room temperature brewed black tea
3 tbsp. sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
5 packets unsweetened geletain

To make the cream bubbles: combine 1/4 of a packet (appx. 2 grams) geletain with 1 tablespoon cold water and allow to bloom for two or three minutes.  Pour 2 tablespoons boiling water over this, and mix until the geletain dissolves.  Add 2 tablespoons of condensed milk.  Use an eyedropper to fill the "bubbles."  Place in the referigerator for 15-20 minutes, or until set.

 To make the white tea layers: Meanwhile, pour 1/3 c. of the white tea into a dish and add 1 packet and an extra 1/2 teaspoon of geletain. Stir and let bloom.  Heat the remaining cup of white tea to boiling.  Pour over the geletain mixutre.  Add 1 tbsp. sugar.  Stir until sugar and gelatain dissolve.  Measure out 1 c. of this liquid and allow to cool to room temperature.  When cooled, spoon or cerefully pour into the mold.  Return mold to referigerator until sticky-set (15-20 minutes.)  To the remaining liquid, add 1/3 cup condensed milk and stir until well combined.  Pour this over the transparent layer to make a creamy opaque layer.

To make the remaining layers:  Repeat the above steps to make a transparent and milky green tea layer, then a transparent and milky black tea layer.

Let set overnight, then unmold onto a plate.  If your jelly is resistant to unmolding,dip it in a bowl partially filled with hot water for a few seconds (being careful to keep the water from getting on the jelly), then loosen the edge with a flexible spatula or a butter knife.

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