This recipe for Osmanthus Flower Jelly features jasmine tea in a lightly sweetened jelly studded with osmanthus flowers and goji berries.
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What are osmanthus flowers?
Osmanthus flowers range from white to bright golden yellow in color with a strong, sweet aroma and fragrance, similar to jasmine and apricot.
They grow primarily in China and bloom in the autumn.
The dried osmanthus flowers are yellow and tiny, and can be brewed into a caffeine-free tea with hot water, or mixed with green tea or jasmine tea.
Similar to rose flowers or jasmine flowers, osmanthus flowers are edible and can be added to desserts or syrups.
You can find dried osmanthus flowers in tea shops or online.
What is agar?
Also known as agar agar, agar (kanten in Japanese) is made of red algae/seaweed found in Southeast Asia and is used primarily as a setting/gelling agent, similar to gelatin powder.
It is clear, tasteless and odorless, making it suitable for sweet or savory usage.
Agar comes in numerous forms:
- agar sheets: clear sheets made from seaweed that has been dried, washed and cooked and pressed into sheets; need to be soaked first before using
- agar flakes: coarse beige flakes, which is less concentrated but can be used interchangeably with powder as long as you use the correct amount
- agar powder: white/beige color powder; the easiest to use, very similar to gelatin powder; very concentrated
In microbiology, agar is used as a growth medium.
What's the difference between agar and gelatin powder?
Agar comes from plant/seaweed, whereas gelatin is derived from the collagen from animals.
Agar needs to be boiled and simmered for a few minutes before it is set.
In contrast, the strength of gelatin's gelling power decreases when it is heated past boiling point.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe for Osmanthus flower jellies is:
Easy to make: using agar powder is a simple and convenient way to make the jellies (as opposed to using konnyaku jelly powder).
Contemporary: Adding jasmine tea to this classic recipe elevates the flavor the taste of these jellies.
Not too sweet: using rock sugar adds a slight delicate sweetness, making it a nice light dessert or palate cleanser.
Ingredients you'll need
- jasmine tea: 1 tablespoon looseleaf jasmine green tea brewed with 2 C water; or water
- agar powder: the setting agent for the jellies; is a white/beige colored powder similar to gelatin powder
- dried osmanthus flowers: are tiny yellow dried flowers with a strong, sweet aroma of jasmine and apricot
- yellow rock sugar: or white granulated sugar (use less)
- goji berries: also known as wolfberries; are red in color and is most commonly sold dried; however, you can also find fresh goji berries
You can find these ingredients at your local Asian supermarket or grocery store.
How to make the jellies
In a small saucepan, combine jasmine tea (or water) with agar powder and stir well.
Add in the osmanthus flowers, rock sugar and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
Once boiling, add in goji berries and reduce the heat to a rolling simmer, while stirring constantly for another 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes in the pot.
Pour the mixture into your desired moulds and allow to set in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Carefully unmold and keep chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.
How to serve
Serve the osmanthus tea jellies chilled.
You can serve it as a palate cleanser, or a light dessert after a meal.
How to store
Keep the Osmanthus Flower Jelly in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Do not freeze the jellies.
Expert tips & notes
Agar powder is a strong gelling agent. It's stronger than gelatin.
Generally, 1 teaspoon of agar powder will set 1 cup (250ml) of liquid.
If using agar flakes, 1 tablespoon of agar flakes will set 1 cup of liquid.
If you prefer a softer set, decrease the amount of agar, or use konnyaku jelly powder, which is made from konjac root starch and yields a softer, wobbly jelly.
You can omit the jasmine tea and experiment with a different tea, such as oolong or tieguanyin, or just use plain water.
The number of jellies will depend on the size of your mould.
If using a container, lightly run a sharp thin knife around the edges.
Place the container in a tub of hot water for 30 - 60 seconds to loosen, and then invert.
If using gelatin powder
The process will be different if using gelatin powder.
First, bloom the gelatin powder by sprinkling it over 1 C cold water.
Take the remaining 1 C liquid/tea and heat over medium heat with the sugar, osmanthus flowers and goji berries.
Bring to a simmer.
Remove from heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin mixture with the osmanthus liquid, until gelatin has dissolved evenly.
Pour into moulds and let it set in the fridge.
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Osmanthus Flower Jelly
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 2 C jasmine tea or water (1 tablespoon looseleaf jasmine green tea brewed with 2 C water)
- 2 teaspoon (4g) agar powder leveled teaspoons
- 1 tablespoon dried osmanthus flowers
- 40 g yellow rock sugar or to taste
- 1 tablespoon goji berries
- In a small saucepan, combine tea (or water) with agar powder and stir well.
- Add in the osmanthus flowers, rock sugar and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, add in goji berries and reduce the heat to a rolling simmer, while stirring constantly for another 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes in the pot.
- Pour the mixture into your desired moulds and allow to set in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Carefully unmold and keep chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.