Coffee jelly was a big thing in Japan when I lived there. And I had forgotten all about it until Gastro Obscura published an article about it.
To make a long story short, coffee jelly became popular in the United States New England area in the early 1800s, but it eventually fell out of favor, only to be picked up by the Japanese.
One theory for the beginning of coffee jelly’s popularity in Japan is that a Japanese journalist returned from the U.S. to home and published a recipe in 1914, and it took off from there.
While coffee jelly may be a rarity in the U.S. these days, it’s still going strong in Japan.
This recipe is the one given in the Gastro Obscura article.
What you’ll need:
- One .25-ounce envelope of plain powdered gelatin, such as Knox
- 0.5 cups cold water
- 2 cups hot coffee, either fresh or heated up
- 0.33 cups sugar
- Whipped cream or sweetened condensed milk, for serving
What to do:
In a heat-safe bowl, add the powdered gelatin to the cold water, letting it sit for a minute or two. Mix until the gelatin is pretty much diluted.
Add the hot coffee and stir, mixing so the gelatin granules are completely dissolved. Stir in the sugar, again making sure it dissolves completely.
Divide the mixture into five small ramekins or other small bowls. Refrigerate for at least two hours to set.
Serve with whipped cream or a healthy drizzle of sweetened condensed milk on top.