Chrysanthemum & Wolfberry Konnyaku Jelly with Bird Nest

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Singapore weather isn’t as hot as before and it rains pretty much lately, but I was still inspired to make these chrysanthemum & wolfberry (枸杞) konnyaku jellies as I could imagine some kind of soothing, healing, and peaceful feeling after eating it as my after-meal dessert. Arrh~~

Alright… it was also partly because papa had just done his cataract and eye Lasik surgery. So, I thought it would be nice to make some of these chrysanthemum and wolfberries goodies for him. Adding of bird nest was mainly for my benefit, and it sounded perfect for everyone, since we all liked bird nest!

Despite the extra effort to boil and filter the chrysanthemum petals and worlfberries, this konnyaku dessert is very simple to make as the konnyaku jelly premix is easily obtainable from major supermarket at a very economical price. I got the Redman brand konnyaku power premix (already blend in malic acid and sugar) from NTUC Fairprice at about S$2.50 for 250gram packet.

Gongju

As for the chrysanthemum , I used the better graded chrysanthemum flower, Gongju (贡菊), which has smaller and more compact petals. These dried flowers are usually packed and sold at any Chinese medical halls or Asian supermarkets for S$5 – $7 a packet. Another type of white chrysanthemum (杭白菊) which has bigger petals is good, too. Its main benefit is to aid for better eye sight, while the one I used is mainly to clear the ‘heatiness’ in the body, and it is less sweet but stronger in taste. The usual yellow chrysanthemum (野黄菊) which yields slight bitterness aftertaste, is also fine to use. Generally, all types are good and beneficial to be consumed, but my personal preference is the small ‘Gongju’, which deemed the best suitable for making jellies.

Alluring bird nest strip visibly appears in the jelly

How about the bird nest? Real bird nest used? Yes, I used the instant Guan Yan Zhan (官燕栈) bird nest from Lo Hong Ka for my daily consumption ever since into second trimester of my pregnancy. Alternatively, use the bottled bird nest (in heavily sweetened liquid). If this is the case, I would suggest an alternate type of konnyaku jelly power which is unsweetened so that you could use the whole bottle of bird nest together with its sweetened liquid.

Or, simply don’t use the konnyaku powder! Make your own jelly with the traditional agar-agar (seaweed) strips (菜燕条) or gelatin sheets (or powder form). Simply dissolve your desired gelling agent, and add sugar (together with the sweetened bird nest liquid) into the boiled (and strained) chrysanthemum water (Alright, I will show you the exact steps next time). This is just an idea to share with you… Otherwise, forget the bird nest for this time round as it might be too much effort for the meant-to-be simple dessert making. :)

Anyway, Matthew (one of the fans from my FB fan club wrote on my wall) was right. This sounds like a perfect summer snack (smile)!

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1 jelly counts less than 10kcal.

Tips: It’s ok to leave out a little bit of these edible chrysanthemum petals in the pot. These tiny petals will only make your jellies looked even nicer, and its insignificant amount won’t affect the taste and mouthfeel of the jelly. If you really mind eating even a single petal, use a large disposable tea/ soup bag to boil the chrysanthemum, then.
* Some konnyaku jelly brands come with flavour/ colour. Don’t use the flavoured konnyaku jelly powder. Original pre-mix powder is the best as the chrysanthemum tea will yield natural yellowish colour in the jelly which looks very nice and natural.
* Do not discard the chrysanthemum just after one time boil for the jelly making. Simmer the same chrysanthemum again in a pot of hot boiled water (for 1 minute then cover pot with lid to let it stand for another 5 minutes) for the second time and to be drank as tea.

Easy Peach Konnyaku Jelly

“Happy Valentine’s Day”

I would be happy for those who received flowers and gifts from your loved ones.

If you haven’t prepared or bought anything in return, I guess there are always places and gifts available for last minutes purchase. However, if you wish to do something handmade, you better start preparing it soon, or do it really quick and simple one, like what I have posted here!

Seriously, nothing fanciful I had for your Valentine’s celebration (In fact, I did not quite remember it until my colleague came to greet me this morning). So well, happened to have this peach jelly dessert made a while ago, and it is nice and I have decided to post it today, just in case one needs a ‘lazy’ idea for the occasion (smile). And best thing is, you are free to turn this smooth & transparent peach jelly into a platform where you could write your love notes or decorate creatively on its smooth surface.

Let’s show our creativity. Assemble this simple and lovely gelatin dessert in just 5 minutes!

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Alternatively,

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The good thing to make this hassle-free dessert jelly is that you do not want something too full to have as dessert after feasting on a lavish V-day meal. So… Peaches, the fruits encased in delicious & low-fat jelly would be just great to suprise your loved ones!

Tips: Various types and brands of Konnyaku jelly mix are available in major supermarkets and minimarts. The jelly mix is usually in 250grams. So, use only about a quarter of the packet.
* Use peaches, or strawberries.

For V-day beverage and food, take a reference from my previous posts under Festive Gourmet:
V-Day Beverage
V-Day Baked Scallops

Honey Grass Jelly Dessert

“It’s the super low-fat Honey Peachie Grass Jelly!”

This is the best cooling dessert to be served in a BBQ party, as a refreshment after a feast of heaty char-grilled.

Grass jelly, we called it ‘Cincau’ in Malay, or 仙草 (pronounced as ‘Xian Cao’ in Chinese).

Grass jelly has very high cooling properties that makes it so great to be consumed during hot days.

This Asian herbal jelly dessert is black in colour. It’s translucent black when in thinner piece or strands and looks more opaque when it comes in block. The texture of this grass jelly is bouncy, just like any other jello, but the unsweetened grass jelly tastes almost bland. So, it usually go along with some sweetener or sugary liquid. An addition of honey will be my first choice as it makes this dessert even healthier and more soothing to be enjoyed on a sunny hot day.

Ingredients
1 block of unsweetened grass jelly, diced
1 can of heavily syruped peach, diced, and retained 100ml of its syrup
1 cup of nata de coco
1 tablespoon of honey
200 ml of water

Method
1) Place grass jelly into a large dessert bowl. Add in water and 50ml of peach syrup. Then, gently stir in honey.

2) Now, add in peaches and nata de coco dices. Keep in the refrigerator to chill, before serving.

For more options: Top grass jelly with canned longan, instead.

A generous portion of my grass jelly dessert counts about 90kcal.

Tips: If you wish to add ice to chill it instantly, simply add ice and omit the addition of water so that the taste of the dessert will not be diluted.
* Try not to pre-mix the peaches and nata de coco cubes with the grass jelly as the fruits will turn black by the liquid of grass jelly which tends to affect the appearance of the serving, if you do mind.
* Get the unsweetened grass jelly instead of the pre-packed sweetened kinds.
* All the main ingredients can be purchased off the shelves.