Combine milk, cream, sugar and almond essence in a bowl and mix well (Add the essence as you taste.)
During Step 4, you might have gelatin lumps depending on the temperature of the liquid. It is better to microwave the mixture to around room temperature.
Combine water and gelatin (in this order) in a heatproof container. When the gelatin has softened, microwave for about 40 seconds until it has dissolved completely.
Add the gelatin into Step 1. Stir constantly to prevent lumps. Chill in the fridge for about 3 hours.
[Syrup] Combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat after a while.
After it has cooled, add almond essence and lemon juice. Chill in the fridge (the lemon juice is the key to this dish).
After the almond tofu has set, cut the kiwi in half and slice 1-1.5 mm thick slices! Arrange the kiwi slices on top and pour the syrup over.
If the kiwi is sour, let it meld with the syrup for a while. You won't notice the acidity so much.
Done! Serve in individual dishes!
The ingredients list 1/3 bottle of almond essence. I used a 28 ml bottle, so that would be less than 10 ml.
You can give these as gifts. Make them in small containers. It is like a shop-bought one (I can make 10 small cups of this).
Story Behind this Recipe
When we had a meal at a Chinese restaurant in my hometown 6-7 years ago, I had a similar dessert at the end of the meal. At that time, soft textured almond tofu was still not easily available and the combination of soft almond jelly and sliced kiwifruit was very attractive. After several trials, I found recipe author Kentaro's recipe in a food magazine quite similar to the almond jelly I had at the restaurant. With my recollection and his recipe, I figured out my own.
Put the gelatin into the water, not the other way around, to prevent lumps. Do not omit the sliced kiwi fruit or the syrup. The syrup adds a softer texture to the dish and sharpens the flavour rather than making it sweeter. If you think the almond flavour is too weak, add more almond essence to the syrup. I made this recipe using a whole carton of heavy cream, not leaving leftovers.