Annin Dofu (Almond Flavored Jelly) with Loquat Kernels
You don't need apricot kernels for this recipe. It's an easy economical recipe. You can obtain the same almond aroma from loquat kernels. It's more natural and has a richer flavour than store-bought apricot kernels or bottled essence.
Mix 15 ml of water and gelatin powder to soften (pour water over the gelatin, not vice versa).
Remove the kernels from the loquat. Rinse the kernels well and make slits with a knife or kitchen scissors. You'll be able to peel with your fingernails easily. Prepare 2 (You don't need to dry them).
Pay attention to the number of kernels you use. As loquat kernels contain amygdalin (which can cause severe toxicity from overconsumption), eating 2-3 kernels per day is fine, but do not consume more.
Grate the kernels with a fine grater (※see Step 5). At this point, you can smell the same almond-like aroma, similar to apricot kernels. Just a little goes a long way.
Put the grated kernels in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin to make it even finer. Alternatively, use a knife to chop finely. Blitz with milk in a food processor or a mixer.
Put all the ingredients except for the gelatin in a sauce pan. Place the sauce pan on low heat and stir well. Do not let it boil!
Cover with a lid and heat until fragrant of almonds (5-30 minutes). Put back on heat and warm until it starts to steam lightly (rather like a hot bath). Don't let it boil!
Pour the mixture through a tea strainer while hot (if you want to enjoy the nutrients and texture of the kernel powder, you can omit Steps 7 and 8).
Add gelatin to the mixture and dissolve completely in residual heat. Cool down the mixture by chilling the sauce pan over a bowl of ice water. Stir gently to cool.
※After it has cooled and thickened, pour the mixture into a mold. If the mixture is still warm and thin, it will separate in the fridge (especially if you use the richer ratio).
Pour the mixture into a mold and put in the fridge until set. Put some cut loquats or Chinese wolfberries on the surface to taste.
Use less gelatin, about 2-3 g or use agar-agar if you prefer a soft texture. If you use a bigger mold, add more gelatin or use katen.
If you don't like milky textured jello, do not use cream, condensed milk, or skimmed milk powder. Use the lighter ratio and combine 140 ml milk with 160 ml water.
Loquat, apricot, and almond are from the same rose family. Their kernels contain amygdalin.
The amygdalin hydrolyses into benzaldehyde, to release the distinctive almond aroma that is characteristic of almond tofu and almond essence. Both apricot and loquat kernels are the same in this regard.
You can also make a rich crème brûlée using steam-baked eggs instead of gelatin with the refreshing almond flavor! Recipe ID: 592939
Story Behind this Recipe
There is a loquat tree that my father planted in at my parents' house. Every year when the fruits ripen, I like to eat them as-is, but I also want to do something with them. To be honest I really don't like loquat or almond jelly, but I do like them in this recipe since it doesn't taste like artificial essence.
Pay attention at Steps 3 & 7. If you use more than 4 kernels to this portion of water or leave the mixture to infuse for more than 30 minutes it might become bitter. If you use unripe loquat kernels, you may have the same problem. Infusing with 3 kernels for 10 minutes is enough. You can taste how strong the aroma is at Step 4. You can freeze the kernels too.