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Those of you who frequent dim sum restaurants have probably ordered this dessert many times before. Almond tofu (also known as almond pudding or almond jelly) is the perfectly refreshing finish to all those little dumplings. Maybe you`ve had a variation of this dessert such as mango pudding, coconut jelly, or coffee pudding -- which are all equally delicious. But did you know these creamy Chinese jellies are also good for the skin? One of the main ingredients is agar agar, a gelatin made from seaweed that contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and lipids that cleanse, tone, firm, soften, and hydrate the skin.
Some of the newer recipes call for regular gelatin instead of agar agar and you may want to substitute it as well if you have difficulty finding the agar agar (I found mine in the international section of my store). Gelatin contains a high concentration of glycoprotein and proline amino acids which is known for smoothing the skin and strengthening hair and nails -- so it`s also good for you! I prefer using the agar agar as I am a vegetarian -- it was a relief to discover I could still enjoy "jelloesque" desserts!
The best part of the almond tofu recipe is how few ingredients you need and how simple it is to make. Most of you probably have this stuff lying around the house!
What you`ll need:
2 cups water
5 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup fat free evaporated milk
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 tablespoon agar agar powder (or 2 packets unflavored Knox gelatin)
*NOTE: If you prefer a "milkier" taste or a solid white colored almond tofu you can substitute the evaporated milk with 2 cups of regular milk and reduce the water to 1.5 cups
Pour 1 cup of water into a sauce pan and sprinkle the agar agar powder (or unflavored gelatin) on top.
Set stove to medium-low setting and bring mixture to a boil, stirring until the powder dissolves.
Add the sugar, evaporated milk, almond extract, and remaining water, stirring for an even consistency.Remove from heat and pour mixture into your favorite mold. (You can add food coloring for a fun colored pudding.)
Place mold in refrigerator and let set for 2-3 hours.When hardened, remove from refrigerator -- serve and enjoy! There are many ways to eat almond tofu -- it is often cut into cubes to look like real tofu. Popular toppings include litchis, cherries, and fruit cocktail. Use your imagination!
*picture is mine*