Ultimate Guide to Making Annin Tofu Almond Tofu: Tips & Serving Ideas

Imagine diving into a dessert that’s as silky as custard, with a gentle almond flavor that melts in your mouth. That’s Annin Tofu, a traditional Chinese dessert that’s not actually tofu, but a delicate almond jelly made from almond milk or extract. Its popularity has soared across East Asia, capturing hearts with its refreshing and light texture.

Ingredients

Creating your own Annin Tofu starts with gathering the right ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make this refreshing and light almond jelly.

Almond Milk and Gelatin

  • 2 cups almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 10 grams of agar-agar powder or gelatin powder

First, measure out the almond milk. If you’re using agar-agar, ensure it’s in powder form for better dissolution. For gelatin, sprinkle it evenly over the surface of cold water in a small bowl, allowing it to bloom for about 5-10 minutes.

Sugar and the Almond Extract

  • 1/4 cup sugar (adjust according to your sweetness preference)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Mix sugar into the almond milk and heat gently, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the almond extract for that distinct, fragrant almond flavor that characterizes Annin Tofu.

Equipment Needed

To ensure the smooth preparation of Annin Tofu, having the right tools at hand is crucial. Below is a list of equipment you will need:

  • Medium Saucepan: This will be used to gently heat the almond milk and dissolve the sugar.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accuracy is key in the making of Annin Tofu, so make sure to measure all your ingredients precisely.
  • Whisk: A whisk is essential for ensuring the sugar and agar-agar (or gelatin) dissolve completely in the almond milk without any clumps.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: To achieve the silky-smooth texture that Annin Tofu is known for, strain the mixture to remove any undissolved particles.
  • Pouring Jug: A jug with a spout will make it easier to pour your Annin Tofu mixture into molds.
  • Silicone Molds or Small Bowls: These will shape your Annin Tofu. You can choose traditional round molds or get creative with various shapes.
  • Refrigerator: A critical part of the process involves chilling the tofu until it sets, so ensure your refrigerator is cold and ready.

Preparation Steps

Now that you have gathered your ingredients and equipment, let’s begin the exciting process of making your own Annin Tofu.

Mixing Ingredients

  1. Start by pouring half a cup of water into a small saucepan. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of unflavored gelatin over the water and let it sit for about 5 minutes. This process, known as blooming, helps the gelatin dissolve evenly without clumping.
  2. While the gelatin is blooming, mix 2 cups of almond milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of almond extract in a medium bowl. Stir the mixture thoroughly until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  3. Heat the gelatin and water mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin fully dissolves. This usually takes about 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to let it boil to preserve the gelatin’s setting properties.
  4. Once the gelatin is dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat. Slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the saucepan, stirring continuously to integrate all ingredients smoothly.
  5. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the mixture into another clean bowl. This step ensures your Annin Tofu has a perfectly smooth texture by removing any undissolved gelatin or other impurities.

Pouring and Setting

  1. Pour the strained mixture into molds of your choice. Silicone molds work great for easy removal of the set gelatin, but you can also use small bowls or ramekins.
  2. Gently tap the molds on the countertop to release any air bubbles, which can affect the texture of your Annin Tofu.
  3. Carefully place the molds in the refrigerator and chill for at least 3 hours, or until the mixture is firmly set. The setting time can vary based on the size of your molds and the temperature of your refrigerator.
  4. Once set, remove the Annin Tofu from the molds. This can be done by gently pulling the edges away from the mold and then inverting the mold onto a plate.
  5. Serve chilled, garnished with a light drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of crushed almonds for an extra touch of almond flavor. Enjoy your beautifully silky and flavorful Annin Tofu!

Cooking Procedure

Ready to turn your ingredients into the delectably smooth Annin Tofu? Let’s guide you through each step with precision so you can enjoy this delightful dessert.

Heating the Mixture

Begin by placing your saucepan on the stove over low heat. Pour the almond milk into it to gently warm. Do not let it boil as this might affect the texture of the tofu. Once the milk is warm, add 1/4 cup of sugar, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. This should take about 2-3 minutes.

Next, add 1 tablespoon of almond extract to the saucepan. Continue to stir the mixture to ensure the flavors are well combined. Sprinkle the gelatin that you’ve bloomed according to the previous instructions into the warm milk mixture. Stir steadily for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until the gelatin fully dissolves and the mixture is slightly thicker. Ensure no granules are left undissolved to maintain the smoothness of your tofu.

Pouring into Molds

Once your mixture is homogeneous and smooth, remove the saucepan from the heat. Set a fine strainer over a large bowl and carefully pour the mixture through it. This straining process is crucial as it removes any lumps or undissolved particles, ensuring the final product’s silky texture.

With the strained mixture now smooth, carefully pour or ladle it into your prepared molds. Fill them evenly to ensure consistent size and shape of your Annin Tofu. Gently tap the molds on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles, which can interfere with the setting process.

Transfer the filled molds into the refrigerator. Chill them for at least 3 hours or until the Annin Tofu has set and is firm to the touch. This resting period is vital for achieving the perfect texture typical of traditional Annin Tofu.

Chilling

After you have prepared your Annin Tofu mixture, the next crucial step is chilling. This stage is key to achieving the perfect texture.

Refrigeration Time

Transfer the filled molds into your refrigerator. It’s essential to let them chill for at least 3 hours, but for the best results, aim for longer, perhaps even overnight. This extended chilling period helps the Annin Tofu set completely and develop a firm yet silky consistency. Ensure your refrigerator is set to a steady cold temperature, around 35°F to 38°F (1.7°C to 3.3°C), to facilitate proper setting. Avoid disturbing the molds during this time to prevent any texture inconsistencies. Once chilled, your Annin Tofu will be ready to demold and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Transform your Annin Tofu into a delightful dessert with these creative serving suggestions. Explore various garnishes and toppings to enhance its flavor and presentation.

Garnishes and Toppings

To elevate your Annin Tofu, consider these simple yet elegant additions:

  • Fresh Fruit: Top your tofu with delicate slices of fresh fruit such as strawberries, kiwi, or peaches for a refreshing twist.
  • Honey or Syrup: Drizzle a bit of honey or syrup over the tofu for a touch of sweetness that complements the almond flavor perfectly.
  • Nuts: Sprinkle crushed almonds, pistachios, or walnuts on top for a crunchy texture that contrasts the silky tofu.
  • Mint: Add a few fresh mint leaves for a burst of color and a refreshing aroma.
  • Edible Flowers: Garnish with edible flowers like violets or rose petals to make the dish visually appealing and subtly fragrant.
  • Coconut Flakes: Lightly toast some coconut flakes and scatter them over your tofu for a tropical flair and added crunch.

Each topping not only adds a unique flavor and texture but also enhances the visual appeal of your dessert, making it as beautiful as it is delicious. Experiment with different combinations to find your perfect match.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve got the scoop on making Annin Tofu, why not give it a try? It’s not just about following the steps; it’s about creating something that’s uniquely yours. With all the garnish options, you can tailor this dessert to suit any occasion or taste preference. Whether you’re serving it at a dinner party or enjoying a quiet treat at home, Annin Tofu is sure to impress. So go ahead, experiment with your favorite flavors and textures, and watch this traditional dessert become a personal favorite.

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