We all have pet peeves; we all do, but if you were to randomly ask me what mine were, I wouldn’t have been able to think of one to save my life. I was, however, recently reminded of a couple of them and I thought, let’s share it with you good people out there, for absolutely no good reason. Why not?
I absolutely hate it when people misspell Voilà. The two most common examples of such blunders are Viola (I call Cello on that) and Wala. To be fair, I can’t really fault the people who think it’s wala. Singapore is predominantly Chinese and French isn’t usually spoken there. So couple that with the Chinese accent, I can see how Voilà becomes Wala. The other is a freaking instrument though!
My other pet peeve is fruits in food. Yes, I’ve heard how apple and pork go beautifully together and I’ve heard how Duck à l’orange is simply heavenly but I am one of those stubborn cows who firmly believes that fruits should be eaten on its own or in a dessert. Please leave your pineapples out of my curry.
I’ve never been much of a fruit person. I’ll eat pretty much all kinds of vegetables but there are only a handful of fruits I would eat. I’m weird, I know. I love all things strawberry flavoured but I would never eat a fresh strawberry. And some fruits I would only eat if it came out of a can, such as peaches. Like I said, weird.
With that, I bring to you today one of my favourite desserts growing up, Almond Jelly aka. Almond Tofu. There’s a Hokkien restaurant in Singapore that my family used to frequent when I was younger and every meal there ended with a complimentary dessert of almond jelly served with either canned peaches or canned longans (another fruit that I’d only eat out of a can). I always assumed it was really difficult to make almond jelly and that it involved some secret ingredient. Nope. Easier than ABC. So easy I could make it blindfolded (don’t do that though, you’ll burn yourself).
I love jelly desserts because it’s light and refreshing, so you can still easily eat one even after stuffing yourself with enough food to feed a small village. This recipe especially though, it’s so silky smooth it’ll slide down your throat. Add in some canned fruits and you can lie to yourself about how it’s good for you too because, you know, vitamins.
Almond Jelly / Almond Tofu
Serves 4- 6
- 2 cups cold water (500ml)
- 1 pack of Agar Agar (8g)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp bitter almond flavour (I use a whole vial,5ml, of the ones from migros)
- 1 cup whole milk (250ml)
- In a medium sized pot, combine water and sugar, then sprinkle Agar Agar over the sugar water. Stir with a whisk to dissolve.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and let simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add bitter almond flavour and milk. Stir well.
- Carefully pour the mixture into heatproof moulds or cups and leave to set.
- When cool, transfer to refrigerator to chill. Top with fruits and serve. (Peaches and longans pair the best. Mangoes, not so much)
*N.B. This recipe yields a veeeerrryyy soft jelly. I recommend eating it straight from the mould/cup/whathaveyous. Reduce water by ½ cup to get a firmer jelly if you want to serve it unmoulded, and by 1 cup if you want to serve it cut up in cubes. Adjust sugar and flavouring accordingly.