Coffee jelly, with spiced and spiked options

March  9, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is a gelatin which I just love. My husband's grandmother used to make this from leftover coffee over the holidays. It was a wonderful treat. This recipe evolved as a popular depression era treat in this country because it did not require eggs, butter, or milk. I love to use Meyer lemon peel in making this with a whipped cream garnish, spiked or just plain. I am finding that most people like this sweetened, but I still prefer mine unsweetened. You can make these in individual servings with different amounts and types of sweetener. In Japan you will commonly find sweetened coffee gelatin. In Thailand you will find fancy parfait versions of coffee gelatin with sweetened cream gelatin layers. If you want this for an evening dessert, you might consider using a decaf coffee. How strong you make your coffee should dictate how strong your gelatin should be. I like a light gelatin with a good wobble where the light can shine through. I wish had the talent of Sarah Shatz so I could show you just how simply elegant this can be. —Sagegreen

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 ounce unflavored gelatin
  • 1 ounce cold filtered water
  • 15 ounces hot fair trade coffee, brewed to your taste (Jamaica Blue used here)
  • 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of sugar (turbinado or light Muscovado suggested), to taste
  • peel of Meyer lemon (about an inch piece), optional
  • one nickel size coin of fresh ginger, optional
  • shot of Domaine de Canton or whiskey, optional
  • dollops of whipped heavy cream, optional, spiked/spiced/sweetened or plain
  1. Sprinkle the gelatin onto the cold water and let sit for 3-5 minutes. The way I prefer to brew my coffee is to heat filtered water to 190 degrees. In a filter cone place the freshly ground coffee beans. Pour in a tease of the hot water (about 1/4 the amount) to wake up the ground beans; let that small amount of water filter through. Then pour in the remaining water to complete the brew. Whisk in the hot coffee to dissolve completely the softened gelatine. Sweeten to taste. Add a small peel of Meyer lemon, the ginger, and a shot of Domaine de Canton or whiskey, if desired. Cool, then remove the peel and ginger coin. Pour into a flat pan or mold or individual molds and chill for 3 hours or more.
  2. After chilling cut the coffee gelatin into cubes from the pan or unmold the aspic (place in hot water briefly to loosen). Garnish with whipped cream (spiked, spiced, sweetened if you like, or just plain) and a small Meyer lemon peel. In Asia coffee gelatin cubes are often served in a pool of condensed milk.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • drbabs
  • lapadia
  • TiggyBee
  • hardlikearmour
  • Sagegreen

10 Reviews

Penelope April 17, 2011
oh man this sounds fabulous! And as I am trying to limit sugars and calories this could be my go to desert, I bet I could make this with stevia to sweeten, any thoughts?
Sagegreen April 17, 2011
Penelope, I think you could use any sweetener you wanted. I confess that I have never tried stevia, but would guess it could work fine. I like the taste of muscovado. I try to either eliminate sweeteners altogether or just use a small amount.
drbabs April 16, 2011
I always thought I hated gelatin desserts (all I'd had was Jello) until someone made me what he called coffee jelly. I loved it! And I do like it sweet. Have fun baking!
Sagegreen April 17, 2011
Thankt, drbabs. I guess this is coffee jelly! Your cafe au lait is mighty inviting!
lapadia April 16, 2011
Confession, I am not a coffee drinker, I only like the aroma, only like a tablespoon or so of it in anything I eat, however, I love your recipe..the looks, the idea and know many who would love to try it....thanks so much for sharing!!
Sagegreen April 16, 2011
Thanks, lapadia. I do like this with whipped cream. Today I have been busy making hundreds of springeles for a Renaissance garden conference next month, no coffee ones though, just fennel/orange, lemon/ thyme and lavender/ vanilla ones. Tomorrow will be baking day.
TiggyBee March 10, 2011
Here's what I love the most about this recipe: fair trade coffee!
Sagegreen March 11, 2011
Thanks, TB. My niece Anna worked for fair trade,but now she is taking a year to raise baby Lucy and settle in to Stockholm.
hardlikearmour March 10, 2011
I would've never in a million years thought to make coffee gelatin! You always astound me, Sagegreen.
Sagegreen March 11, 2011
Thanks, hla. I was so tempted to make a version of my "air pie" (learned from college) combining the coffee with whipped cream and gelatin, which would be quite gorgeous...maybe to another day at the salt mines. Why do we still have to have our day jobs?