Recipe: Vietnamese Milk Cheese Jelly Sweet Soup Dessert (Chè Khúc Bạch)

Milk Cheese Jelly Sweet Soup ("Chè Khúc Bạch") has become very popular in early summers of Vietnam.
May 21, 2021 | 08:07
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Vietnamese Milk Cheese Jelly Sweet Soup - Chè Khúc Bạch

“Chè Khúc Bạch” is familiar treat for people in Vietnam. Mostly young people enjoy this delicious dish on their summer holidays. The name comes from its shape, in Vietnamese. "Khúc Bạch" means milky cubes.

“Khúc bạch” is made from gelatin, fresh milk and almond oil. “Chè” is cooked from sugar, sliced almond, fresh coconut, longan or litchi. Many people like its fresh flavor. It is not too sweet and especially it is really cool. Here is the recipe of this simple and delicious gruel for you!

I. Ingredients

- Fresh milk, sugar-free: 250 Milliliters

- Whipping cream: 250 Milliliters

- Rock sugar or caster sugar: 150 Grams

- Lukewarm water: 250 Milliliters

- Gelatin powder: 15 Grams or 6 Gelatin leaves

- Almonds, sliced: 1 Tablespoons

- Tea powder: 2 grams

- Longan or Lychee: 20 grams

- Pandan leaves: 6

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Popular Ingredients for Chè Khúc Bạch

Note: You can add more gelatin within 10gr to have firmer jellies, decrease gelatin for softer jellies. Too much gelatin causes gelatin smell in the product.

Rock sugar should be used instead of caster sugar, so that the soup tastes light sweet. Other ingredients such as basil seeds can be added.

II. Recipe

1. Part 1: Milk Jelly (Panna Cotta)

Prepare at least 4 hours in advance

Pour 150ml milk into bowls. Add gelatin into the bowl - soak for 15' (gelatin leaves) or let sit 15 mins (gelatin powder) until gelatin blooms and turns soft. Add 100ml milk and 200ml whipping cream, and add 50-60gr sugar more/less to taste, then stir well until sugar is dissolved completely.

Divide the mixture into 2 even bowls:

- The 1st bowl: Make the 1st part of jelly (panna cotta) - Plain Milky flavor

Boil some water then set the heat into the lowest. Put in the bowl with the solution of bloomed gelatin and milk. Stir well until gelatin is dissolved completely. It's the heat that melts the gelatin. Make sure the gelatin doesn't stick to the bottom.

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Soak gelatin into milk until it blooms

Pour into mould (the mould already set a layer of food wrap as a liner), we have the first part of jelly. Let cool then chill till the jelly is set and firm (about 4 hours).

- The 2nd bowl: Make the 2nd part of jelly (panna cotta) - Matcha /Green tea flavor

Melt gelatin then mix with cream, milk, and sugar as we did in the first part of jelly (the first bowl). Mix well all ingredients then keep warm. Add 2gr (1 teaspoon) matcha or green tea powder. Add 15ml hot water/milk, little at a time. Stir to help tea dissolve before adding more water. This way helps tea powder dissolve in water totally.

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How to make panna cotta with matcha

Get 30ml of the milk and cream mixture that you prepared. Mix the milk and cream well with tea water. Add this tea mixture back to the bowl of milk, cream and gelatin. Use a sieve to help remove tea lumps (if any). Mix and stir all ingredients very well. Pour into mould, we have the 2nd part of jelly. Let cool then chill about 4 hours till the jelly is set and firm.

Note: The jelly should stay in the fridge until it is set and firm completely. The longer it's in the fridge, the firmer it becomes. The sieve helps remove tea lumps if any.

If you like strawberry flavor, brown color then strawberry syrup and cocoa powder would help.

2. Part 2: Sugar Syrup

Prepare at least 3 hours in advance

- Boil 1 litre of water with 90gr rock sugar.

- Clean pandan leaves, then tie them together. When water boils and sugar melts completely then put in with pandan leaves, immediately remove the cooking pot from the heat.

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When water boils and sugar melts completely then put in with pandan leaves, immediately remove the cooking pot from the heat.

Let cool then chill till use.

Note: Cooking with pandan leaves in water gives a stronger pandan flavor but the leaves will make the water turn slightly green.

3. Part 3: Longan and almonds

Prepare 15 - 20 mins in advance

- Toast almond slices on medium heat until they are all crunchy, turn golden evenly.

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Crunchy almond slices

- If you use fresh longan: remove the seeds from fresh longan

- If you use canned longan: get the flesh, save the water in the can. Add some longan water to sugar syrup, which helps enhance sugar syrup flavor.

- Take the jellies out of the molds, and cut the jellies into small cubes

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Cut jellies into small cubes

4. Complete

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All are ready to enjoy a cup of Chè Khúc Bạch

Add into a cup the jellies, longan. Fill the cup with cold sugar syrup, finish with almond slices as topping. You can add basil seeds and different kinds of fruits such as strawberry, watermelon for a colorful cup.

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Different toppings

Finally all are ready for a wonderful sweet soup with soft jellies, sweet-scented longan and cold sugar syrup to enjoy.

5. Alternative Ingredients in "Chè Khúc Bạch"

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Chè Khúc Bạch

- Whipping cream should not be replaced by topping cream for its better smell. You can use unsweetened condensed milk to replace whipping cream. Jelly made by condensed milk is more creamy than jelly made by whipping cream.

- Taro powder can be used instead of gelatin. But taro powder is more hard and more crunchy than gelatin, which is soft and clammy. Taro powder may lose typical characteristics of "Chè Khúc Bạch".

6. Keys to have five star products

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delicious Chè Khúc Bạch

- When you steam milk, lower the heat so that the mixture is not too hot, which affects the setting process.

- Steam, which reserve the flavor better, is better than cook directly

- The jelly should be kept long in the fridge for best effect, but should not be longer than 4 days. Do not finish all into cups and keep in the fridge, let mix a new cup everytime you eat.

- May - July is the season of lychees, August - September is the season of longan. Fresh lychees or fresh longan bring typical flavors.

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Purple Chè Khúc Bạch with blue pea flower

- The original flavor of the gruel can be kept if you do not add ice. Just set the soup in the fridge and eat it while it is cool.

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