Sweets & Desserts

Buko, rambutan and jelly in cream

casaveneracion.com Buko, rambutan and jelly in creamThis dessert is a variation of the popular buko-lychee dessert often served in restaurants and which is also a favorite in catered buffets. I ditched the lychees and used rambutan instead, rambutan being native to the Philippines. I just discovered that they are now available canned, imported from China though.

This was last Sunday’s dessert. I would have uploaded it yesterday morning but the phone line was dead for almost two days. Pardon the unimaginative photo–I was the one who took it. My 12-year-old -daughter-photographer who took the photo of the yellow fin tuna dish was too busy sampling the dessert. And, if you cannot see the rambutan in the photo of the dessert, that’s because I assigned the chore of cutting the rambutan and buko to her and she was sampling them while cutting.

Nothing complicated in making this wonderful dessert. You just mix everything together actually–cubes of jelly (gelatine), the rambutan, strips of buko (coconut), condensed milk and cream. There are a few tips though that I’d like to share.

When cooking unflavored gelatine, use fruit syrup instead of water and sugar. It is also a good idea to start with the minimum amount of liquid. If the gelatine turns out to be too hard, you can always reheat to melt it and add more liquid. Unless you have more uncooked gelatine at hand, there’s nothing you can do if you add too much liquid from the start and the gelatine comes out too soft.

Another option is to cook the gelatine in coconut water. Even if you’re using flavored gelatine, cooking it in coconut water will result in even better flavor and more body.

Ingredients :

meat of 4 young coconuts
1 box of unflavored gelatine (good for 4 cups of cooked gelatine)
3 c. of drained canned rambutan
1 c. of sweetened condensed milk
2 c. of all-purpose cream
syrup from canned rambutan
coconut water

Cooking procedure :

Mix together the cocunut water and syrup from the canned rambutan. Measure enough liquid to get the amount specified in the box of gelatine. Subtract 1/4 cup.

Soften the gelatine in 1 cup of the liquid. Set over medium heat and cook until the gelatine melts. Remove from the heat and pour in the remaining liquid. Stir well. Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish and leave to set.

Meanwhile, cut the coconut meat into strips. Or, use a teaspoon to scrape the meat from the husks.

Halve the rambutan.

When firm, cut the gelatine into 1-inch cubes.

Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and the cream. Place the gelatine cubes, rambutan halves and buko strips in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the milk-cream mixture and toss. Chill before serving.

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