Almond tofu is a refreshing Asian dessert that will remind you of a mildly sweet crème caramel. It tastes much better than it sounds! Tofu and almond haters must trust us on this. This treat is not tofu mixed with almonds, nor is it almond-flavoured tofu. Prepare to introduce your taste buds to the world of Chinese treats.
The idea of a soft and sweet jelly-like dessert sparked our interest in this dessert, so we decided to try it. And we can testify that it was the best decision we have ever made. After thorough testing, we've created a fool-proof recipe for this dessert to share with you. So you can skip the hassle of finding it in restaurants and make it at home with our easy recipe.
If you play Genshin Impact, you'll know that this Asian dessert is a favourite of a character with the name 'Xiao'. You can cook or purchase the treat at Wangshu Inn if you are a gamer.
Whether it is the game's influence or you're just curious about this Asian delicacy, it will not disappoint you. So read on and learn how to make it yourself with our easy almond tofu recipe!
What is almond tofu made of?
Almond tofu, also known as Annin tofu, is commonly made from apricot kernel milk, agar, and sugar. It is a traditional Chinese dessert similar to panna cotta and the French blancmange. However, despite the name, this dessert does not contain tofu. And truth be told, you'll find that it does not even contain almonds!
It merely has the name 'almond tofu' due to its tofu-like consistency and almondy taste. Plus, the Chinese names for almonds and apricot kernels are the same. This traditional treat is notably famous in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Beijing. However, it is also commonly enjoyed in other provinces of China. Thus, the recipe varies slightly from one place to another.
What does it taste like?
Almond tofu by itself is light and smooth with a subtly sweet and creamy taste. Therefore, it's the perfect treat to serve when you don't want something too sweet. This jellied dessert also has a delicate silky texture that melts in your mouth quickly. You will find that this sweet treat is a refreshing snack during hot weather.
Eating Annin tofu is almost like eating blancmange with a more subtle flavour. However, you can enhance its taste with additional toppings or flavourings. For instance, eating it with sweet syrup will give off a sweeter flavour.
Almond tofu calories
A serving of almond tofu usually contains 80 calories. Hence, it makes a healthy light snack since it is low-calorie, vegan, and highly beneficial for your lungs!
Almond tofu ingredients
To make almond tofu, you will need apricot seeds, agar, sugar, and milk.
There are two versions of apricot kernels: sweet and bitter. The former is naturally sweeter, but the latter is more fragrant. However, the taste difference isn't significant when added to recipes, so some almond tofu recipes use a mixture of both. Sweet apricot kernels are typically larger than bitter apricot kernels. They are also commonly labelled as "south almonds" in stores.
Traditional Annin tofu incorporates agar as a coagulator. It gives the Chinese dessert a jelly-like consistency. Unlike gelatine, it does not require refrigeration to set and is vegan-friendly. We will use agar for this recipe, but you can also use gelatine to make almond tofu.
As for the milk, you may use either plant-based or dairy milk. For example, traditional almond tofu usually uses dairy milk, but we will use almond milk for this recipe.
An essential step in making Annin tofu is to soak the kernels in water overnight. While soaking in water, you should keep the kernels in the refrigerator. Then, you will blend them to create apricot kernel milk.
Do note that apricot seeds are slightly poisonous, especially the bitter type. They contain the toxin amygdalin. This toxin turns into cyanide after consumption. Although you can eat plenty of them raw, too much can be fatal. Therefore, we advise you to soak the kernels in water and cook and boil them in water before consumption. This process releases toxic hydrogen cyanide. The kernels will then be safe to eat
You must first cook agar in hot boiling water due to its high melting temperature. Once the agar starts to melt, you can add sugar to influence the melting process. If you are working with agar flakes or strips, you will need to soak them to soften them beforehand. After soaking, you can boil them in water to dissolve completely.
Moreover, remember that agar tends to firm up more easily than gelatine. Therefore, you should use less agar or the dessert will be too firm and lose its delicate texture. The ideal ratio should be around 1:18 to 1:20 dissolved in hot boiling water.
Since it is hard to measure agar, you can measure it with water. Wrap the agar strips into small bundles and soak them in water. This will allow you to check and determine how much agar would give the right texture and consistency. You should add more agar if it does not set after 30 seconds. In contrast, you can add more water if it is too firm for your liking.
Although it firms up easily, you should not stir or shake the agar until it sets. Otherwise, the almond tofu will collapse.
- You can substitute agar with gelatine instead. However, it will have different melting and firming temperatures. Unlike agar, gelatine does not have to be boiled. Instead, you just have to dissolve it in liquid or water at 50-70°C. Moreover, the gelatine must be chilled or refrigerated to firm up. One teaspoon of agar powder, or a tablespoon of agar flakes, equates to 8 teaspoons of gelatine powder.
- You may also use oat or soy milk at a 1:1 ratio instead of almond milk. There isn't much difference between them, so many Annin tofu recipes also use oat and soy milk. However, we highly recommend using unsweetened oat or soy milk to avoid further flavour alteration.
- Add a cup of water to the almond milk base for a lighter almondy taste.
- You can use the pulp from making apricot kernel milk to make cookies, cakes, or bread. Save the pulp after draining the milk and sundry it for a few days.
Almond tofu is best enjoyed with toppings. A traditional way to enjoy it is with osmanthus syrup. The syrup enhances the subtle flavours of the vegan dessert by adding a gentle floral and somewhat honey-like flavour. Honey and brown sugar syrup are also great syrupy toppings for the dessert.
If you prefer your toppings to be non-sweetening, sprinkle some matcha powder all over the dessert. It's one of the best ways to sneak more health benefits into your dessert! Alternatively, you can sprinkle some toasted nuts over the dessert for more crunch and a nuttier taste.
Try serving this delightful dessert with some fruits to make it more refreshing. You can also enjoy it with macerated strawberries by adding sliced strawberries in sugar for a few hours. The juice from the strawberries makes a sweet syrup that pairs well with the dessert.
Want to try something different? Use almond tofu as a topping for other treats like ice cream and bubble tea! There is no right or wrong way to enjoy dessert. Therefore, we recommend experimenting with more ingredients to find your favourite ones.
Almond Tofu Recipe
To make almond tofu:
To make osmanthus syrup topping:
- Osmanthus syrup
- 1 cup hot water
- To make the apricot kernel milk, soak the sweet apricot kernel and leave it overnight in the refrigerator. Next, put them in a blender along with 2 cups of water and blend well. Pour through a strainer to get the milk.
- Add soaked agar and a cup of water into a pot. Leave it to boil for a while until the agar melts and dissolves.
- Add sugar and apricot kernel milk to the mixture. Let it simmer for 8-10 minutes before adding the almond milk. Then, stir well for a few more minutes.
- Then, strain and pour it into a pudding container or a bowl. Let it cool and firm at room temperature. Then, directly serve or let it chill in the refrigerator before serving.
- To serve it with Osmanthus syrup, mix one cup of hot water with a tablespoon of osmanthus syrup. Let it cool before topping it over the almond tofu. Then, serve and enjoy!
- Make sure to soak the agar strips in cold water before cooking to let them soften.
- Add some sugar to the boiling water once the agar starts melting. This hack will quicken the melting process for the agar.
- You can replace almond milk with other plant-based or dairy milk with a 1:1 ratio.
- You can substitute agar with gelatine with an 8:1 ratio.
- You can keep leftovers in an air-tight container and refrigerate them. However, we do not recommend freezing them.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimate.
Follow us on Instagram @honestfoodtalks for more foodie content. You can also share your almond tofu review with us there!