Mama’s Vietnamese Coconut Jello (Rau Câu Dua)

If there’s one dessert that every Vietnamese kid remembers eating in their childhood, its most likely rau câu (Vietnamese gelatin). This dessert is one of the most simple, yet perfect chilled treats to enjoy on a hot summer day! The coconut jelly layer on the bottom has a slightly sweet, yet refreshing hint of coconut, while the top cream layer gives some richness and body to this double layered jelly experience. Adding some shaved chocolate on top as well as fresh berries gives an extra layer of sweetness and tartness that combines perfectly with the jelly! This recipe will have you going coco-NUTS!

Ingredients (for approx twenty-two 6 oz servings)
Coconut Jelly
-1 bag + 1 tsp Vietnamese jelly powder
-103 g of rock sugar
-1/2 tsp table salt
-3000 mL coconut water

Coconut Cream Jelly
-1 can coconut cream
-1 tsp Vietnamese coconut jelly powder
-1000 mL of hot Coconut Jelly

Optional Toppings
-Shaved semi-sweet chocolate
-Fruits of choice (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries are good ones)

Some suggested brands: ChaoKoh Coconut Water, Savoy Coconut Cream,and Dragon Jelly Powder

1) Add the rock sugar, table salt, and coconut water into a pot.
2) Set pot to medium heat and stir until all the sugar and salts dissolve and the coconut water is heated (you should see a slight steaming, but don’t have it go to a boil yet).
3) While the coconut water is heated, gradually add the coconut jelly powder while constantly stirring.
4) While keeping heat on medium, stir to remove all powder clumps. Continue stirring until all the clumps dissolve into the coconut water.
5) Once all the powder is dissolved, turn the heat on high and allow the Coconut Jelly mixture to boil.
6) While Coconut Jelly is heating; shake 1 can of coconut cream and place into a separate pot. Put heat on medium low and allow cream to heat up (don’t have it go to a boil).
7) When cream is heated up, gradually add the 1 tsp of jelly powder to the cream while constantly stirring.
8) Keep heat on medium low and stir until all powder has dissolved into the cream and there are no visible clumps
9) Add approx 1000 mL hot Coconut Jelly to the coconut cream and stir to mix. Keep the coconut cream heated by bringing the heat down to low.
10) After adding the Coconut Jelly to the cream; use the remaining jelly to distribute among serving cups or bowls. (6 oz plastic deli containers were used in the picture; approx 1/2 cup of jelly per container). Allow Coconut Jelly to cool and solidify.
11) When Coconut Jelly solidifies, bring coconut cream pot to high heat until it boils
12) Once boiling, remove cream from heat and add gently on top of the solidified Coconut Jelly (approx 1/4th cup of jelly per container)
13) Allow the cream to solidify on top of the jelly.
14) Place the finished jelly in the fridge for at least two hours to chill
15) Add chocolate shavings, berries, or other toppings of your choice and enjoy!

Approximate Time: 45 minutes + 2 hour chill
-Don’t add the jello powder in too fast! Adding it took quick will clump up the powder and it will be more laborous to dissolve all the clumps into the coconut water and cream.
-Work fast! Once the jelly gets taken off the heat, the gelatinization process begins while it cools. Be sure to quickly distribute the jelly into the individual containers before it solidifies!
-It is important to keep the cream heated while you are bringing the bottom jelly layer into containers; as the cream will also solidify once it is taken off the heat. It is also important to work fast once you take the cream off the heat and layer on top of the bottom jelly layer.
-When pouring cream on top of the jelly, bubbles may form on the top layer; and will form little holes/pockets once the cream cools down and solidifies; which ultimately can ruin the appearance. To help with this, try using a chopstick or toothpick to pop the bubbles and smooth out the cream. It is important to do this before the cream solidifies into the top jelly layer and the holes become permanent.

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