I was intrigued when I heard about Red Bean Jelly as I have never thought about the making it into jelly before. Red Bean has always been on the heavy side for me when it comes to dessert as it’s usually very rich and sweet. While as for jelly, I always depict it as light and refreshing, perfect dessert choice after a heavy meal. When I got to try out Mizu Yokan (Red Bean Jelly) in Japan, I was amazed! The flavor of the red bean was strong, yet it was still refreshing.
I was told that the Japanese love their jelly during the summer. Apparently, there are a few different variations of Yokan in Japan. Some would make the jelly with strained red bean paste (like I do here) to give a smoother texture, while some would add in whole soft-boiled chestnuts or use unstrained red bean paste to give texture to the jelly.
My experience staying at a traditional Ryokan was amazing. Make sure to check out my travel vlog where I got to try out being in the hot spring and Japanese traditional multi-course dinner, Kaiseki. This was also where I got to try out the traditional dessert, Mizu Yokan for the first time. I just had to recreate the dessert for you guys!
Red Bean Jelly (Mizu Yokan) 水ようかん
I couldn’t find Japanese red bean paste in Singapore, so I made it using local red bean paste that was pre-made ready for Chinese bao. Indeed, the type of paste you use here will determine the color of your jelly. I believe you will get a darker and less opaque end result if you use Japanese red bean paste. As there was higher oil content in my local red bean paste, my jelly a little different. I would highly recommend you guys to find Japanese paste for this recipe if you can. I did have to make some adjustment to the recipe to perfect it as I feel I don’t like my jelly to be too rich and too sweet. But, feel free to actually change it up to your liking! The recipe is actually very versatile. If you like your jelly to be firmer, just add a little more agar agar powder. Omit the extra sugar if you think it is too sweet. For me, it’s perfect.
This cheesecake is low in calories compared to the conventional ones. The cheese layer was mainly made up of cream cheese, tofu and yogurt. No heavy cream was added.
In fact, I actually made it using natural sweetener called Stevia! I will talk to you guys about it very soon as it is my ongoing project I have been working on. Meanwhile, let’s head back to this recipe. ^^
It is great for vegetarians too as I had used agar agar powder instead of gelatin. It is light and refreshing, yet somehow creamy. I really love this dessert especially after a heavy meal or dinner. It makes a great light cheesecake for night guest too!
Strawberry Jelly Tofu Cheesecake
A low-calorie cheesecake so light so refreshing yet so creamy.
Makes one 8.5 inch round cake using springform pan
(1 cup) 250 grams of natural greek yogurt, room temp
(7.5 oz.) 200 grams of firm tofu (Tau Kwa)
(3/4 cup) 185 grams of fine white sugar
(1/4 cup) 65 ml of milk
1 tbsp. of lemon juice
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
(1/2 cup) 125 ml of water
2 tsp. of agar agar powder
8 strawberries, sliced if desired
Strawberry Jelly Layer
1 1/2 tsp. of agar agar powder
(7 oz.) 200 grams of strawberry, sliced
(1 1/2 cup) 375ml of water
(1/3 cup) 80 grams of sugar
To make the crust
Blitz digestive biscuit, softened butter and salt together. If crushing in the ziplock bag, melt butter instead.
Transfer into a 8.5 inch spring form pan lined with parchment paper.
Use the back of something flat and press firmly. You may use your hands to press down too.
Set aside in the fridge while you make your cheesecake.
To make your cheesecake layer
Make sure that everything is in room temperature so that the agar agar can be well mix into it later.
In your food processor, blend greek yogurt, Tau Kwa, cream cheese, sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and lemon juice until smooth. Leave it inside while you dissolve your agar agar.
In your saucepan, dissolve agar agar powder with water. Bring it to a rolling boil and let it boil for about a minute. Shut off the heat and immediately drizzle in the mixture into your food processor while it is on.
Quickly transfer the cheese mixture into your springform pan. Spread evenly.
You may add some sliced strawberries if desired, just make sure to carefully top onto the cheesecake. Transfer back into the fridge for an hour while you make your strawberry jelly.
To make strawberry jelly,
In a saucepan, bring sliced strawberry, agar agar powder, water and sugar to a boil while whisking. Once it stared to boil, bring the heat down to medium-low and whisk for another 2 to 3 minutes. You want to make sure to mash the softened strawberries as you whisk to extract all the flavors.
Strain the jelly mixture and let it cool on the countertop just until lukewarm temperature as agar agar sets around room temperature.
Slowly pour on top of the cooled cheesecake layer and immediately let it cool completely in the fridge.
Best serve chilled.
- Make sure that everything is in room temperature so that the agar agar can be well mix into it later.
- To cut back on calories, you may substitute digestive biscuit with other alternatives.
This is a easy refreshing drink that is great for Summer Party. It looks good if you have a glass jug pitcher. With your choice of your favorite carbonated drink (eg. Sprite or Club Soda etc), the fruits really bring out the fruity revitalizing of the whole drink and make it pleasantly satisfying.
You can use a variety of fresh fruits you want. I used strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and mangos. It was really delicious! I like to make it extra special and adding some jelly topping to each cup and garnish them with mint leaves. Yummy!
If you have missed any Summer Party series, please click here to get all the recipes.