Lychees + champagne + konnyaku jelly = champagne lychee jellies! This decadent, delicious, vegan, Asian dessert is perfect for a summer party!
Lychees and champagne are a perfect flavor combination, in my opinion!
Note: For more canned lychee recipes, click the link or make some refreshing lychee tea. If you're looking for traditional Chinese lychee almond jelly, you're in the wrong place, but check back again soon.
Why make this
- Lychee jellies are delicious and fun- perfect for pool parties!
- It's a very simple dessert that you can make perfectly the first time, but sounds impressive
- Only pantry ingredients used.
- No fancy equipment (such as a food processor) needed
The main ingredients of this lychee dessert are pretty much pantry staples:
- lychees: if you can't get the fresh fruit, use a can of lychee as I did. Canned lychees are a versatile long-life ingredient, which can be used in many other recipes too.
- champagne: to taste the flavor, you need minimum 20% champagne to 80% water. I usually make it with a 50% champagne- 50% water ratio but 100% champagne works too if you can bear the pinch! (If you have pink champagne, even better.) For those watching their budgets, go with sparkling wine which is cheaper but pretty much the same thing!
- a gelling agent
- Optional, white granulated sugar: Whether or not to add sugar would depend on whether your gelling agent comes sweetened. You can use white sugar or Chinese rock sugar (which tastes more mellow than regular sugar.) However, I don't recommend dark brown sugar as we are not looking for a caramel flavoured jelly! Do make sure the sugar is bone char free, or this lychee dessert won't be vegan.
What gelling agent?
There are several types:
- gelatine (not vegan)
- agar agar (made from red algae)
- konnyaku jelly.
- I like the texture of konnyaku jelly best so that's what I used for my lychee jellies: the firm texture of the konnayku provides a nice contrast to the soft lychee fruit.
- Do note that konnayku jelly is not suitable for young chiildren (and maybe old people) as there have been reports of kids choking.
- For non-vegans who want a jiggly chinese dessert: gelatin powder (or sheets).
If you can get fresh lychee fruits, please use those in this simple recipe! Unfortunately, since fresh lychees are not available year round, I used canned ones to make these easy lychee konnyaku jellies.
Regarding the canned lychee syrup:
- If you can, it's always best to use fresh lychee juice instead of the canned lychee syrup
- If using the canned syrup, you may still need to add sugar (if your gelling agent has not been pre-mixed with sugar)- mine did!
- This would vary from brand to brand, so taste before adding sugar. However, do use less sugar than you normally would to make jellies as the syrup is already sweet on its own.
- There isn't that much brine in 1 can of lychees, so you will either need to dilute with water, make fewer jellies or open more cans!
- Obviously the higher the proportion of lychee syrup to water used to make jellies, the more lychee fragrance these bite-sized desserts will have.
- If you don't want to use the lychee brine, you can make your own lychee syrup by boiling the lychees with sugar and water.
- Alternatively, you can just use plain water to make these lychee jellies but they won't be as fragrant.
How to serve
As you can see from the photo above, I made the lychee jellies in a variety of shapes:
1: jelly in lychee shell - the amount of champagne jelly in each lychee is quite insignificant, to be honest, but it does look good. If I was having a dinner party, I'd make a couple of these just for the visual effect!
Place the lychee in the ice mold to help hold them stable whilst you pour the jelly mix in. Make sure the lychee opening is facing upwards (and not slanted) to make pouring the lychee jelly in easier. As the lychee cavity is tiny, use a ½t measuring spoon to scoop the jelly in- if you have a syringe, so much the better!
2: champagne jellies with a whole lychee in an ice mold (try to use molds that are at least 1.5x the size of the lychee- the ones in my photo were deemed too small and thus had "too little jelly to lychee" according to my testers.
3: lychee jellies with nata de coco in fancy flower-shaped molds (you can use any shape you want to make jellies- it doesn't have to be flower- shaped. I added the nata de coco for textural contrast but you can also use half lychee fruits and half other tropical fruits such as rambutans, lime, ginger etc.
Tip #1: if setting the lychee mixture in molds, try to use silicone molds as their flexibility makes it so much easier to pop the jellies out!
Tip #2: if serving at a very fancy party, pour a bit of liquid lychee into individual champagne glasses (heat-proof) to set, add cut up tropical fruits (shredded dragon fruit, chopped up rambutan etc), aloe vera or nata de coco and maybe brush with some gold leaf
Tip #3: If using agar and you've poured in some excess water, don't panic. The lychee jelly should still set but it'll be a bit less firm. If you find that it really cannot set, simply heat up the mixture again, add a bit more agar agar powder and repeat the lychee jelly making steps in the recipe card.
Tip #4: A flavour pairing I think would be amazing but haven't had time to explore for this dessert is rose and lychee, especially if you use a pink coloring for the jelly!
Tip #5: if you want to make lychee jelly in various colors, separate the lychee jelly into equal portions. Mix a different colour into each portion. (e.g. add yellow colouring to 1 pot, pink to another etc)
It depends on the setting agent you use. Lychee jellies made using gelatin isn't vegan but both konnyaku and agar agar powder are vegan. (They're from the konjac plant and seaweed, respectively.) Also, remember that not all champagne/ sparkling wine and sugar are vegan, so check the label! (The main difference between using agar and konjac is in the texture of the set jellies.)
Other dessert recipes
Love this lychee konnyaku jelly recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating in the recipe card below & if you REALLY like it, kindly leave a comment. Thanks a million!
Champagne lychee jelly recipe
- Weighing machine/ Measuring cups
- Heat-resistant whisk
- Silicone molds
Making jelly with 1 litre of liquid (water/ champagne/ lychee syrup)
- 1 Can Lychees My 565g can of lychees yielded 230g of lychees once drained. If you can get them, use fresh lychees instead- the weight should be of the peeled fruits.
- 1 Packet Agar Agar powder amount as per back of the packet; can be substituted with konjac powder or gelatine. If the amount of water required for your jelly packet is not 1 litre, please adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly. For eg, if your packet only requires 500ml, please halve the amount of lychees etc used
- 0.22 lb granulated white sugar (100g) Only add if your konnyaku jelly packet does not include sugar- you may need to add more/less depending on how much lychee syrup you use (and also depending on how sweet your champagne is). Rock sugar is a good substitute but brown sugar is not. If vegan, make sure the sugar is bone char free
- 1 litre liquid You can use water, lychee syrup, champagne, sparkling or a mix of these liquids to make up 1 litre. Don't use less than 20% champagne (calculated as a percentage of the total liquid ie 200 ml of champagne is the minimum for 1 litre of water), if not you won't be able to taste it! Vegans note that not all brands of champagne are free of animal-products
- Nata de coco, aloe vera, rambutan etc Optional.
- Open the can of lychees and separate the lychees from the liquid. Do not throw away the liquid in the can, unless you do not want to use the lychee brine.
- Place the lychees in the molds- I would suggest not more than 1 lychee in each mold. You may want to cut up the lychee if your mold is very small. (Alternatively you can use the lychee as the vessel for the jelly and set the jelly in the lychee (as shown in the photo)- tips on how to do this is in the text above this recipe.)
- If using nata de coco or any other fruits (suggestions in the text above), place an appropriate amount in each mold.
- Mix the sugar and agar powder together well - this is to reduce clumping when the agar powder is poured into the liquid.
- Add the liquids (but not the champagne) to the pot- i.e. water and/ or lychee syrup. The amount of water and/or lychee syrup added would depend on the champagne concentration you want. For example, if you want the jellies to be 50% champagne, add 500 ml of water and/or lychee syrup to the pot.
- Heat the liquid in the pot and when almost boiling (you will see small bubbles forming at the bottom of the pot), very slowly add the agar agar- sugar mixture. Keep stirring continuously whilst adding slowly, if not the powder will form unattractive white clumps in your jelly.
- Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring continuously for 3 minutes (or till the bubbles disappear).
- Switch off the fire then add the champagne to the jelly mix and stir well.
- Pour into molds and allow to cool in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- Remove the jellies from the mold just before serving, if not you will sometimes see the liquid leach out of the jellies.
- if your jellies ooze out water after solidifying, either the konnyaku powder was not dissolved properly or you've added too much sugar to the jellies.
- As these contain alcohol, I'm guessing you won't be giving them to children but just a note to remind you to be very careful when it comes to giving konnyaku/ konjac jellies to kids (or the elderly), as there have been several instances of kids fatally choking on them!
Hope you liked these easy lychee jellies! Do give @greedygirlgourmet a social media shoutout if you did!