Thai Iced Tea Jello

So one of my friends was talking about making Thai iced coffee jello, but T and I are much bigger tea-drinkers, so I ordered some unflavored gelatin and Thai Chai (if you ever want a $5 coupon for that site, let me know, as it gets me points when other people use the ones I send them) and we acquired sweetened condensed milk because all we had in the house was evaporated milk. They are not substitutes for each other! You could maybe use evaporated milk for this if you used more sugar? I might actually try that next time to get rid of this can. But as it is, here are the ingredients:

  • 4-ish cups water
  • 14 heaping teaspoons Thai Chai
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • can of condensed milk
  • 4 packets unflavored gelatin
IMG_0218

The can of evaporated milk is not relevant to the proceedings except to hold the spatula.

And, since I went all out and actually used multiple tools, a list of what I used and why:

  • not pictured: medium pot for boiling water/tea/tea syrup (not pictured)
  • wooden spoon for stirring
  • borosilicate glass pitcher – I put the sugar in the bottom so that the strained tea would hit it and I wouldn’t have to spend as much time stirring. The borosilicate part is important because it’s designed to withstand sudden temperature changes and won’t explode in your face.
  • tea infuser! not relevant if you’re using teabags or a tea sock.
  • 6-cup?? pyrex casserole dish, for holding your jello.
  • spatula for mixing stuff
  • not pictured: whisk for breaking up the clumps of gelatin that are a result of not adhering to the package directions.
There is tea all over my goddamn counter.

There is tea all over my goddamn counter.

An important note: use a goddamn pot with one of those indentations for pouring things. Wow, did I not think this through properly.

Directions:

Heat four cups of water to boiling, then dump in all the tea and reduce the burner to low heat – you want to keep the water hot but not scald the leaves too much. If you’ve got a tea sock, the whole thing’s gonna be way more contained, but this uses enough tea that you want to give it room to spread out.

It's supposed to look like that.

It’s supposed to look like that.

To spread out, and start looking like a particularly marshy health hazard. Follow your tea directions – I steeped it for four minutes. Then I had the pouring adventures you see above, because I was pouring fairly slowly to let the tea strain through the infuser rather than bubbling over. I ended up with a bunch of tea leaves that didn’t want to come out, but I still needed the pot, so I dumped those in the garbage and rinsed the pot in hot water real quick.

The tea leaves in the infuser were still holding a lot of water, too, so I used the wooden spoon to force some of the moisture out and thought longingly of tea socks. Like, this whole thing is super possible using just the tools and tea you have, but wow specialized tools are sometimes really convenient.

When I’d given up on getting more moisture out, I set the infuser aside, gave the tea a quick stir, and poured it back in the pot: the sugar wasn’t dissolved yet. I turned the heat up to medium and stirred until the sugar was dissolved.

As you can see from the pics, I’d already put the gelatin and sweetened condensed milk in the dish before the water had even boiled, but I recommend waiting until after the tea is ready: they’re apparently really not joking when they say only let the gelatin powder soften for a minute. I salvaged it with some enthusiastic whisking, but don’t do that if you don’t have to. Add the tea and the sweetened condensed milk to the softened gelatin powder, stir well, and refrigerate for – I just left it in there the whole afternoon and evening, but four hours would probably do the trick.

It still ends up looking, well, weird and brown. And might be more appetizing if you used a square container and then just cut it up into cubes. It tastes intense, but also kind of like rainbows of happiness are exploding in your mouth. Whipped topping or vanilla ice cream make for a good texture/intensity contrast, but even without it this is probably going to be one of your new favorite desserts.

It's supposed to look like that. Stop looking at it and put it in your face.

It’s supposed to look like that. Stop looking at it and put it in your face.