Chinese Almond Float with Fresh Fruit is the perfect summer dessert when you’re looking for something cool, refreshing and light to top off a meal.
Today, I’m participating in The Recipe ReDux’s “Healthy Recipe with Spirit” themed event, where participants are sharing recipes that include spirits, extracts and other alcohols. I chose almond extract for my spirit. My youngest son loves the flavor of almonds in ice cream and other sweets, so I thought I’d test this healthy dessert out on him.
One of my favorite summer desserts when I was growing up was Chinese Almond Float. We used to eat it with canned fruit cocktail, although I’m not sure why. Perhaps when this dessert was first made by Chinese families that immigrated to the U.S., fresh fruit was not readily available; the syrup that canned fruit comes with also might have served as an easy way to sweeten this light dessert.
In the olden days, almond float was made with ground almonds and agar agar. This modern Americanized version uses almond milk (for a dairy-free alternative) and gelatin for simplicity’s sake. I’ve freshened up this refreshing summer dessert with some fresh mango, pineapple and longan fruit (I happened to find some at the local Asian market). Drizzled with a little organic simple syrup, and topped with a dye-free maraschino cherry, this Chinese Almond Float with Fresh Fruit is perfect for a summer dessert – light and refreshing and just lightly sweet.
Chinese Almond Float with Fresh Fruit
- 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1 3/4 cups cold water
- 3 tablespoons organic sugar
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
Organic Simple Syrup
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup water
- fresh mango diced
- fresh pineapple chunks
- fresh longan or lychee if available
- dye-free maraschino cherries
Place 1/2 cup cold water in a bowl; sprinkle gelatin on top and stir until dissolved.
Bring remaining 1 1/4 cup water to boil; stir in sugar to dissolve and pour over gelatin mixture. Stir until mixture is clean. Add almond milk and almond extract. Pour into 9"x13" pan. Refrigerate until set.
Organic Simple Syrup
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan; stir to dissolve; cool. Store in refrigerator. You will only need a little bit for this dessert.
Cut almond gelatin into squares and spoon into serving dishes. Serve with diced mango, pineapple chunks, longan, and a cherry on top. Drizzle with a little organic simple syrup.
Adapted from Rhonda Yee's Dim Sum Cookbook.