I spotted a rainbow in the sky today! Just as soon as the sky had cleared up from the rain and the sun was peeking its sleepy head through the clouds (I can just imagine it stretching its arms up high and saying, "Aaa..ah... is it already time for my watch again?" Been watching too much children's TV lately, you can tell).
Yesterday I was sorting out some recipes torn long ago from old magazines, and a layered cake recipe caught my eye. It's so beautiful, so visually arresting, with layers consisting of natural flavors that I felt compelled to try making it. I held the intent all through yesterday, slept on it, then woke up this morning and thought, "Baking? Blaaah...". Yes, it sure is a rare day when baking doesn't make me go "yipeee-do!" in excitement. Whatever it was, I simply didn't feel like switching the oven on.
But hey, I still wanted to make something as pretty as that rainbow. When I popped over to the store this morning, I picked up a packet of agar jelly powder and the cutest ever koi fish jelly mold. The idea of a rainbow layered agar jelly started to form in my head, and boy, were the kiddies at home going to be surprised when the rainbow colors came in the shape of a koi fish! *smiles*
I decided the flavors would be nectarine (reminiscent of the flecks that are so pretty in a koi), coconut milk (to tie all the flavors together), pistachio (oh, for pure decadence!) and grape (cool purple, my favorite). I'm saving the rest of the rainbow colors - and flavors - for another project, another day.
13g (1 packet) Agar powder
2 nectarines, sliced and blended to make 100ml juice
½ cup pistachio, peeled and blended with 150ml water
Bunch of seedless grapes, blended to make 150ml juice
100ml coconut milk
1. Place sugar and water in a pot and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Add agar powder into the pot and put stove on medium heat.
2. Stir frequently to avoid agar thickening at the bottom until everything has dissolved. Once mixture boils, the agar is ready to be added (separately) to the different flavors that will make up each layer.
3. Prepare one layer at a time and leave each layer to set until just firm before adding on the next layer. This ensures that the layers ‘stick’ together and do not separate when unmolded.
4. 1st layer: Blend the nectarines with a little water until smooth. Add 100ml of the hot agar mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour immediately into mold. Leave to set for a few minutes.
5. 2nd layer: Heat the coconut milk in the microwave for about 45 seconds and add 100ml of the hot agar mixture. Stir to combine and pour immediately on top of the nectarine layer. Let it set for a few minutes.
6. 3rd layer: Blend the pistachios with water until smooth. Strain through a large-holed strainer to catch the unblended nuts. Add 150ml of the hot agar mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour immediately on top of coconut milk layer.
7. 4th layer: Blend the grapes with a little water until smooth. Strain to separate the skin from the juice, discard skin. Add 150ml of the hot agar mixture to the grape juice and stir. Pour immediately on top of the pistachio layer. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then place in fridge for 30 minutes to set completely.
Note: To prevent the agar mixture from solidifying while preparing the layers, reheat briefly just before adding it to the different flavorings.