Foodiva's Kitchen: Coconut-Rose Agar Agar Dessert

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Coconut-Rose Agar Agar Dessert


It's the first day of Ramadan over here, and I decided to break the ice cream posts somewhat because well, monotony is boring. And if, like me and many others worldwide, you're fasting for 12-13 hours a day under the scorching sun (okay, more realistically in the house or in an airconditioned building somewhere), the dehydrated mind becomes a bit dull and needs to be stimulated with variety. By that, I mean food-wise. Let's face it, for a huge chunk of the day, that's all the person abstaining from food thinks about - food. And drink. And all the other lovely goodies they get to eat when it's time to break the fast, or iftar. I'm not generalising about everyone else here, that was me thinking about myself, quite indiscreetly. God, this is only Day 1...



Anyway, did I ever tell you how happy it always makes me feel when a stranger lands on this blog for the first time and leaves a comment? And how happier I am when I go to check the other person's blog out and find that there's a recipe (or two) I immediately want to try? Well, that just happened to me again yesterday when a lovely Burmese lady who owns a blog by the delicious name of Best Oodles came by. When I returned the courtesy, I was immediately inspired by her ethereal-looking rose jelly made from agar agar powder. Hey, that was something I could make that was pink and different and lovely and best of all, easy!

My agar brand of choice

Throughout most of Asia, agar agar desserts are eaten all the time, with astounding variations on how the jelly is constructed. The end result is only as far as your creativity dictates it. I liken it to the practice of architecture suspended in jello! Now, I'm not good at doing the 'advanced' agar dessert just yet, but this rose jelly looked well within my capability. I wasn't sure what agar agar powder she actually used but I stuck to my usual, called Rose Brand. The only weird thing was that I halved her liquid measurements but still ended up making the same amount of individual servings (7). Could it be a mold thing?


To create the pink color, I used rose syrup (not rose water), which is a rose-flavored red cordial. The coconut milk added a rich texture to the dessert and separated out as the agar firmed up so I ended up with a pretty, two-layered dessert. This recipe makes for a slightly softer than normal jelly so be extra gentle when unmolding to prevent breakage. Otherwise, add another teaspoon of agar powder to the recipe for a firmer texture.


Looking at these soft, pink desserts gave me the simplest pleasure like I cannot describe. Thank you, Best Oodles, you've made my day! 


Now this song is a bit random, but I so enjoy this one by surfer dude, Jack Johnson. If I were stranded on a deserted island and my iPod had run out of power, I'd really like to have this guy and his guitar around. Listen to him and you'll see what I mean :-).


Coconut-Rose Agar Agar Dessert
(Adapted from Best Oodles)
Makes: 7 cupcake-sized desserts


Ingredients:
1 cup water
2 teaspoons agar agar powder (I used Rose Brand Finest Agar Agar Powder)
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons rose syrup

Method:
1. Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan, heat on medium high heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a rolling boil for 30 seconds.
2. Remove from the heat, let it cool down for 15 minutes. Strain and pour into 7 cupcake-sized molds. Let it cool down naturally at room temperature or chill in the refrigerator for quicker setting of agar.
3. Turn out from molds by loosening the sides and tapping the agar free onto a plate. Serve immediately.

59 comments:

Sandra said...

Thank you for sharing this..sounds and looks so soft that I wouldn't even touch it, well who am I kidding I would eat this in a second. You did incredible job!!!

Foodiva said...

Haha...Sandra, your words always have a way of making me smile! Thank you!

Ann said...

What a beautiful, elegant, refreshing dessert! I agree with Sandra - I would eat it in a second.....

Torviewtoronto said...

Maya this looks superb I love the flowers beside it
this dessert with these flavours have a beautiful aroma.
for the treacle sweet try making a little with the treacle you have, I know we can for sure use coconut, kithul treacle or jaggery melted. Let me know Inshallah hope you will enjoy it. This sweet is is crispy on the outside and soft inside.
Have a blessed Ramadan
salaams Akheela

Foodiva said...

Ann, after setting, these lasted mere seconds in our house!

Foodiva said...

Akheela@Torview, I will definitely try this sweet and thanks for coming by with some more tips on how to make it. ;-)

Roxana GreenGirl said...

i have a couple of friends who started Ramadan and, despite the long fasting day I love the way they celebrate when the sun goes down.
This dessert sounds great after a hot summer day. Thanks for sharing Maya

p said...

How lovely. I have yet to learn how to use agar. Must overcome fear.

S.V. said...

Not only does this look so pretty but it also sounds delicious.

purabi naha said...

That looks so incredible, yet so simple!! Loved the colours and those flowers match exactly with this lovely dessert!

Three-Cookies said...

Ice cream is never boring, but your new dessert is attractive:) About Ramadan I saw an article today about the Swedish summer posing problems. In UmeƄ (northern Sweden) dawn broke at 3.47am on Monday and the sun will set at 9.41pm, requiring an almost 18 hour fast. Its little better in Stockholm.

Jay said...

ohh....such a lovely clics...I am impressed..:)
Tasty Appetite

Jay said...

hey dear...
Am your happy follower now..:)
do visit mine sometime..
Tasty Appetite

Amy said...

This is so beautiful! Sometimes simple is best, and you have proved that here! Love the oink color, and coconut rose is such a heavenly combination!

PFx said...

Lovely mould!
If I may say, this recipe sounds very classic Indonesian. Hehehe.
I was dreaming about agar-agar something funky last night. I think it may work but I'd probably try it after my trip...probably December..

Lilly said...

Another great dessert recipe! And the colour is so pretty. The flowers complement it very well.

Venie said...

Thnks for sharing. I've problem finding a good quality agar agar powder, I will give it a try wit the brand u suggest. Thanks :)

Foodiva said...

Roxana, I'm so glad you get to find out more about Ramadan just through blogging. It's true, food really does transcend boundaries!

Foodiva said...

Penny, agar agar is nothing compared to our mutual fear of macarons! LOL.

Foodiva said...

Purabi, thank you. The red flowers, I don't know what they are called but they're picked straight from my garden ;-).

Foodiva said...

Three-Cookies, you're right about about the ice cream, and I have several in queue for posting. As for fasting for 18 hours, thank God I don't live in northern Sweden! I think I would probably pass out, especially if there is heat involved. Is there?

Foodiva said...

Thanks for following, Jay. Checked out your site and you have the most incredible recipes, love it!

Foodiva said...

Amy, looking at your exotic recipe combinations, I just knew you were going to love the flavors in this one!

Foodiva said...

Pierre, ours and Indonesian recipes have a lot in common, so I'm not surprised by your comparison. Looking forward to your funky, imaginary agar agar, but December seems like such a long wait!

Foodiva said...

Venie, Rose Brand is sold everywhere here. I hope you have better luck with your next agar agar experiments!

Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

Maya, it looks lovely! I've been meaning to try agar for a while now, but for some reason I keep forgetting about it :) your dessert is so pretty!

Gina said...

Ha ha, you are more loved than the pears. I will write up the cake soon, I was too tired to go round up the recipes I used, I know what a slacker, lol. I finally made it to the Asian market the other day and was looking for the agar, but they only had it in a block instead of the powder, I think I will try mail order. Hoping to get back on my schedule this week, I'm feeling pretzels.
-Gina-

Magic of Spice said...

What a gorgeous treat both for the eyes and I'm sure taste buds :)
Good luck with your fasting and celebrations and hope you have a great week Maya :)

Three-Cookies said...

Yes there was a heat wave recently but it wasn't that bad, quite bearable.

Lilly said...

Maya just to let you know that I love your blog so much I am sharing these awards with you! They are on my blog so come and get them!

Michael Toa said...

Happy fasting Maya. Have a blessed Ramadan. I am really in the mood for something rose-y at the moment and these agar agar look fantastic.

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

A simple yet tricky sweet. I have been experimenting a bit to with agar agar lately and love it. This is just so pretty, glad you gave this recipe a try.

As for Ramadan, hang in there always harder at the beginning.

tori said...

Hi- I just stumbled onto your blog and have had the loveliest time trawling through the archive with a cup of tea- thank you! Loving the rose jelly- oh and the Jack Johnson on my ipod was about the only thing that kept me going when I tried to learn to surf a couple of years ago in Baja.

peachie said...

These look so lovely and it's great to break fast with something so pretty and I believe tasty too! Haven't had rose syrup in quite a while so these brings back memories. Thanks for sharing! Blessed Ramadan!

Angela FRS said...

So beautiful! I have tried to do desserts with agar agar and haven't quite got the hang of it, but you have inspired me to give it another go.

Trix said...

I can totally understand your pleasure in looking at these little pink cuties. So pretty! I have never worked with agar ... I am fairly certain I would make a mess.

Foodiva said...

Gina, I've never made dessert from an agar block and I shudder at the thought of having to work out the perfect agar:liquid ratio for that! If you want me to send you some agar powder, you just have to holler. Btw, can't wait for our pretzel cook-off!

Foodiva said...

Alisha, thanks so much for your kind thoughts!

Foodiva said...

Lilly, so honored and humbled by your awards and many congratulations on getting yours!

Foodiva said...

Michael, you never said whether you had any agar agar or rose syrup (Air Bandung) when you were back home recently. I love all the food you ate there, it was a hell of a LOT, even by my standards...LOL.

Foodiva said...

Evelyne, you have to post up some of your agar experiments. I'm curious to see them!

Foodiva said...

Tori, thanks for accidentally landing here and welcome to my kitchen. I can't surf to save my life (that's why I dive), but I really wish I'd learnt, if only to get that laid-back aura of Jack Johnson around me. ;-)

Foodiva said...

Trixie, knowing you, even your mess-ups will look like masterpieces!

Kelly @ Eat Yourself Skinny said...

How pretty, this looks fantastic! :)

Mary said...

The colour of this is so gorgeous and I am trying to imagine the taste of rose and coconut together, but I can't, so I'll just have to make this! First, to find agar agar...

Adora's Box said...

Hey, this is so cool! Magic layers. It's hot here (believe it or not) and this is just the perfect cooling dessert.

Working london mummy said...

Lovely! My mother makes something like this but not using such pretty moulds. Looks fabulous

Foodiva said...

Kelly and Mary, thanks a bunch! This is the easiest dessert I've made in a long while. Sometimes, the simplest things bring the greatest pleasure ;-).

Foodiva said...

Adora, I'm amazed. London is hot! FINALLY...

Foodiva said...

Working London mummy, I hope you'll introduce lovely agar agar desserts to your beautiful daughter too in due course :-).

Ameena said...

i feel your pain with the long fasting days...at least we don't have to deal with too much heat here but in any case this is the most perfect thing to end a long dya of fasting with. so refreshing!!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Maya! Wow... your dish is ALWAYS so pretty. You know how to make food very attractive. When someone makes something with coconut I get HUGE cravings every time... this looks lovely and yummy!

Foodiva said...

Ameena, it isn't really as painful as I make it out to be... although the first day I ate so much at Iftar that my stomach practically rebelled on me! Now I've learnt my lesson, the very hard way ;-).

Foodiva said...

Nami, MY food is attractive? Yours always make me drool and is so artfully captured by Shen! But thank you for the compliment, I'm honored since it came from you.

yummychunklet said...

How pretty!

Shu Han said...

agar agar! such a nostalgic treat for me (: especially love agar agar with coconut milk added. i love the flavour it adds(: that's a really pretty looking pudding there!

Foodiva said...

Shu Han, I take it you grew up on agar agar pudding too? Yes, I really like the coconut taste and texture in agar as well. Many thanks for checking out my two agar posts on the site!

Shirley said...

These are so pretty! I've been wanting to learn how to use agar-agar since recipes sometimes call for gelatin and I know not everyone is willing to eat gelatin. Can't wait to see what else you come up with.

Foodiva said...

Shirley, Hi! Glad you landed here because I have a handful of agar agar recipes here on the site that you may be interested in. There is so much you can do with it!

Related Posts with Thumbnails