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Agar-Agar Agaration

In Recipes, Singaporean on March 30, 2010 at 12:36 am

Agar-Agar is one of my favourite desserts to make for the occasional international gathering because it’s easy and versatile, and also because I love being entertained by the disturbed responses it always elicits, especially from biology students. Despite that, any initial apprehension always vanishes instantly with the first piece of these refreshing stiff jellies. It’s simply not possible not to like these thingies!

Making agar-agar is awfully simple if you’re able to get your hands on one of these packets of agar-agar powder. It’s even got clear pictorial descriptions on how to make your own dessert (package says: dissolve 1 packet of powder in 1L water and add 250g sugar, bring to boil and pour into moulds to cool). Since I never ever have colourings or flavourings with me, I prefer to grab a can of fruit from the supermarket and use its syrup as the flavouring, then use agaration (*Singlish for estimation) with the sugar and water to get the stiffness and sweetness I want. I personally think that 1L of water makes a jelly that is way too stiff, hence I usually put up to 1.25L of liquid for these 12g packets of powder. At the same time that makes 25% more agar. Yay. And I also like to throw in some fresh kiwi / pineapple… which takes up even more volume. Yayyyy.

This time that I made agar-agar, I had with me a couple of star- and heart-shaped ice trays from Ikea, which I used as moulds for the dessert. The rest of it, I poured into a large glass bowl, which can then be inverted to get a pretty agar-agar cake like this one that I made during Christmas. I first coated the bowl with a very thin layer of agar solution, arranged the fruits, then poured the rest of the solution with the cut fruits into the bowl and left it in the refrigerator to cool.

Fruity Agar-Agar Recipe

  • 12g packet of Swallow Globe Brand agar-agar powder
  • Syrup of one can of fruit (peach, fruit cocktail or pineapple have always worked wonderfully), topped up to 1.25L in volume
  • Cut fruits into chunks, include other fresh soft fruits if desired
  • Sugar to taste
  1. Put agar-agar powder, sweet syrup solution and cut fruits in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add sugar to taste
  3. Transfer to a mould / huge bowl, chill
  4. Unmould before serving!

Recipe alternatives:

  1. Layered agar-agar with coconut milk works great as well, especially with pineapple…mmmm! You might want to start with 750ml total volume of water and syrup, bring to a boil, then divide into two equal portions. To one portion add additional 250ml water, to the other add 250ml coconut milk. Pour one layer into the container and chill in the freezer. When the surface is just beginning to set, carefully pour the other layer over it and chill in refrigerator. If surface is too set, use a fork and scrape the surface before pouring the second layer, otherwise it wouldn’t stick!
  2. Make some almond jelly by using 500ml milk + 750ml water / syrup + sugar to dissolve the agar. Chill set, and serve with fruit cocktail 🙂
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  1. The Agar Agar cake looks superb!!! How come I never get to try? ;p

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