Agar Do Do Do, Use Pineapple and Kiwi

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

star agar agar

Ok, ok, I’m sorry! But I do lurvve the corny jokes. And don’t let me get started with puns – I don’t care if it’s considered the lowest form of humour.

So, back to the agar – which is one of my childhood favourites (yup, another one). As most people would already know, agar is derived from seaweed. Malaysians call it agar-agar, and the same name is used for the ingredient as well as the dessert made from it. No kid’s birthday party would be complete without some bright red diamonds of sugary agar-agar. (The agar itself is pretty tasteless, so it needs a lot of sugar or other flavourings to make up for it).

I’ve been thinking about agar-agar lately because a parcel arrived in the post recently (Thanks Mum!) with a book about various fancy agar desserts and a little flyer for this place . Good grief, I knew agar was versatile, but an agar-agar Barbie “cake”?

Anyway, here’s my version of agar-agar, with less sugar and more good stuff in it.

Pineapple and Kiwifruit agar-agar

Pineapple Layer
agar powder
150g diced fresh pineapple
3 cups cold water
Agar-agar powder (5g)
Sugar to taste (I used about 60g)
Diced pineapple to decorate
More water if needed.

Boil pineapple until really soft (about 15-20 mins). Puree with a stick blender or mush with a thick spoon. Strain into a clean heatproof container and weigh the amount of liquid collected.

I used an agar-agar powder which had a ratio of 25g powder to 3kg of water. So I used 5g for 600g liquid.

Bring liquid to boil (add more water if necessary to make up to required weight). Add agar powder and stir until dissolved. Add sugar to taste.

Pour into a clean cake tin and leave to cool for a bit. Add pineapple pieces to decorate. Pop into fridge to set. (It doesn’t take long)

Kiwifruit Layer

1 kiwifruit
3 cups cold water
Agar-agar powder (5g)
Sugar to taste
Sliced kiwifruit to decorate
More water if needed

Make the liquid agar as above.
(Addendum: Arrgghh..I was to lazy to type out the method, but DON"T whizz kiwifruit with a stick blender - I mushed it with a spoon. The seeds are bitter)
Take pineapple layer out of fridge. Score the top of the layer with a fork to help the new layer “stick”. Pour in the kiwifruit layer, decorate with sliced kiwifruit then put in fridge to set.

The agar-agar can also be made in any moulds or cups that take your fancy.

agar kiwifruit
The set agar is really stable and can be cut into shapes with a cutter, and it doesn’t melt at room temperature (it weeps a bit in really hot weather.)


The Food Librarian said...

I love agar agar desserts. This is beautiful! I need to make some this oven = goodness!

Julia @ Mélanger said...

I have never had anything like this. Looks so refreshing!

Anh said...

I love agar agar. It is so refreshing and makes great presentation!

shaz said...

Hi food librarian - Thank you and I love how fast it is to make.

Hi Julia, yep, it's really good on a hot day (we've had some warm winter ones:)). But a lot of Western palates can't cope with the texture.

Hi Anh - I love all the colours and shapes that are possible!

Jo said...

This is a great dessert and you can practically add any type of fruit in it. Love the colours.

Hungry Dog said...

I've never had this. How lovely and perfect for summer!

shaz said...

Thanks Jo - I loved the rainbow versions when I was a kid

Hi Hungry Dog - It's a great thirst quencher

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe I remember that song! That was such a strange little song wasn't it and what one hit wonders they were :P These however look wonderful and definitely not one hit wonders at all!

shaz said...

Thanks Lorraine!