Every year a jelly or agar agar is a must during festive seasons. But this year I had a request from my daughter to make it with palm sugar (gula Melaka) and coconut as she wanted to have the 2 layers in the agar agar.
An old Chinese colleague taught me this when my daughter was just 1 year old. But she adds an egg to get the separation of 2 layers. When my children were young, I used to do this agar agar with the egg very regularly as they loved it.
But this time, I wanted to do away with the egg. And I wanted to use agar agar strips instead of jelly powder.
This recipe is a sure winner. I have measured everything so it will be easy for you to follow.
And best of all it is so delicious. It tastes so velvety and you can keep putting a piece of it into your mouth continuously without realising you are actually eating loads of it. A guest who came to my place finished a 14 x 20 cm tray just by himself. Well I had lots of it and such incidences is never a problem in my home as I always make extra and more than enough for everyone. I even had enough to ask some of my guests to bring it home!
30 g agar agar strips
2 litres of water
3 pandan leaves, tied into knots
400 g palm sugar or gula Melaka
2 tbsp sugar
300 ml coconut cream or milk.
¼ tsp salt
Soak agar agar strips with water in a large bowl for about 30 minutes.
Drain and squeeze out the water and place the soaked agar agar in a pot on a stove.
Pour 2 litres of water and add the pandan leaves.
Bring it to a boil and simmer it till the agar agar is dissolved.
Add the palm sugar and the white sugar. Stir and cook the sugars till they are completely dissolved.
Add the coconut cream or milk. Keep stirring and let it boil for just 1 minute. Add the ¼ tsp of salt.
Remove from stove, strain and pour into jelly moulds or trays.
Chill to set once slightly cool. Once set, you will notice the 2 layers like magic!
Makes about 8 trays (14 x 20 cm trays)
Use good quality palm sugar for good results. You can find it in Asian food stores.
If you cannot find it, you can substitute with turbinado sugar.
Adding the white sugar and a small pinch of salt enhances the sweetness of the dish.
You can reduce the palm sugar if you want the agar agar to be less sweet.
I used coconut cream from a carton.
You may add an extra 500ml of water for those who prefer softer tasting agar agar.
But I assure you, just follow the recipe and you and your guests will be very happy.