I realised I have two packets of agar-agar strands sitting in my pantry for a long time. So that day, I decided to use one packet to make some agar-agar (jelly/jello).. Perfect for hot weather!!!!!
What is agar-agar?The word "agar" comes from the Malay word agar-agar (meaning jelly). It is a natural vegetable gelatin counterpart, sold in packages as washed and dried strips or in powdered form. It is used to make jellies, puddings and custards.
My very first Agar-Agar Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar Jelly). It is also known as Agar-Agar Gudir as informed by my girl friends in Facebook. This beautiful dessert is another famous dessert among the Malay community. My mum would make this dessert for any special occasions.
The sweetness come from the gula melaka (palm sugar) and the rich flavor from the coconut milk. Some recipes called for egg whites. For this recipe, I did not add any egg whites. When the agar-agar is cooled, the coconut milk layer should rise up giving it a two layer effect. This is my first attempt and it did not show the two layer effect :-(... but it is still good, I just can't help to keep eating them. hehe... :-)
15gm agar agar strands
200gm gula melaka
1 screwpine leaf (knotted)
200ml coconut milk
50ml fresh milk
Soak agar-agar strands in cold water for at least 1 hour. Drain and cut into small pieces. In a heat proof bowl, combine agar-agar, palm sugar, screwpine leaf and water. Stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and let it simmer until the palm sugar dissolves. Sieve the mixture and return back to heat. Discard the screwpine leaf. Make sure the syrup is half from its original amount before adding the milk mixture.
Once the milk mixture is added, leave to simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes before pouring into moulds or a cake pan. (I used a 13" x 9" x 2" rectangular pan.) Leave to cool in room temperature for about 20mins. Then chill in the fridge for about 2 hours. Once the agar-agar is set, it is ready to be served.
You can replace the gula melaka (palm sugar) with brown sugar, but the taste might differ. When using gula melaka, then try not to add sugar or brown sugar as the sweetness to this dessert should come fully from the gula melaka that you have used.