Among the few desserts mum used to make, this has to be my favorite. Colorful, cold agar blocks cut with a wavy agar knife – it has always been a REAL treat when all other treats at home are always served hot.
I took this for granted and when mum is no longer around to make this, I realized I might never figure out the ratio of water to agar strips. Agar agar is now erased from the annals of my kitchen recipe book.
That is, until my college going kid got into a science research program and had to generate lots of agar for bacteria culture. What a strange source of information – that I should learn from an aspiring scientist and non-cook. According to the little scientist, it should be 15g of agar ( strips or powder ) to 1 liter of water / liquid for a manageable form of firm agar.
Wisdom comes from the strangest places and true to her recommendation, I have arrived at a magic agar to water ratio. With this, I can now manipulate the liquid component to arrive at varied serviceable textures.
Makes 3 tubs of agar agar.
34g agar strips.
2.3 litres of liquid ( 2 litres water, 300 ml coconut milk )
Gula Melaka 500g or according to taste.
Presoak agar strips for 30 minutes.
Bring water ( not milk ) and agar to a slow boil. Use a big pot because the agar will boil over.
Add sugar and cook until agar and sugar are totally dissolved.
Bring liquid to a boil again. Add coconut milk, boil for a split second.
Transfer to molds and leave it to set. Do not agitate the liquid so that water and coconut will separate.
When sufficiently cooled, chill until agar is set.
Note : The latest batch uses 12g per liter of water which yields a softer but still firm agar, which I prefer. It goes nicely with about 90g of sugar per liter of water.