Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cendol Agar Agar

The first time I saw these beautiful cendol agar agar was in Facebook by an ex-colleague, KG.  She's the pioneer of our nursing mother, the one who suggested to our Human Resource to start a Lactation/Nursing Room for breastfeeding mothers.  I'm thankful to her for her initiative as without her, I probably wouldn't be able to survive my 5 years of breastfeeding back then.  Thanks KG!

I sent her a private message asking for the recipe and she was really kind to go dig out from her old files and emailed me.  I procrastinated making this dessert as my family will not be able to finish up the whole lot of agar agar.  Even with family gatherings/birthdays, I was lazy and didn't want to spend too much time on desserts as the cake alone is already a killer.

I was reminded of this agar agar again when I saw it in Wendy's blog.  It is so beautiful, who can ever resist such an appetising dessert?  Definitely not me.


Whenever there's a potluck in my maiden family, I'm usually the one bringing dessert as I'm the worst cook in the family.  And to pack food from outside is a no-no for me as I do not want to commit on something I'm not sure if I can fulfil.  To play safe, my contribution is usually dessert, quick and easy :P

This time round, with Dad's birthday celebration on a Saturday, I had more time to prepare as Friday is my day off (we go over to my inlaws for dinner yippee!!).  After running through the schedule in my mind while I was on the bed on Thursday night, I suppose I might be able to make an agar agar in addition to the longevity cake I have in mind.


The steps to make this is quite long-winded.  When I first received the email attachment from KG, I was also partially deterred by the method, seems like a lot of work.  But when I actually made this, it wasn't that tedious or difficult after all.  My kids love this except for DD3, she only likes the cendol layer but not the gula melaka agar agar. 

The colour of the cendol layer sucks!  I've rinsed the store-bought cendol several times before use but still, the colour runs.   Imagine the amount of colourings we are feeding ourselves.

I've adapted Wendy's recipe but did some modifications as I was using packet coconut milk (trim version).  I was brought up to regard coconut milk as unhealthy and I try to refrain from cooking/baking with it.  But if you want something really delicious, go with coconut cream.

Cendol Layer
Ingredients
(A)
250ml water
13g/1.5 Tbsp agar-agar powder

(B)
550ml water
170gm sugar

(C)
200ml coconut milk
pinch of salt
30gm corn starch

(D)
600gm cendol
(originally 500g but the store bought comes in 300g each pack)

Method
  1. Mix agar powder with 250ml water, set aside.
  2. Mix cornstarch, salt and coconut milk together, set aside.
  3. Bring 550ml water and sugar to a boil. When solution has come to a boil, pour in agar mixture.
  4. Bring to a boil again, lower heat and pour in cornstarch mixture, stirring all the while.
  5. On medium heat , bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and put in drained cendol. Mix well.
  6. Pour into a 10 inch square pan. (I used a 8" square and a 6" round pan)
  7. Leave it aside to harden slightly while you prepare the gula melaka layer.
Gula Melaka Layer
Ingredients
(A)
250ml water
13g/1.5 Tbsp agar-agar powder

(B)
180gm gula melaka/palm sugar
550ml water
2 blades pandan, shredded and knotted

(C)
200ml coconut milk
pinch of salt
*mix together

Method
  1. Mix agar powder with 250ml water, set aside.
  2. Bring 550ml water, gula melaka/palm sugar and pandan knot to a boil and simmer until palm sugar has totally dissolved.
  3. Sieve solution and pour it back into the pot.
  4. Pour in agar mixture, bring to a boil again.
  5. Lower heat and pour in coconut milk stirring all the while. When there are small bubbles on the side of the pot, remove pot from heat.
  6. Test cendol layer by touching surface. It should have slightly cooled and developed a film on top that does not stick to your fingers, but should be wobbly. Pour in gula melaka layer slowly and let it set and cool down.
  7. Chill in fridge before cutting.
Note:
If your cendol layer has totally hardened, scar surface with a fork before pouring in brown layer.

7 comments:

hanushi said...

I love the colour... Looks very soothing... :)

Wai Kitt said...

Long time i didn't make this kind of cendol agar-agar already. I miss the taste. Yours one really nice in colour,how i wish i could eat your photos :D

B.Karen Goh MM said...

Thanks for your kind comments about me...:oP I won't take all the credit for the nursing room, actually BC also had a hand in initiating the nursing room. Unfortunately it wasn't in time for her first kid and she had to express in one of the meeting rooms. Wow... that's like almost 10 years ago and now my 2nd kid is in P1! Can't imagine I actually went thru the nursing and expressing thing... You know I haven't made the chendol agar thing since the last time u saw those pics posted on my FB!! haha I'm far too lazy now, and my helper is a far better cook than i am. I wonder if I can keep her until my kids go to college....

Stefania said...

Un felice anno nuovo ♥ ciao

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

I'd be the opposite of your DD3: I'd go for the gula melaka layer, not cendol layer. I've NEVER been a big fan of cendol! Dunno why ... And I don't like the idea of overdose of artificial coloring!

Lily said...

Hi...i've just tried your cendol agar-agar recipe today and it turned out to be outstanding.. :) everyone loves it...thanks for the beautiful recipe....

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