Coconut Agar Agar Heart Shaped Desserts
Happy Monday friends! This week is extra special because Valentine’s Day is on Friday. Some of you may know that Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday of the year. It has been special to me and the hubby ever since he asked me to be his Valentine 11 years ago. We were just teenagers in love and all the special memories, including our Wedding Day on Valentine’s Day four years ago, make my heart melt. Our first Valentine’s Day together also fell on a Friday, which was why he rode the school bus home with me to hang out. We had actually been making fun of all the stuffed teddy bears and mushy stuff at school all day. Even though I knew we both liked each other, it was still a very surprising moment when he kissed me and asked me to be his girlfriend. Valentine’s Day changed in my mind from a silly or depressing holiday into the best day of the year. In celebration I’m sharing a new Valentine’s recipe inspired by the hubby’s Filipino heritage and the delicious agar agar based desserts his Mother makes.
Pretty Pink Coconut Agar Agar Dessert
On a recent visit to Asia Market on the corner of Bandera and Wurzbach Road I discovered they carried Agar Agar, a seaweed common in Asian cuisine that when boiled, sets up to make delicious better-than-gelatin desserts. I still have a lot of experimenting to do with the different types of Agar Agar and what to add to it, but here is an easy way to start enjoying the desserts pictured.
Agar Agar from local Asia Market
Coconut Agar Agar Dessert
Makes 8 – 10 Servings
2 Pieces Agar Agar (Gulaman) Red or 6 oz package of Agar Agar Powder
1 Can Coconut Milk
1 Cup Raw or Organic Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
Red Food Coloring (optional)
1 cup Strawberries (optional)
Prepare the agar agar according to the directions. The red seaweed pieces (shown above) were soaked for 30 minutes, then boiled in 5 1/2 cups water to melt. The agar agar powder was stirred into 6 cups of water constantly until boiled. It is very important that both kinds of agar agar come to a full boil or it will not set properly (I learned this the hard way). Mix in the coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla. You can add red food coloring if you’re using white agar agar powder and the pink tone (pictured) is desired. Continue cooking the mixture for 10 minutes before removing from heat. Carefully pour the liquid into any heart-shaped pans, bowls, or molds you have. Add strawberries into the mold before pouring in the mixture. Allow to set in the fridge for 2 hours. Gently remove from the molds once the dessert is set, serve and enjoy! The dessert will have a mild sweetened coconut flavor with a jello-like consistency. If using the red pieces of agar agar the color will be a more red than pink (not pictured, but very pretty too!).
Plenty of love to share!
Last week was also the hubby’s 28th birthday. We had my family over for a dinner party catered by Thai Hot, which was delicious. We also celebrated with his family this weekend. Three years ago he became a vegetarian as a gift to me on his birthday. It just fills me with joy to see how committed and supportive he has been the past few years. Happy Valentine’s Day to the sweetest hubby in the world!
Update: I’ve been playing with the recipe and I have a couple more tips. Try soaking and boiling one piece of Red Agar Agar (Gulaman) instead of two in this recipe for a sweeter dessert. Pour into a bundt cake pan to chill in the fridge. Once it’s set, top with 1 cup chopped peanuts for a lovely looking and yummy tasting dessert. Although I previously compared this recipe to jello, I will say the texture is more like flan. Enjoy!