Jasmine Agar Jello with Coconut

With the the start of school and the signaling of the start of fall seeming to loom about the corner, I find myself trying to make the feeling of summer last for as long as it can. Couple this with my recently renewed love obsession with agar jello, it only made complete sense to go back to into the past and make a dessert that I used to make before we moved here.

At my old house, I used to grow several jasmine bushes in pots. In the wintertime, I would bring them inside where they would be dormant, but in the summertime, when taken outside and exposed to the sunshine and fresh air, they would bloom and bloom. Tiny, white delicate flowers would blossom everywhere and pervade my front porch with their sweet and lovely fragrance. No summer would be complete without the presence of jasmine in our house.

They say that your sense of taste is greatly dependent upon your sense of smell and I truly believe that. The sweet essence of jasmine tempts your olfactory senses and makes for a delightfully delicate dessert that’s not too overpowering and leaves a feeling of light freshness on your palette. One of our favorite desserts at the old house was jasmine agar jelly in a simple syrup and topped with slightly sweetened coconut milk.

I prepare the agar with a little bit less water than my traditional formula to yield a firmer product. Once it’s firmed up, I run it gently through a mandoline and make agar “noodles” that is mixed with simple syrup and coconut milk in the serving glass. A very traditional dessert in a lot of asian cultures, mixing coconut milk with simple syrup gives this agar dish a simple richness that’s hard to beat!

Jasmine Jello with Coconut
As envisioned by TastyDesu

Ingredients

For jasmine agar
4 teaspoons agar agar powder (I use Telephone brand)
30 ounces of water, lukewarm
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon jasmine essence**

For simple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 sugar

For sweetened coconut milk
1 13.5oz can coconut milk
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt

Crushed ice

Preparation

Mix agar powder with lukewarm water and let stand 15 minutes to allow agar to bloom. After blooming, heat over medium high heat and add sugar. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar has dissolved completely. Let simmer 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour into 8×8 pan. Allow to set at room temperature for 1 hour.

Once agar has set, cut agar into 4 strips. Using a mandoline with its thickest slice setting and largest julienne cutting blade, very carefully julienne the jasmine agar into strips. They should resemble clear noodles when finished. Set aside in fridge.

Prepare simple syrup by combining sugar and water in a heavy bottom saucepan. Bring to boil over medium high heat and stir until sugar is completely dissolved, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a separate saucepan, combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Gently bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To serve, spoon about 3 tablespoons of coconut milk into a serving glass, add about 1/3 cup of jasmine agar, and 4 tablespoons of simple syrup. Top of some crushed ice and serve!

**Available at most asian markets. You may have to ask someone to show you, but it’s there in a small jar.

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~ by tastydesu on August 18, 2010.

One Response to “Jasmine Agar Jello with Coconut”

  1. Ok, now I had to google “agar”. Very interesting indeed. I will have to try this recipe once my cottages are closed and I have time to putz around in the kitchen

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