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Saturday, March 07, 2009

MG: wiggly

i've had a package of bo kanten (japanese stick agar made by freeze-drying seaweed) in the cupboard for years, waiting for me to brave the world of agar jellies. it had an unapproachable air, a cache of unknown quirks and techniques hidden from me, so i would google and read and think and put it off--repeat ad nauseum.

most of the recipes i found were created for gelatin (similar jelling agent, but of animal origin); add to that agar powders and agar flakes, whose volumes are an unreliable measure, it was hard to know how much stick kanten to use. finally, i happened upon this panna cotta at Chocolate and Zucchini. the recipe was written for agar; it gave the agar measurement by weight; AND it's a panna cotta, which means the soft side of the rubbery jelly spectrum. i do not like rubbery jellies. i still indulged in a bit of characteristic hesitation then went about making the unknowns into knowns.

amazing!! like vanilla milk just this side of solid, with a lovely shimmy but little resistance. silky and fragrant like dining on sweet vanilla perfume. but not too sweet. both hubby and i loved it with many toothy grins and wiggling of plates. i looked forward to the next time a mug of the panna cotta could come out to be unmolded, and hubby kept count of the number remaining in the fridge.

i used the stick kanten in the weight specified by the recipe for agar but first soaked it in cold water before tearing it into small pieces then adding it to the rest of the ingredients. i also oiled my small coffee mugs cum molds with walnut oil to help with unmolding. 1 gram of agar to 250ml/1cup of liquid seems to be a good working proportion.

now i want to agar-jelly everything from double cream panna cotta to all milk blancmange(r), and coffee, and almond milk, and cashew milk, and fruit purees, a myriad of things; and savory ones too--terrines, mushroom cream, tomato cream. mm.

there is already a strawberry batch chilling in the fridge.


  1. Did I hear Strawberry patch??? Spppppppppp Spppppppppp

  2. I just stumbled across your blog today, it's lovely! I shall keep visiting indeed =)