Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Chendol Agar Agar "Cake"

My hubby who isn't a fan of cakes in general loves chendol so I decided to make a jelly "cake" for his birthday some time last year. Yes, this is an old "bake" but Susanne thinks this is too pretty to keep it to myself :p. This post shows my second attempt, which is an improved version of my first. I tried to incorporate all the components of chendol goodness... sweet red beans, chendol jelly, gula melaka, fragrant pandan, rich coconut milk flavors, all into each bite :).


I made the round jelly in a 4" springform pan and the small slices in a loaf pan. The agar cake is made up of 5 layers. Beginning from the top: clear agar with chendol and red bean jelly designs, caster sugar layer, gula melaka layer, chendol layer and finally, red bean layer. All layers contain coconut milk except for the top layer. Making this is really simple as it does not require any skill (you just need to know how to boil water) but requires patience because you have to wait for each layer to set before pouring the next. The whole process took about 2-3 hours.

To begin, boil some water with pandan leaves for a few minutes to make pandan flavored water. I usually don't count exactly how many leaves. About 1.5L of water and a few leaves cut to 2-3cm strips should suffice. You may vary the amount of sugar and gula melaka used, depending on how sweet you want the dessert to be.

Ingredients:

Red bean jelly decoration
100g pandan water
50g red bean paste (I used homemade one but you can buy red bean paste without oil added)
1 tsp agar powder
10g caster sugar

Red bean jelly layer
50g coconut milk
120g pandan water
50g red bean paste
1 tsp agar powder
10g gula melaka
Pinch of salt

Chendol layer
50g coconut milk
125g pandan water
35g caster sugar
1 tsp agar powder
100g chendol (Discard water in box, scald the chendol jelly in boiling water for a minute and drain)
Pinch of salt

Gula melaka brown layer
50g coconut milk
150g pandan water
40g gula melaka
1 tsp agar powder
Pinch of salt
A few drops of liquid brown food coloring

Caster sugar white layer
50g coconut milk
150g pandan water
35g caster sugar
1 tsp agar powder
Pinch of salt

Clear jelly layer
200g pandan water
35g caster sugar
1 tsp agar powder
Some chendol jelly and red bean jelly decorations

Steps:
1. Prepare the red bean jelly decorations. Boil all the ingredients in a small saucepan until sugar and agar powder dissolves. Pour into loaf pan and let it cool. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and set aside.
2. Prepare red bean layer. Boil all the ingredients and pour into loaf pan/ springform pan/ mould (if you happen to use). Refrigerate until set. When the layer has set, use a fork to scratch the surface. This is to help the layer on top anchor to the bottom layer. Proceed with the next three layers (chendol, white caster sugar and brown gula melaka) in the same way.
3. Prepare the clear jelly by boiling the pandan water, sugar and agar powder. Line the red bean decorations on top of the white layer and carefully pour the clear jelly over. Add some chendol jelly into the clear jelly layer.
4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

We had enough to share with our neighbors and they loved it too :).

With love,
Phay Shing

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