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Kiwi Coconut Agar Agar Jelly

These cutest layered agar agar jellies are the perfect balance of sweet and refreshing. They're 100% plant-based and vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. Plus they're super easy to make, all you need is a pot and a fridge, no baking needed!


Whatever the weather, I can never say no jellies! Especially a layered one, they're not only easier on the eyes but also provide some delightful varieties in the flavors and depth in the textures, like this kiwi and coconut combo, one is sweet and tart, the other is rich and creamy - yes you can say they complete each other :)

Most commonly, jellies are made of gelatin, which is extracted from animal bones and skin, I know, yuck. However, to make them vegan couldn't be easier, simply swap out gelatin with agar agar! Agar agar is made from the cell walls of algae and it is widely used in Asia, in Japan it's Kanten, in China it's used to make Liang Fen, both sweet and savory, and in Southeast Asian countries it's used to make pandan jelly and many other types of jelly desserts.


If you've never worked with agar agar before, please read these key tips before you start:

1. Agar agar needs to be brought to a full boil for it to completely dissolve. I strongly recommend always dissolve the agar agar powder in clear water first before you add any colored ingredients, milk, juicy, fruit puree etc, just so you can clearly see whether there are still little particles left undissolved;

2.Agar jelly sets at room-temperature and it sets fast. Unlike gelatin which takes hours to set in the fridge, agar agar jelly starts to solidify even at room temperature. Once it's cooled you can of course transfer it to the fridge to further set, and depending on the size of the mold, it usually only needs about 30 minutes in the fridge. Also, for this exact reason, be sure to work fast with your agar agar liquid before it starts to become solid. IF this happens, don't panic either, just heat it up again to melt it then continue pouring it into mold;


3. If you're trying to create layers, make sure to let each layer solidify before pouring in the next layer, however, do not let it completely set either! Otherwise, the layers wouldn't fuse completely togehter. Also, don't pour the liquid directly onto the previous layer, the pressure might result in holes or cracks, always pour the liquid onto the back of a spoon first and let it drizzle on.

Watch the video below to follow the simple steps and come find me on Instagram and Tiktok for more daily shares of plant-based food and living content.


INGREDIENTS:

For the kiwi layer -
3 gold kiwi, or green ones
1 1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon agar agar powder
1 tablespoon monk fruit extract, or other sweetener of choice

For the coconut layer -
1/3 cup full fat coconut milk from a can
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon agar agar powder
1 tbsp monk furuit extract

TO MAKE:

- Make the clear layer first, in a pot, add in the water and agar agar powder, whisk till the powder is spread even before turning on the heat, if you add the agar agar powder to hot liquid it can easily clump so please start with cold water;
- Bring the mixture to a full boil over medium heat, let it simmer for 5 minutes, check carefully to make sure the powder is fully dissolved and no visible little white particles are left in there;
- Add in the sweetener, stir to dissolve;
- Slice the kiwis and reserve 6 slices, chop the rest;
- Once the clear agar mixture is ready, divide it into 2 equal portions, save one portion for the final layer, keep it warm on the stove otherwise it'd solidify;
- Pour 1/3 of the first half portion of clear agar mixture into your container of choice, avoid bubbles or use a spoon to scoop the bubbles out, then lay down the kiwi slices;
- Pour the rest 2/3 of the first half portion, leave aside to set at room temperature for 20 - 30 minutes;
- Meanwhile, make the coconut layer, in another pot, mix the agar powder with cold water first;
- Then bring to a full boil, let it simmer for 5 minutes till fully dissolved before you pour in the coconut milk, stir to mix well, add sweetener, stir again to dissolve;
- Bring the mixture to a boil again, and check on your first kiwi jelly layer, the surface should be solid when you tap on it;
- Make sure the coconut mixture is very hot when you're ready to pour into the mold, this is to ensure the layers will fuse together. pour the mixture on the back of spoon then onto the first kiwi layer to prevent breaking the first layer, leave aside to set for another 20 minutes;
- When the top of the coconut layer is solid to touch, add the chopped kiwi into the second half of the clear agar mixture, pour it on top of the coconut layer over a spoon, let it cool down for 25 minutes;
- Transfer to the fridge for the jelly to further set, for another 30 minutes;
- When you're ready to serve, pour a little cold water into the mold then run a knife along the edges, the water will seep into the sides and help the jelly come out of the mold super easily;
- Flip the mold, the jelly should come straight out, trim off the sides to create straight edges, cut into squares and serve, enjoy!

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