Does anybody love Monday? I have a love and hate relationship with it. I have a job that drives me nuts all week long, especially Mondays when I have to deal with messed up stuff the week before and the upcoming messes. Sounds fabulous? It is.
I made these pretty cone jellies out of strawberries and agar with bright colored fruits on the side. They would sure perk up those nasty Monday blues. Strawberries are one of the prettiest fruit out there, aren’t they? I decorated the serving plate with grapes and they just seemed to pop out of the white background I was using. They are pretty to look at, and also with the added benefit of their anti-cancer properties, who can resist them?
I seem to be addicted to using Royal Selangor pewter mould with jellies made from agar. The final products hold their shape really well. And they are crunchy to eat too. Plus, agar is also a great substitute for gelatin for you vegetarian guys. The thing with agar powder is that you need to bring it to a quick full boil with any liquid you are using, preferably water, before adding other ingredients. The agar has to be fully cooked and incorporated well with the rest. Also it goes well with everything and it set great.
There are two tricks I learned these couple of days. First is to spray inside of moulds with cold water right before pouring jelly mixture. That would help getting jelly out of it perfectly. Second is to dip cones in hot water for about 5-10 seconds before running a wet knife along side of moulds to remove the jelly. Well, practice makes perfect. Every time.
Wash strawberries thoroughly and quartered them.
Combine berries with sugar in a clean, non-reactive bowl.
Leave on kitchen counter, covered, for an hour. Try to stir occasionally.
At the end of the hour, the strawberries would have some liquid coming out of them and sugar would have completely melted. Puree berries using an electric blender.
Pulse them a couple of seconds, repeatedly. I prefer the jellies to be super smooth, so I pureed them a bit longer.
If you want to get rid off the seeds, strain puree. I must warn you, it takes a long time. Long time. Or maybe I just need a bigger strainer.
At the end of the straining period, I am ended up with half a cup of seeds and stuff that was going to be thrown away. I ended up spreading them on my toasts that afternoon.
When you are done eating the toasts, combine water and agar in a saucepan. Stir till agar powder melted. Don’t worry if you don’t get them all.
Cook them over high heat and stir continuously.
Bring them to a full boil.
Add strawberry puree into saucepan.
Cook over high heat, and don’t stop stirring. When the mixture starts to boil, it is done.
Turn off heat immediately.
Transfer agar mixture into prepared cones right away. Leave on kitchen counter till they cool down and slightly set, about 1 hour. Move to fridge and let set overnight.
Serve with assorted of bright colored fruits and dust some icing sugar on top of everything.
450 g strawberry, washed and hulled, quartered
150 g sugar
7 g agar powder
450 cc water
Combine strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Cover and leave on kitchen counter for one hour.
Give them a stir every 15 minutes.
Puree strawberries using an electric blender till smooth.
Strain the seeds off puree, if desired. Set aside for later use.
To prepare agar mixture, combine agar powder and water in a saucepan.
Lightly whisk agar to melt it.
Bring the mixture to a boil, over high heat and stirring continuously, about 5-7 minutes.
Add strawberry puree into the pan and continue cooking over high heat till the mixture slightly bubbles up, about 2-3 minutes.
Turn off heat and pour mixture into prepared mould without delay.
Leave on kitchen counter to cool and slightly set, about 1 hour.
Refrigerate overnight before serving.