Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Coconut Jelly Cake/Custard

There is actually a story behind this.  For holidays and special occasions, or even because I can, I make Glass Block Holiday Jello from Our Best Bites. The last time I made it was for a potluck at church.  Unfortunately, while it was popular, there were people with milk allergies and lactose intolerant who were unable to enjoy it.  I felt bad about that, but thought at least people at my knitting group could eat the leftovers.  However, that day's turnout was mainly practising Jews who could not eat it due to the gelatin.

So I became determined to create a jello that would meet both parties' needs: milk free and gelatin free.  While I have yet to perfect my idea of a coconut jello, the results have produced two rather yummy desserts!  I call the one a jelly cake, because it reminds me of the red bean jelly cake, or Yōkan (that also uses agar), and the other reminds me of some of the custard desserts I have eaten.

Now, the alternative to gelatin is agar agar powder, can sometimes be a little tricky (hence the not yet producing a coconut jello). Results can vary depending on the brand you use.  I use Swallow Globe Brand Agar-Agar Powder.   I've heard of agar being found in health food stores, but more available and cheaper at Asian market food stores.  For those of you with neither available, it might be possible to order it online.

Box of Swallow Globe Brand Agar-Agar Powder  

The recipe for both the jelly cake and the custard is pretty much the same.  The difference is how much powder is added to each.  Please note here, do not use coconut juice for this recipe; I've tried it and it won't set.  I use Savoy Coconut Cream, which is 70% coconut extract and 30% water, and also found at Asian food markets. 

Savoy Coconut Cream

I imagine that sweetened coconut cream and milk can also be used.  I just can't find them sweetened in my area, and try to get coconut cream with less added ingredients, so that results are fairly predictable and can be replicated. 

Coconut Custard/Jelly Cake

  • 400 ml of Coconut Cream
  • 1 pouch of agar agar powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 100 ml of water
On a stove, combine coconut cream and water.
Bring to a near boil. 
Add sugar and agar powder: 1 1/2 tsp for custard, entire pouch (about 2 1/2 tsp) for jelly cake.
Stir well until sugar and agar is dissolved. 
Pour into containers, cover and refrigerate until set (about 2-4 hours, I leave it overnight)