Most Chinese desserts are served warm, but some are served chilled like the ever-popular almond tofu or almond jelly 杏仁豆腐 (xing ren dou fu) with fruit cocktail which is a great favourite among children and adults alike. Today, we have a creative spin-off on the classic dessert with home cook Carol Anne’s recipe for Almond Tofu with Mixed Fruit Agar Agar that combines all the delicious components into a beautiful agar agar cake!
Instead of the instant almond jelly powder that home cooks would normally use to make the almond tofu, we have swapped it out with Good Lady’s 100% Pure Almond Powder. Good Lady’s Almond Powder is made of 100% pure chinese sweet apricot kernels, which is commonly known as 南杏 (nan xing). Its sweet flavor makes it a suitable ingredient for desserts, and it is also traditionally known to relieve cough, nourish the lungs, and relieve constipation. In recent years, scientific research has shown that it contains a high amount of antioxidants that will help to strengthen the immune system and improve skin condition. With such good nutritional benefits, I’m sure you would want to use this ingredient to make healthier dessert for your family!
The ingredients that you will need are lychee juice, mango juice, agar agar powder, sugar, diced fresh fruits (mango, green kiwi, strawberries, lychees), condensed milk, water, and Good Lady’s 100% Pure Almond Powder.
Start with making the first layer with mixed fruits that will sit on the top of the cake.
In a pot, add water, lychee juice, and agar agar powder. Stir the mixture with a whisk on low heat until there are no lumps. #Tip: to see if the powder has completely dissolved, dip a spoon into the liquid and check the back of the spoon to see if there are specks of agar agar clinging onto it.
Once the agar agar powder has dissolved, add sugar into the mixture and stir until it has dissolved then remove the pot from the heat.
Pour the agar agar mixture into a cake mould until its height is ¼ of an inch and evenly arrange the fruit pieces in the mould. Once done, pour the rest of the agar agar mixture over the fruits and let the whole layer chill in the fridge for two hours to firm up.
Next is to make the second Sweet Almond milk layer. #Tip: while it may be more time efficient to prepare the next layer while waiting for the previous layer to set, you can’t keep the mixture out too long. Hence, only start preparing the next layer only when the previous layer has almost set.
In a large mixing bowl, add water, condensed milk, and almond powder and mix well to combine.
Pour the almond mixture into a pot and add the agar agar powder. Stir to combine then turn on the heat and bring it up to a boil while stirring constantly until the powder has completely dissolved.
Add sugar to the mixture and stir until it has dissolved. Then remove the almond mixture from the heat.
Check that the first mixed fruit layer has set in the mould and lightly score it with a fork.
Set a strainer over the mould and gently pour in the almond mixture over the mixed fruit layer. Then place the mould back into the fridge to chill for another two hours or until the almond layer has set.
For the third step, make the mango layer of the agar agar cake. If you can’t find pure mango juice in the stores, you can make your own mango juice by blending the flesh of one mango with 1-1½ cups of water and straining it for a smoother texture. Add some honey to the leftover juice for a refreshing drink while you wait for your dessert to set!
In a pot, add the mango juice and agar agar powder and stir until there are no lumps. Turn the heat on low and stir until the powder has dissolved. #Tip: be careful not to overcook this fruit mixture as simmering agar agar in acidic liquid for a long time will cause it to break down and the agar agar will not set.
Add some sugar to the mango layer to sweeten if needed and stir until it has dissolved. You may omit the sugar if the juice is sweet enough to your liking. Remove from heat.
Take out the mould from the fridge and check that the almond layer has set. Then pour the mango layer mixture over it and set the mould into the fridge to chill for two hours or until the mango layer has set.
Once the mango layer is ready, carefully run a small knife around the edges of the mould and flip it over onto a serving plate and your healthy and delicious dessert is ready!. #Tip: serve immediately after removing the agar agar cake from the mould as it will melt if kept for too long.
Get the recipe here!