- It is also called Agar
- It is an extract from seaweed, specifically Red Sea algae
- Thus it is VEGAN
- It comes in powder, flakes, bar – each with different guidelines for usage
- It needs heat to dissolve properly / it needs to be dissolved in liquid and then brought to the boil
- It can be cooked on high heat without loosing its gelling properties
- It doesn’t need cold temperature (aka the refrigerator) to sett…meaning on a hot day, your desserts will stay firm
- It sets ‘harder’ and less jiggly than gelatine
- It produces a colourless set
- It is odorless
- And it is flavourless – letting the flavour of whatever you desire shine through. Woo hoo
- Some enzymes in pineapples (cf. Zobo jelly) , papaya, mangoes and a few others prevent gelling. You can destabilise the enzymes by cooking the fruit first.
- With high acidic foods – citrus etc , you may require more agar-agar than the recipe calls for
- Ratios – to set one cup of liquid, use either: one teaspoon agar agar powder OR one tablespoon agar agar flakes OR half an agar agar bar.
- Substitutions – you can substitute 1 teaspoon agar agar powder for 1 teaspoon gelatin
- It also has health benefits appaz -from regulating body fat and sugar, to waste removal and lowering cholesterol.
- Outside of the culinary domain, it is used as a laxative because of its high (~80%) fibre content and sometimes to suppress appetites. Right…….. this I might try 🙂
So, I think that’s all I know. Well, maybe not but this isn’t bad for a start.
So what did I use it for? Coming up.