A cooling, light coconut dessert and a cup of strong coffee in one. This is probably the best description of the cream I have been enjoying during this summer’s hot weekends. I have almost forgotten to post this recipe, but first I saw MJ’s spicy Mayan Iced Coffee, then Zsuzsa’s extravagant chocolatey Iced Coffee, which both reminded me of this refreshing sweet treat. I thought that sunny August days might be the last chance to share it with you this year.
It has been a long time since I last reported on my experiments with coconut cream set with agar (see below). This doesn’t mean however that I have stopped them. The simplicity and quickness of the basic recipe makes it ideal for infinite modifications. Such different versions as Coconut Cream with Peaches, Chocolate and Coconut Cream or Matcha and Coconut Cream all turned out amazingly good. Emboldened by coconut milk’s capacity to blend with diverse ingredients, I dared mixing it with coffee and never regretted this test. Coconut milk proved once more that, if correctly dosed, it creates an astonishing, but harmonious combination. This cream was as light as the ones I have mentioned above, but the generous amount of coffee I have included gave it an additional, energising property and made me think of a strong, cold iced coffee. Sprinkled with bitter cocoa and some dessicated coconut, it was a pure delight for the big fan of coffee I am. If I had coffee liqueur I would probably add a splash of it.
As a reminder, agar (agar agar or kanten) is a gelling agent made with seaweed. It’s available in Asian grocery shops, in organic food shops and in Switzerland also in standard supermarkets. It is not a gelatin replacement and creates a slightly different texture. Here are some other desserts where I have used agar and appreciated it:
TIPS: Look closely at your agar package instructions. On mine 1/2 teaspoon is said to set 500 ml/2 cups liquid to a jelly. I use only 1/3 teaspoon and obtain a wobbly, “falling off the spoon” consistency. If you prefer a well-set jelly, use the amount advised on the package.
Even if prepared with sugar, this dessert is light, but if you want to make it lighter, you can use a sweetener suitable for cooking.
Instant coffee can be substituted with very strong small espresso. If you decide to use the latter, make it as small as possible and reduce accordingly the amount of cow milk.
Try adding a splash of coffee liqueur if you have some. I’m sure it makes the cream more elegant and festive.
Do not wait until the cream becomes cold before pouring it into glasses because agar sets at room temperature and once disturbed, it will not reset properly!
Preparation: 15 minutes + 2-3 hours in the fridge
Ingredients (serves 4 – 5):
250 ml/about 1 cup coconut milk
250 ml/about 1 cup cow milk
4 flat tablespoons sugar (I used two flat tablespoons sweetener suitable for cooking)
1/3 flat teaspoon agar agar in powder
5 flat tablespoons instant coffee (I have used Nescafé Espresso)
(a splash of coffee liqueur)
(dessicated coconut and bitter cocoa to sprinkle before serving)
Combine alle the ingredients in a pan (apart from the dessicated coconut and cocoa).
Bring to boil on low heat and, constantly stirring, let it simmer for about a minute.
Prepare four individual bowls or low glasses.
Pour the hot mixture into the individual bowls (agar sets at room temperature, so the cream’s temperature should be higher before it is poured; make sure it is not too hot and doesn’t break the bowls or glasses). Let it cool down to room temperature and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Serve very cold sprinkled with coconut and bitter cocoa.