Light Chocolate and Coconut Cream

This chocolate cream is my second successful experiment with agar. I have followed the Light Coconut Cream with Canned Peaches recipe, simply substituting fruit with dark chocolate. Just like the Cream with Peaches, this one had a light, thick yogurt texture. Dark chocolate and coconut combination proved excellent and, thanks to the cow milk content, the coconut taste was tamed down, allowing the chocolate flavours prevail. Because of the chocolate’s presence I cannot say this cream was as low-calorie as the previous one, but it certainly was the lightest chocolate dessert I have ever had and, accidentally one of the most flavoursome too.

As a reminder, agar (agar-agar, “kanten” in Japanese) is a gelling agent very popular in Asia. Contrary to what one might think, this is not a gelatin substitute. It is prepared in a slightly different way and, most of all, gives different textures and consistencies. In Europe it is widely used in food industry and is quite popular among vegetarians, since agar is produced from seaweed (not bones, like gelatin). Apart from gelling properties, agar has considerable health benefits. It helps digestion and is often consumed as a slimming diet booster. A Japanese friend has confirmed what I had already read about: in her country some women dissolve it in tea to help digestion and to suppress appetite (I haven’t checked if it works on my appetite though).

In short, this cream is not only the lightest chocolate dessert I know; it is also probably  the healthiest one. With dessicated coconut and shaved chocolate it has made me think of a light Bounty bar in a glass.

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.

Do not wait until the cream becomes cold before pouring it into serving bowls or 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 because I don’t like very sweet desserts)

1/3  flat teaspoon agar agar in powder

60 g/about 2,5 oz good quality dark chocolate, min 70% cocoa

(shaved chocolate, dessicated coconut)

Dissolve the sugar and agar-agar in the mixture of the two milks, add the chocolate broken into pieces. Bring to boil on low heat and, constantly stirring, let it simmer for about a minute. (If the chocolate isn’t completely dissolved, mix everything in a food processor and then bring back to boil).

Put aside.

Prepare four individual bowls or low glasses.

(Do not wait until the cream becomes cold because agar sets at room temperature and once disturbed, it will not reset properly!).

Pour the mixture into the bowls or glasses and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Serve very cold sprinkled with coconut and shaved chocolate.




43 Replies to “Light Chocolate and Coconut Cream”

    1. Thank you, Martyna. I hope you will try something with agar again. I have started to use agar agar regularly now. It seems perfect for light desserts, so I have lots of ideas for the summer.

    1. Thank you so much, Nami. If you use good dark chocolate, it is quite healthy too. I love guiltless desserts!
      I’m sure you can also buy agar agar in normal supermarkets (at least the better ones). Since it’s my Japanese friend who convinced me I should experiment more with agar agar, I always think about these desserts as Japanese 😉

    1. Thank you so much, Eva. I don’t like very sweet desserts (there are however some exceptions with caramel for example…), but what I like most is a guiltless sweet treat 🙂 Have a lovely weekend too!

  1. Oh my… two of my very favourite ingredients coming together in one dream dessert. I’m not familiar with bounty bars but don’t have to be with this delightful recipe in front of me ;-). Fabulous Sissi! (I have to go look for agar as I only have gelatin on hand – I think agar may be better known as an appetite suppressant though than hunger stimulant/trigger – this has to do with the swelling effect of agar that acts to purportedly promote feelings of fullness and satiety).

    1. Kelly, you make me blush with compliments…Thank you! I used to eat quite a lot of Bounty bars when I was a teenager (it is like a milky bar, but with shredded coconut coated in chocolate), but luckily I no longer like such things. I prefer healthy dark chocolate or guiltless desserts like this one.
      I think the light texture obtained here would be difficult to achieve with gelatin… Thank you for the nutrition lesson! I always appreciate a lot your advice. I will update the post!

    2. You’ve never had a Bounty?! Oh my God… quick, someone buy this woman a Bounty, stat! It’s one of the few things produced by Mars which is actually edible… so delicious! I like to bite away all the chocolate from the outside so I have the coconut mush in the middle… mmmmmmm.

    1. Thank you, A_Boleyn. I used to be a huge Bounty bar fan as a teenager, but even now I enjoy a bite (no more because it seems too sweet now..). I am always ready to share a Bounty bar with someone, and this dessert is really like a super light Bounty in a glass.

    1. Thank you so much, Barb. I think I will carry on with different modifications of this basic recipe.

  2. This sounds marvelous, Sissi! I think you knew how much I’d love your coconut-chocolate combo, didn’t you???? Have a great weekend~

  3. Hi Sissi – if it’s like a light bounty bar in a glass then it has to be good. I like that bar a lot but find it excessively sweet sometimes (it’s a good thing the bars come in 2 segments!) – I’ve never used agar agar either. I’d never used gelatin until my jelly the other day but I’m hoping to move on to agar agar soon. I think my wife would really enjoy this as well so I hope I can make it for us soon – I’ll let you know how it goes because it looks delicious, and I love the idea of it being “guiltless” 🙂

    By the way, did you ever try making your own coconut milk? I read about it in a book my wife bought me for Christmas and it seems very easy, and very cheap, compared to the cost of the stuff ready-made in stores.

    1. Hi, Charles. I also find all the bars much too sweet now (I did like Bounty though when I was a teenager). If you try it, do let me know if you have any questions or problems. Coconut milk costs about 2 euros in my Asian shop (for 400 ml) and maybe 50 cents more in my supermarket downstairs, which I consider very cheap, so I have never tried making it, but I know it can be made from dessiccated coconut, thanks for the link. The book sounds very interesting!

  4. Thanks for all the information regarding agar. Very helpful indeed. The sweet looks delicious and the combination of coconut and chocolate sounds very interesting!

  5. Chocolate and coconuts make for a very sweet dessert!
    Obviously it must be served chilled!
    I wonder what could be done with very dark (oevr 70%) choclate, coconuts and sugar replaced withn cacao liqueur?
    Best regards,

    1. Hi, Robert-Gilles. Actually it is not very sweet at all! (The coconut milk is not sweetened, I use 70% bitter chocolate and there is really a small amount of sugar added).
      Interesting idea… I would have to buy cocoa liqueur and try it! Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. yay agar agar again! like i mentioned before, it’s the gelling agent of choice while growing up, instead of gelatin. I love it also because it sets really easily, even when left at room temperature, it starts to set. still have yet to try it in a mousse/cream instead of as a block of jelly!

    1. This is not exactly a cream texture (rather a thick yogurt one), but not as dense as jelly either.

  7. I’ve been surfing tonight and this is the third recipe I’ve seen with agar. I’ve never worked with agar, but now I’m intrigued. This chocolate and coconut pudding has really inspired me to take the leap! It looks irresistible!

    1. Thank you, MJ. Agar is becoming very popular in Western countries and probably the warm spring weather makes people crave lighter desserts…

    1. What a beautiful description! I would have never thought about snow, black forest… Thank you so much, Chopinand.

  8. I am so going to make that since the coconut climber came and dropped some fresh tender coconuts yesterday! refreshing must have in the heat, thanks sissi for the inspiration. hope u r all fine in europe. 😉

    1. Good luck, Helene! I hope it tastes excellent with fresh coconut (coconut climber??? you live such an exotic life!). We have had two awfully cold and windy and rainy weeks here 🙁
      Anyway, let me know if you have any problems or questions.

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