light and refreshing
The weather is pretty weird at the moment, sometimes rain, sometimes hot and most times very humid. However, I should not complain too much as this weather is nothing compared the Typhoon Haiyan that has hit Philippines. People are pleading for basic needs and that is water and food.
I was entertaining family over the weekend for lunch and wanted to make a light dessert. I decided to fish through my ‘to try recipes’ file and it seemed that the watermelon was blinking, flashing, popping …whatever you call it in front of my eyes. Watermelons are available in abundance and are naturally sweet. I was somewhat pleased with the result. Next time perhaps I will add mint or fresh ginger for added flavour. But overall its a quick, easy and totally vegetarian dessert. No eggs, no gelatin. However, if you do want to use gelatin, read the tips at the bottom.
Serves 8 to 10
4½ cups watermelon juice
6 tbsp agar agar flakes (or 6 tsp agar agar powder)
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup cold fresh cream
- Take ½ cup watermelon juice and add the agar agar to it. Let it soak in the juice for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Put the remaining juice in a saucepan and heat it up over low flame till it is just hot.
- Add the sugar, salt and lemon juice and mix well.
- Heat the agar agar mixture over low heat. Keep on stirring it till the agar agar melts.
- Add the melted mixture to the hot juice.
- Stir well. Let the juice cool down completely. While it is cooling, remember to stir it occasionally so it doesn’t start to set.
- Whip the cold fresh cream till soft peaks form.
- Add the whipped cream to the cool juice and whisk lightly till all the cream is incorporated into the juice mixture.
- Pour the mixture into individual serving bowls.
- Put it in the fridge to set. I left mine overnight.
- Serve topped with finely chopped watermelon, grated chocolate or whipped cream.
- Cut the watermelon into small tiny chunks before you process it in a liquidizer. The small pieces are easier to process without adding water.
- Reduce or add sugar according to the natural sweetness of the watermelon.
- Add ½ tsp ginger paste to the juice for a different flavour.
- Adding salt, brings out the flavour of the watermelon.
- If you want to use gelatin instead of agar agar, you will need 2½ tsp of it. Proceed with the same method mentioned above.
- The number of servings will depend on the size of bowls you use.
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