You have decided to make jelly. What substance will you use as a gelling agent? I am sure: gelatin. And only a few will remember about agar-agar. Why is that? Because often sweet lovers simply have no idea for which desserts agar-agar can be used. So, let`s talk about desserts that can be made with agar-agar and why.
Jelly with gelatin is not only a tautology but also a classic. Many housewives do not even realize that they have a choice at all.
If you still routinely make gelatin jellies, I recommend moving away from tradition and experimenting with agar-agar. Why? First, gelatin has an unpleasant property: in an acidic environment, its effect is weakened. And if you decide to make a dessert, for example, from kiwi, gelatin simply may not work in full force. As a result, the product is spoiled. Agar-agar, on the contrary, is absolutely indifferent to an acidic environment, so you can be absolutely sure that you will save both nerves and food.
Also, agar-agar, as a vegetable product, is simply ideal for making berry and fruit jellies during fasting.
Do you love marmalade? Well, marmalade on gelatin is, in my opinion, bad manners. Although there are many such recipes. I believe that only pectin or agar-agar is acceptable in marmalade.
When comparing pectin and agar-agar, benefits of a second from its stronger gelling properties. In addition, it is tasteless and odorless – but pectin does. This can affect the taste of the finished dessert since the marmalade should keep its shape well, which means that more pectin will need to be put in it.
Gelatin loses to agar-agar in that it begins to melt at room temperature, that is, in fact, you will not make any marmalade from it. The maximum that you get is dense jelly pieces. With agar-agar, the opposite: the process of gelation takes place at room temperature. And this means that your marmalade will not melt right on a plate.
Jelly candies with agar-agar have the same bonuses as with marmalade – they do not melt and do not affect the taste! Alternatively, you can play with the consistency and get a fairly good density. So much so that you have to chew them a little. As well as the factory counterpart!
And this is an incredible field for experiments in making everyone’s favorite jelly candies, but only homemade ones – healthy, natural, and tasty.
There is one very popular dessert that cannot be prepared without agar-agar. This is a marshmallow. Gelatin will never give you the perfect consistency that agar-agar gives you.
In addition, the marshmallow recipe includes natural pectin in the form of baked apples, so there can be only one gelling agent here – agar-agar. No options!
Recently, it has become fashionable to add gelling agents to jams and preserves. Conservative housewives, of course, are against and advocate the classic way. But the process of making jam the old-fashioned way is still a “pleasure”. Several hours (or even days!) Of heating with constant stirring, in order to finally get the same jelly-like mass that pectin, agar-agar, or gelatin give in just 10 minutes. In addition, compare the number of useful elements that remain in the fruit after long and minimal heat treatment.
From this point of view, the modern approach certainly wins. I do not recommend putting gelatin in jam, at least because it quickly loses its shape – it melts. The peculiarity of pectin is that it needs acid for gelation. Therefore, if there is not enough of it in your jam, you will have to add it. Agar-agar, as mentioned earlier, does not care what environment to live in, and the temperature of + 40 ° C is not for it. The only difficulty is consistency. We went a little too far with the quantity and got not jam, but marmalade. So be careful!
Bird’s milk soufflé
And, finally, I will tell you about one more dessert using agar-agar. This is “Bird’s milk” soufflé. It was agar-agar that allowed this dessert, it seemed, to combine the incompatible: airiness and the ability to keep in shape.
If you have repeatedly tried to make “Bird’s milk” at home, but it still came out “somehow wrong”, now you know the secret – the masters of confectionery art simply use agar-agar in such desserts.