Experiment with agar agar: strawberry pudding

Date giugno 11, 2010

Indulge yourself. Sounds good, isn’t it? Round and soft. Pamper yourself, take care of yourself. It is not necessary to have had a bad day to take some time for yourself and find your own little corner of paradise into your daily routine, made up of things that have to be made, people that have to be met, tasks that have to be accomplished. In between all these “have to be”s, it would be important to get a few moments of pleasure, something done only because you want to do it, because it makes you feel good.

It is really easy: an example? a walk when the sun glows and spreads its golden and pink gleams. One of the moments of pleasure I prefer is to choose a side country street, not the faster road clogged with traffic, but that road, the one that crosses fields and woods, where I can slow down the speed, lower the car windows and breathe the smell of hedges and fields of flowers. Immersed in a relaxed atmosphere, I choose my favourite cd (guess what? ABBA), turn up the radio and begin to sing with the scented air that caresses me and covers my happy but out of tune notes of Mamma Mia or Dancing Queen. Suddenly I’m a movie star, and I can always choose the soundtrack and the happy ending of that movie!

There are many ways to indulge and treat yourself, which is yours? I’m always looking for a new way to relax and recharge at the end of the day. Alongside the country roads, I certainly would put a yummy sweet, savoured spoon after spoon. Mascarpone, chocolate, cream, custard. But what if I feel guilty later on? There is always a solution! Do you remember the agar agar experimented a few weeks ago? Well, combined with strawberries and milk, it becomes a delicious pudding: zero guilt but the greatest pleasure, perfect for cuddling a bit!

Ingredients:

  • Strawberries, about 500 gr – enough to have about 300 ml of strawberry puree
  • Semi-skimmed milk, 200 ml
  • Caster sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Agar agar, 2 teaspoons
  • Long pepper (Javanese Pepper), 1 fruit finely grated

Wash strawberries thoroughly, remove leaves and cut into small pieces. Blend them with an immersion blender until you obtain a smooth puree. Sieve the puree through a strainer into a jug: you’ll need about 300 ml of strawberry puree. Combine low-fat milk and sugar to the puree, stir to mix and bring to the boil. At this point, add agar agar, let simmer for about 30 seconds and remove from heat.

Pour into individual moulds or cups, choosing the shape you fancy the most. Let cool for a few hours.

This is the light version. The result is a light dessert, very fruity and not too sweet. The consistency is firm and smooth, very delightful in your mouth. Obviously the semi-skimmed milk may be substituted for whole milk or even single or double cream for a richer and more sumptuous pudding. Right now, while I’m writing, an idea popped out: instead of cow milk you could try rice milk! I would be curious to experience taste and texture variation.

To spice up the dessert, I used the long pepper, an intense and pungent berry, scented and resinous, that blends perfectly with the strawberries, already used in a truly scrumptious combination with this fruit, dried version. Variants in this case are obviously endless, for example vanilla, or mint, or a nice and original match tried several times by Alex: basil.

Final tip: if you pour hot strawberry mixture into a jar with a lid and let it cool down completely, you’ll have a light, healthy and fruity snack to bring with you at work or to slide into your kids’ rucksack for school.

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21 Responses to “Experiment with agar agar: strawberry pudding”

  1. corinne said:

    well, well, I never had great success with agar-agar but I’m ready to try once more ;)
    Thanks for your nice posts ! you have tempting recipes and beautiful pictures too :)

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  2. The Housewife said:

    This brings back memories! Agar Agar is actually quite common in India.. my mom used to make us puddings when we were kids. :) I like that your recipe is light and uses fresh strawberries.

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  3. Dana Zia said:

    These look so delicious! The photography is wonderful too. I will have to try it. I love anything light. Thank you

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  4. Giulia said:

    @ Corinne: try reading my previus post, there are many tips on how to use agar agar powder. It is really easy and remember that, if you don’ like the result, you can just heat everything a second time and star again!
    @ The Housewife: really? so you likely have many recipes to share! great!
    @ Dana Zia: Thank you! I’ll definitely be visiting your blog often!

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  5. Magic of Spice said:

    Looks wonderful! Love using long pepper…

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  6. Sarah, Maison Cupcake said:

    Not sure if it’s waiting to be moderated or the comment I just submitted disappeared into the ether. Anyway, Abba are fabulous, this pudding rocks and I love the spoons!!

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  7. The Cilantropist said:

    Thank you SO much for sharing this, a light dessert is just what I need right now! I love that you are experimenting with agar agar, and I obviously need to give it a try. I am adding this to my favorites to try soon!

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  8. Giulia said:

    @ Magic: you’re right, long pepper is delicious!
    @ Sarah: I looked all throughout the website contol pane, but I could’n find you comment! Tricky blog! However, I love your comment posted, eh eh eh! Abba rocks!!
    @ Cilantropist: stay tuned!! I want to try some new matches!! let me know your sensation about this dessert!

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  9. Wizzythestick said:

    Hi found your lovely blog after reading through the blog roll of Food blogger connect. I should be so lucky to attend one day:-) YOu have a lovely blog and I am happy to add you to my reading list

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  10. Giulia said:

    Oh! great!! I’m so happy you landed in my little corner of Tuscan paradise! :D Why? because I had the chance to see YOUR blog, oh boy, it is amazing!

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  11. Linda's Yummies said:

    Love the colors from these photos. They pop nicely. And the pudding looks absolutely yum.

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  12. Kathy Diaz (found baking) said:

    This pudding looks really light and airy. A great hot summer day treat. Growing up in the Philippines, my mom used to make gelatin desserts with agar agar. She used the bar kind, not the powder… which I am finding a little bit difficult to find here in California. Beautiful dessert.

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  13. Giulia said:

    @ Linda: thank you! they are indeed! :D
    @ Kathy: is it difficult to use the bar?

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  14. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said:

    Lovely! I have heard great things about agar agar… I will definitely need to give it a try myself!

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  15. Giulia said:

    @ Jen: you defnitely have to try it!

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  16. Fuji Mama said:

    This looks absolutely divine! I love that you used agar-agar. I prefer the texture of things made with agar-agar than with things made with gelatin. YUMMY!!!!

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  17. Juls said:

    @ Fuji mama: You’re absolutely right! I love the texture as well!

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  18. Patricia Scarpin said:

    Strangely enough, strawberries are in season here in Brazil during winter – I’ve been making lots of recipes with them and I’ll be adding these adorable puddings to my list! :)

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  19. Asha@FSK said:

    I have been experimenting with agar agar as well.. no success yet but interesting creations with the not-so-set stuff :)

    btw, I love the red spoons… can you share where you got them?

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  20. Giulia said:

    @Asha: just answered on your blog!

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  21. Shermaine said:

    Yo, that’s what’s up truhtulfly.

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