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Three Color Dessert (Che Ba Mau)

So Refreshing and Sweet--Three Color Dessert | recipe from runawayrice.comThis beautiful dessert, often called Rainbow Dessert, with its vibrant colors reminds me of summertime.  There’s nothing more enjoyable on a hot summer day than eating this chilly, sweet treat.  Sadly, this week is the end of summer and so I am celebrating the remaining days by making my favorite summer indulgence.  Three Color Dessert is quite popular and available in most Vietnamese restaurants and banh mi/sandwich shops but I always find them overly sweet such that I can never finish the entire portion.  The great thing about making this dessert at home is you get to control the sugar.  Yes, this dessert is plenty sweet as you can see from the below recipe.  I would say my recipe is medium on the sweetness scale for desserts but please feel free to adjust to your tastes.  If you are watching your sugar levels, consider cutting back on the sugar or using a sugar substitute.

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

This recipes makes about 4 cups of grated jelly and so you’ll have some left over.  You can cut the jelly recipe in half or you can double the amount of red beans and mung bean to match the jelly.  I personally don’t mind having some jelly leftover.  I simply enjoy it as is.

I use a dish measuring 7 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches so the jelly can be between 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.  This thickness is needed to grate the jelly using a mandoline.  If you don’t have a rectangular or square dish consider using a bowl or a plastic storage container keeping in mind the height needed for grating.  If all you have is a large dish, you can cut the jelly into slivers with a sharp knife.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  🙂

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Jackfruit Smoothie (Sinh To Mit) and Agar Agar and Mock Pomegranate Seeds Dessert (Che Suong Sa Hot Luu).

Ingredients

for the Red Layer
1-15.5 oz can red beans
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar

for the Yellow Layer
3 Tbsp sugar
1 cup mashed mung bean

for the Green Layer
1 1/2 Tbsp agar agar powder
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp Pandan paste

for the Topping
4 cups crushed ice
1/2 cup coconut sauce

Directions

Making the Green Layer
In a medium saucepan, add water and sprinkle in the agar agar powder.  Whisk together blending the powder and water.  (The powder won’t dissolve completely until it’s heated.)  Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.  Heat the mixture over Medium heat stirring constantly.  As soon as it starts to bubble, add the sugar and turn off the heat.  Continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved, approximately 2-3 minutes.  Skim off the foam using a sieve or spoon and discard.  Add the Pandan paste and combine well.  Pour the jelly mixture into a dish or bowl.  Use a spoon to skim off the bubbles from the top of the jelly.  Allow to cool on the counter for 1 hour.  Then refrigerate for 4 hours until firm.

After the jelly is set, run a knife around the edge.  Cut the jelly into thin bars, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.  Grate the jelly using a mandoline.  (Use the blade with the fewest teeth to achieve the thickest shreds.)

Making the Red Layer
Pour the red beans into a colander and rinse several times with cool water washing away the canning liquid and salt.  Drain and place into a medium bowl.  In a small saucepan, heat the water until it boils.  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved, approximately 2-3 minutes.  Add the syrup to the red beans.  Let the beans soak in the syrup until the dessert is ready to be served.

Making the Yellow Layer
In a small bowl, add the mashed mung bean and sugar.  Combine until the mung bean is smooth and creamy.  Set aside for now.

To serve the dessert, add 1/2 cup crushed ice into a clear glass or dish.  Add 2-3 spoonfuls red bean, 1-2 spoons mashed mung bean, 2-3 Tbsp green jelly, and another 1/2 cup crushed ice.  Top the dessert with a heaping spoon of coconut sauce.  Enjoy right away!

Yields: 4 servings

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Three Color Dessert--super easy, super delicious! | recipe from runawayrice.com*This post contains affiliate links.*

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Marbled Coffee and Cream Gelatin

 

This recipe is a twist to my earlier post on the Coffee and Cream Agar Jelly.  Let’s say you can’t get to an Asian grocery store to buy agar agar powder and because you’re so busy you don’t have the time to make the dessert layer by layer but still want to enjoy this cool, refreshing dessert.  Well, I have a recipe shortcut for making this dessert that is eye-catching and mouth-pleasing!  My inspiration was the turtle brownie with its beautiful flow of dark brown and caramel colors.  You’ll be happy to know there’s no wrong way to make this version of the dessert.  Swirl the coffee and cream as much or as little as you’d like for the most appealing dessert.

Ingredients

4 envelopes of unflavored gelatin (total of 1 ounce or 28 grams)
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar

For the Coffee Layer:
4 tsp instant coffee (I use 2 packets of Starbucks Via)
1/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup cold water

For the Cream Layer:
1/4 cup half and half
3 heaping Tbsp coconut cream (this is the top portion of canned coconut milk)
1/2 cup cold water

Directions

Mix the instant coffee with hot water.  Stir to dissolve.  Add cold water to make 1 cup.

Combine the half and half and coconut cream.  Add cold water to make 1 cup.

In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup water.  Sprinkle gelatin over the water and let stand for 1 minute.  Add the remaining 1 cup water and sugar.  Heat the mixture over Medium heat stirring constantly to dissolve the gelatin and sugar, approximately 4-5 minutes.  Turn off the heat.

Measure out 1 cup of the gelatin mixture into a shallow dish and leave the remaining in the saucepan.

Add the coffee mixture to the gelatin mixture in the dish.  Stir well to combine.   Place the dish in the refrigerator.

Pour the cream mixture into the saucepan and combine.

After refrigerating the coffee mixture for 1 hour, remove from fridge.

Drizzle the cream mixture on top of the coffee mixture.  (Coffee mixture should just be starting to set.)  Use a spoon to create swirls if desired.  Return dish to the refrigerator and chill for at another 3 hours.

To serve, cut into slices or squares.

Yields: 6-8 servings

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Coffee and Cream Agar Dessert (Thach Ca Phe)

Coffee and Cream Agar Jelly (Thach Ca Phe) | recipe from runawayrice.comThis dessert is a fantastic summer treat that is refreshing and unique tasting.  The recipe uses agar agar, a gelatinous substance derived from seaweed.  It’s similar to unflavored gelatin but has more of a crunch and is vegetarian.  Agar agar is tasteless and so combines well with most flavors.  In Asia, it’s a very popular ingredient in desserts.  Depending on how much water is mixed with it, agar agar can create textures ranging from creamy puddings to solid fudge-like chunks.

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Ok, getting back to the dessert.  It’s a bit time consuming to make because you have to make each layer individually and allow it to set slightly before starting the next layer.  The key to making a successful dessert is timing the layers just right.  If you wait too long between layers, they solidify and then you have a dessert with layers that just slide off one another.  If you don’t wait long enough and the layer is too soft, the coffee and cream mix together.  (But if this happens to you, don’t despair!  See my post for Marbled Coffee and Cream Gelatin recipe.)  So how do you time the layers just right?  I use a rather sophisticated tool called my pointer finger.  I lightly touch the jelly with my finger and it should be tacky but not wet and stick to your finger.  This is the indication the existing layer is firm enough to hold the next layer.  But, let’s say it’s your first time making this and you’re not exactly sure of the timing.  I have another trick–keep the two mixtures simmering over low heat while you’re making the layers.  The heat helps to glue the layers together.

Other notes on this recipe, you’ll need two dishes.  A larger one for the ice bath and a smaller one for the jelly itself.  It’s best to use a shallow pan which allows the jelly to cool faster.  In the video, I use a 9 1/4 inches by 7 1/2 inches dish.  If you’d like, you can make the dessert in juice glasses, shot glasses or dessert dishes for even more visual appeal.  Please note that I’ve adjusted the water in the recipe to allow for a bit of evaporation during the simmering process and you may have a bit of each mixture leftover.  If you want you can mix the two together for an interesting top layer.

To serve this dessert, you can simply cut it into blocks and eat it with your hands.  You can also dress it up by serving it on a plate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.  If you opt to serve it this way, I recommend putting some whipped cream on the plate and then placing the jelly on top.  The dessert is quite slippery and may slide around on a plate without something to hold it down.  Another great way to enjoy this dessert is to cut it into small pieces and add to iced coffee.  Use a big boba straw to slurp up the coffee and jelly bits.  (Oh Yum!!)  I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Vietnamese Custard (Banh Flan) and Chocolate Flan Cake.

Ingredients

1 packet agar agar powder (25 grams or approximately 2 Tbsp)
5 1/4 cups water
1 cup sugar (you can add more if you want it sweeter)

for the Coffee Layer
4 tsp instant coffee (I use 2 packets of Starbucks Via)
1/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup cold water

for the Cream Layer
1/4 cup half and half
3 heaping Tbsp coconut cream (this is the top portion of the canned coconut milk)
1/2 cup cold water

for Ice Bath
4 cups ice
2 cups water

Directions

Add water into a medium saucepan.  Sprinkle in the agar agar powder and whisk together.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Mix instant coffee with hot water.  Stir to dissolve.  Add cold water to make 1 cup.

Combine half and half and coconut cream.  Add cold water to make 1 cup.

Heat the agar agar powder and water over medium heat stirring constantly to dissolve.  As soon as the mixture starts to bubble, add the sugar and stir until it’s dissolved.  Use a fine sieve or spoon to skim the foam from the top and discard.  Turn the heat down to low.

Pour 2 1/2 cups of the mixture into a second, smaller saucepan.  To the first saucepan, add the coffee and stir well.  Add the cream mixture to the second saucepan and again stir together.  Make sure both pans are now simmering over low heat.

Place the smaller dish inside the large one and add ice so it’s surrounding the smaller dish.  Pour in cold water filling the outside dish about 3/4 of the way full.

Measure out 1 cup of the coffee mixture and pour into the smaller dish.  The setting of the jelly varies depending on the size of your pan.  The one I am using is 9 1/4 inches by 7 1/2 inches and each layer sets in about 3 minutes.

Stir the mixture and measure out 1 cup of the cream.  Using a large spoon, gently spoon the mixture on top of the coffee layer.  Avoid pouring the mixture directly into the dish which could cause the existing layer to break.  Optionally, pour the liquid over the spoon and allow it to drizzle into the dish.

Continue making the layers until all 7 layers are made, 4 layers of coffee and 3 layers of cream.  Be sure to stir the mixture each time before pouring into the measuring cup.  Once the top layer sets, put the dish in the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.  Serve cold.

Yields: 12 servings

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Chilled Coffee and Cream Agar Jelly Dessert for your sweetheart | recipe from runawayrice.com

Chilled Coffee and Cream Agar Jelly Dessert Bars | recipe from runawayrice.com

*This post contains affiliate links.*

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