This easy recipe for Three Color Dessert (Che Ba Mau) captures the delicious flavors of summertime in a chilly dessert. Also called Rainbow Dessert, this beautifully layered, vibrant-colored dessert is refreshing, sweet and full of amazing textures. There's nothing more enjoyable on a hot summer day than indulging in this chilly, sweet treat. I love making this dessert at home because I can control the sweetness. Often times when I buy it at the restaurants or banh mi/sandwich shops, the Three Color Dessert is overly sweet. Making it at home means you can make it just the way you like it. Enjoy!
In a medium saucepan, add the 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 medium 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.
Refrigerate for 4 hours until firm.
After the Pandan jelly is set, run a knife around the edge. Cut the jelly into thin bars, approximately 1 1/2 - 2 inches thick. Grate the jelly using a mandoline. (Use the blade with the fewest teeth to achieve the thickest shreds.)
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Making the Red Layer
Pour the red beans into a colander and rinse several times with cold water, washing away the canning liquid. 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 and combine together.
Let the red 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 the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set aside until ready to serve.
Serving the Three Color Dessert
To serve the dessert, add 1/2 cup crushed ice into a clear glass or dessert dish. Add 2-3 tsp red bean, 1-2 tsp mashed mung bean, 2-3 Tbsp Pandan jelly, and another 1/2 cup crushed ice. Top the dessert with a heaping spoon of coconut sauce.
Enjoy right away!
Store any remaining amounts in the refrigerator and enjoy within the week.
Notes, Tips & Tricks
This recipes makes about 4 cups 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 4 cup dish measuring 7 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches to make the jelly approximately 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 use a bowl or a plastic storage container keeping in mind the thickness needed for grating. Optionally, cut the jelly into slivers using a knife. It doesn't have to be perfect. :)
My recipe is medium on the sweetness scale for desserts but 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.
Three Color Dessert (Che Ba Mau)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 524Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Vitamin C 2.2mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.