How can a dessert made of almost 99.8% of water be so trendy? The answer…it is all in its texture…
When I first saw these raindrop cake (which in my opinion it is not a cake per say, cake in my view should contain flour or its substitutes) I was fascinated by its shape and the notion of its pureness…upon reading the ingredients, I immediately could imagine its textures as I had worked with agar-agar, both in the kitchen and in the lab. The trick is to have the right ratio of water and agar-agar to achieve a very soft almost running gel. A little extra of agar-agar the “cake” will turn into a flavorless jelly, a little “too little” and the “cake” will not hold its shape. Therefore the amount of agar-agar is very critical.
After searching through the internet I found that the ratio of agar-agar to water varied from 0.25% to 3% meaning that in 1 cup (250ml) of water the amount of agar-agar varied from 0.625g to 7.5g…yes, you read it right…so here is where my “experiments” started…
I started with the percentage that I used to use when working in the microbiology lab, 1.5%…then went down drastically since it gave me a jelly ball so hard that I could almost throw on the floor and it would bounce back. I taper down to 0.5%, then to 0.25% (not bad) but wanted to push lower and went to 0.1% which the gel barely set…finally decided to add a bit more and went for 0.2%. Yes, it did work! My notes reminded me of my lab notebook with all the calculations since I was varying the amount of water as well. As a result of all these “experiments” I just can tell you that you have to do your own “experiment” since the consistency will depend entirely on the quality of the agar-agar you use. The nice thing is that you are literally playing with water…
When I presented raindrop cake to my husband he loved it…the “cake” melt almost instantly in your mouth, the combination of the slightly sweet, rosy aroma just give you a clean, pure, light and refreshing feeling…something that it is hard to describe, somehow stir your senses…very hard to explain…now I kind of understand the hype over this particular dessert. With this said, I think that the most important thing besides achieving the correct texture the taste should match its “clean” look…then everything comes is harmony…magical!
Instrument and Ingredients:
- Scale, a good one
- Water (I used filter)
- Sugar (optional)
- Flavoring component, I added rosewater in this particular one, and in the future I plan to add orange blossom water, cucumber infused water, mint infused water, strawberry infused water…and my list goes on and on…
Weigh the agar-agar and place in a small pot. Add a little water until the agar-agar is totally moist. Heat the remaining water and pour over the agar-agar.
Place the water with agar-agar in the low-medium heat. Stir constantly until all the agar-agar is dissolved. Add sugar and the flavoring.
Pour into the mold and let it refrigerate for 1 hour.
Unmold the “cake” and serve with something sweet such a maple syrup, simple syrup…
I added rosewater on the agar-agar mixture once it was all dissolved and ready to be pour into the molds. Just before serving I grated a bit of pistachio (to give some color contrast) and drizzled simple syrup made with organic crystal sugar.
I hope you enjoy this fun recipe using molecular gastronomy technique…for more recipes like this please check on Honey Caviar or Coconut Panna Cotta with Mango Sphere recipes
Did you know that agar-agar was discovered in Japan? Agar-agar is a derivative from seaweed and has no calories, no sugar, no carbohydrates, no fat, and packed with fiber. Agar-agar if vegetarian and a great substitute for gelatin.