Are you having a party? Let this be your dessert.
This Tropical jelly fruit cake looks so elegant and can really impress your guest with its beauty. My jelly fruit cake recipe has three layers, first being the transparent fruit layer, then a white coconut vanilla layer and the last being a mixed fruit layer. These three together create a beauty you won’t resist, it’s like a fruit burst in your mouth.
To make this dessert, one of the essential ingredients required is,
Agar-agar: Agar-agar is a vegetarian substitute for gelatin, however, the texture seems to be quite different from gelatin. Unlike gelatin, agar-agar does not melt easily. It still remains solid below 50 degrees C. It is used to solidify custards, jelly and many other desserts. It has no taste and when used doesn’t derive any color. This is what will give our jelly cake power to hold its shape and derive a crumbly texture. You get agar-agar in the form of strands as well as powder. In this recipe, we will be using the powder form. The essential step to use agar-agar is to make sure you first dissolve it in cold liquid before you cook the mixture. If you add agar-agar directly to hot liquid the agar-agar will not dissolve but form lumps
Fruits: Like I said, our first layer in this recipe is made of FRUITS. You can chop any fresh or canned fruit for this layer. I’ve stuck onto some chopped pineapple, strawberries, pomegranate, kiwi, dragon fruit and black & green grapes. You can use any fruit you like and is available to you. You can chop them into bigger chunks or smaller, you can even place some without chopping (I didn’t chop the grapes). While placing the fruits in the aluminum dish do it strategically, you need to place them making sure all the colors are noticed and you do not have lumps of the same fruit in one place
Coconut Vanilla Layer: This layer is my favorite one. Its made with coconut cream and taste so nutty. I like to give it a touch of the vanilla pod which gives it a richer flavor. To make this layer you can use coconut milk but coconut cream is what I prefer. The coconut cream is thicker and richer
Mixed Fruit Layer: This layer is made with mixed fruit juice which is thickened using agar-agar. You can use whichever fruit juice you like making sure it is the pure version
Unmold: To set the jelly you can use either a glass dish, silicon baking tray or aluminum dish. In my recipe, I’ve used an aluminum dish but this doesn’t matter as once set the jelly comes out easily. To make sure you remove it easily with no hassle use a palette knife to run through the sides of the dish (loosen the sides of the jelly). Then using 4 toothpicks exactly the height of the jelly dish insert it at 4 different spots at the sides of the dish. The reason we do this is to push in some air as the jelly gets sucked into the dish with no air making it difficult to come out of the dish even when you’ve run a palette knife through the sides. So once you’ve inserted the toothpicks, tilt the dish onto a plate and there you have your jelly cake come out beautifully with no hassles
So here’s my recipe, have some tropical fun with this one
- 2 cups mixed fruits (I used pineapple, pomegranate, strawberries, kiwi, dragon fruit and grapes)
- 2 teaspoons agar-agar powder
- 1/8 teaspoon mango essence
- 70 grams castor sugar
- 420 ml cold water
- 190 ml coconut cream
- 4 tablespoons castor sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- 60 ml cold water
- 1 teaspoon agar-agar powder
- 250 ml cold mixed fruit Juice
- 1 teaspoon agar-agar powder
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar as required
- Cut all the fruit as required, I do not chop the grapes and pomegranate
- In a bowl, combine the cold water and agar-agar and stir well. The mixture should have no lumps. Once mixed put this in a pan, switch on the gas and stir until all the agar-agar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil for a minute and add the sugar and essence of your choice. Stir well and switch off the gas once sugar is dissolved
- In a 7 inch aluminum dish, pour a little of the agar-agar mixture in it and assemble the fruits as you'd like. Remember you will tilt the cake once firm so all the pretty effects of the fruits should be facing downwards while you doing the placement in the dish. Once you have placed all the fruit, pour all the agar- agar mixture on the fruits and let set in the fridge for 5 mins of until slightly firm.
- In a bowl, combine cold water and the agar-agar powder. Mix well till no lumps. Transfer this mixture into a pan and add the coconut cream to it. Switch on the gas and add the vanilla pod to the mixture as well. Bring this mixture to a boil stirring constantly making sure the agar-agar has completely melted. add the sugar, let it melt and switch the gas. Pour this mixture on top of the first layer that was kept to set in the fridge. Make sure to do so when the coconut mixture is still piping hot. Set this layer in the fridge for 5 mins or until slightly firm
- In a bowl combine cold mixed fruit juice and agar-agar, stir well until no lumps. Transfer the mixture into a pan and on medium flame cook until the agar-agar has completely dissolved. Then bring to a boil just for 30 seconds and switch off the gas, do not over boil this mixture or else it will not set. Once done add sugar as needed and pour the piping hot mixture on top of the set coconut layer. Refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours and unmold using the technique I shared above
- How to check if agar- agar has completely melted ?
- Take a spoon while stirring it on the gas, lift the mixture using a spoon. If the spoon still has the agar-agar specs on it, cook a little more till completely dissolved and no specs on the spoon
- If you set each layer for too long or until it is too firm, the next layer wont stick to the previous layer
- Make sure to pour each layer when the mixture is piping hot, only then will the layers stick to each other
- Note: Each layer sticks to each other if the above methods are followed, however, it does not set firm together. The layers won't fall off all by itself however, if you try to separate them on purpose, they will get separated easily
I made this in a hollow round glass bowl to get the shape