No green ’weed this time but agar, an ingredient you may have heard about before—and may even have used. Agar, or agar-agar, is a thickener that works similarly to gelatin, but it’s plant-based: made from seaweed. Once you have gotten the hang of how to apply agar in your cooking, you will no doubt begin to value this versatile and useful thickener. It’s especially useful for whipping up mousses and creams, particularly this delicious coconut mousse, dressed as a fashionable tiramisu.
10 Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup (125 ml) strong, freshly brewed coffee (from grounds preferred)
2 1/3 cups (550 ml) coconut milk
5 tablespoons maple syrup
Zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons (15 g) agar powder
Splash of water
1 teaspoon vanilla powder (or the seeds of 1 bean)
Pinch of salt
8 (round) whole wheat tea biscuits, crumbled
Cocoa powder, for garnish
Soak the dates in the coffee for 10 minutes.
Combine the coconut milk, maple syrup, and lemon zest in a
saucepan over low heat. In a small bowl, add a splash of water to
the agar and, while stirring, pour the emulsion into the coconut
mixture. Increase the heat a little and bring to a boil while stirring
continuously. Lower the heat again and partly cover with a lid. Let
simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from
curdling or sticking to the pan. Remove from the heat, allow to cool,
and set aside in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Place the coffee, dates, vanilla powder, and salt in the food
processor and puree until thick and smooth.
Once the coconut mousse has stiffened completely, remove from
the fridge. Process with an immersion blender until smooth and
To assemble, add a scoop of coconut mousse to a small glass,
sprinkle with some biscuit crumbs, and top with a scoop of the
date-coffee sauce. Repeat. Another scoop of mousse, some biscuit
crumbs, and another scoop of sauce on top. Finish by adding one
final small scoop of mousse, then dust with some cocoa powder.
Allow to stiffen in the fridge for at least 15 more minutes before
*This recipe is from the book Ocean Greens, written by our co-founder Lisette.