What is the agar agar?
It is a gelatinous substance that binds water (hydrocolloid) neutral taste derived from Gelidium algae.
Is rich in vitamin B, A, C, D and K, calcium, iron and mucilage. Is not completely absorbed by the human body, therefore it has a small caloric intake and, at the same time, promotes intestinal transit.
Compared to the common gelatin which melts at oral temperature, necessitating the agar to a higher temperature (90°), therefore, it maintains its texture in the mouth.
Not being formed by proteins (unlike jelly), it can be used in the preparations of pineapple fruit and the like, which break the gel.
Agar agar can be found in three shapes bar, flake or powder form, I usually use the powder version, simply for convenience.
A bar is equivalent to 10 g of agar agar powder, 30 g of flakes approximately equivalent to 10 g of the product poor.
Agar agar for puddings, creams, sauces, soups
Having to boil the liquid from gelling, for some applications it can bring to the boil only part of the water, where it is previously dissolved agar agar, and add the gelatin water to the rest of the ingredients.
It is dissolved on low heat for a time that can range from 1 to 3 minutes (activation). It melts at 85° C, then is more stable of animal gelatin to solidify should be about 1 hour at room temperature.
We must not proceed at a too rapid cooling of the product, as also happens for the animal gelatin, to avoid the formation of lumps.
It has a gelation vitreous that begins at 40° C. It is used in creams, jellies and marmalade. And ‘rich in iodine and its power and thickener varies depending on the acidity and alkalinity of foods which is added (for those they need more and acids).
Is possible to preserve water agar agar jelly in the refrigerator and use it when you need to get a decent variety of textures.
The doses vary according to the product to prepare:
- for 1/2 liter of liquid (salt or broth) or 500 g of fruit (jams) using 2 g of agar agar powder
- for 500 g of gelatin timbale or puddings using 4-6 g of agar agar powder
Agar agar as a substitute for eggs
- 15 g of agar agar mixed with 15 ml of water replaces an egg white
- 5 g of agar agar powder dissolved in 250 ml of liquid low heat can create a very fluid gel as a base for a cream without eggs.
Agar agar as a substitute for xanthan in gluten-free products
In baked goods without gluten replaces the function of the xanthan thickener. It is mixed with the flour that will be used for the dough in these doses:
- for leavened dough such as bread, pizza, focaccia using 3.5 g of agar agar for 100 g of flour.
- for biscuit doughs, muffins cakes using 1.75 g of agar agar for 100 g of flour.