Thanks for the great meet, everyone! I enjoyed all the delicious food (ate so well with all those curry puffs, pumpkin feta tarts, and salads) and the assortment of fun games. Also saw anatidaev's ring in person for the first time and it is beautiful. Would love to do this again!
Some of you were intrigued by the agar-agar jelly recipe so here it is.
Jasmine green tea and lychee jelly (vegan)
1 7g/10g sachet plain agar agar powder*
1 x 560g can lychees in syrup
2 x jasmine green tea bags
sugar / maple syrup / rice syrup to taste (I don't have a sweet tooth so mine had only about 1.5 tablespoons of maple syrup)
Place agar agar powder and water in a saucepan, bring to simmer over low heat, stirring frequently until powder is all dissolved, it shouldn't take more than a few minutes. The liquid will appear a little thick and cloudy.
Remove saucepan from heat, add two jasmine green tea bags and steep for 3 - 4 minutes, stirring every now and then. Remove tea bags, squeezing as much of their retained liquid back into the saucepan as you do so.
Add the whole can of lychees, including syrup, into the mixture and stir several times to make sure everything is well-mixed. Add more sweetener of your choice, to your liking. Stir again.
Pour the mixture into jelly moulds. Cover and place in the fridge until set. Remove from moulds, cut and serve.
1) The agar-agar powder I buy seems to come in 7g or 10g sachets. I think I used a 10g sachet this time, but I used a 7g sachet last time with about the same amount of liquid and there wasn't much difference in firmness/texture. Agar-agar tends to turn out quite firm, and I've tried adding up to 20% more liquid than suggested in packet instructions and still have jellies come out structurally sound, so feel free to experiment a little with the powder to liquid ratios.
2) As mentioned, I also use way less sugar (or other sweetener) than suggested in the packet instructions.
3) I chose an agar-agar powder with only agar-agar as the ingredient (no colours or flavourings, etc.).
4) Agar-agar sets easier and faster than gelatin, so it helps to 1) keep stirring, and 2) move quickly to pour your mixture into moulds before it cools down too much.