Sunday, 10 July 2011

Dulce De Leche & Coffee Set Puddings

I'm quite pleased with how these turned out. Then again, I'm also besotted with our new 8 cell recessed heart silicone bakeware mould.

These ended up rich and creamy with a richness of caramel Dulche De Leche and undertones of coffee - kind of like a Starbucks caramel latte with cream I suppose !

I'd advise serving them at room temperature. They were really easy to release from the moulds. Literally, just a little squeeze and out they pop.


Initially however, these seemed a bit of a disaster ! I was playing with agar agar for the first time which had been sent to me by blogger friend Ann Low of Ancoo Journal a couple of months ago. I'm well stocked on agar agar now as my dear friend Zurin of Cherry On a Cake has sent me some too :-)

In case you don't know what agar agar is, it's a vegetarian jelly made from seaweed. It has no taste, so you do  need to add flavouring. It can also set at room temperature, and sets much much quicker than regular gelatine.

The instructions on the packet say to add 1000mls of water, 250g of sugar and 1 pack of agar agar plus desired flavouring. Boil for a few minutes and then pour into your moulds. In Asian countries, pandan leaves are often used as flavoring for agar agar. I like making things that are a bit different from the norm where I can, so decided to work on something that would have my own twist.

1000mls was an awful lot of jelly. I worked out that each packet had 6 tsp - so I worked with just a 1/2 quantity


350ml water
3tsp of agar agar powder
1 can condensed milk
4 tablespoons Camp Chicory & Coffee Essence 
You could substitute the Camp Coffee for a shot of expresso. Camp Chicory & Coffee Essence is made in Glasgow, Scotland and has been used in hot milk as a type of instant coffee (and in baking) for over 100 years. It's lovely in coffee cake !

Anyway, I put the water and agar agar into a saucepan and brought to the boil for 2 or 3 minutes before adding the coffee extract.

I then removed half a cup of the mixture and set aside.

To the remaining mixture, I added the can of condensed milk and stirred off the heat before pouring in to the 8 recessed heart silicone mould. I added less liquid than the started 500ml as I figured that I likely did not need as much given the condensed milk was a 450g (approx) can and runny.

Well - when removed from the mould, they were almost like rubber blocks and really really firm. When I tried to bend it a little - it felt like it snapped in two ! The texture was not to my liking, though they tasted ok. At that point, they were just creamy and a bit of a coffee taste too.

I decided it would be best to melt them down again and add some more water, so I chopped them up and shoved them back in the pan with an extra 150ml of water on a low heat.

This is where something decidedly odd happened.....

The condensed milk started to turn into caramel on the bottom of the pan - despite the fact it wasn't really that hot. I barely got the temperature up to as high as simmering before taking it off the heat !

Pouring it into the moulds this time, it was considerably thicker than the first time. The really odd thing was that I ended up with EXACTLY the same finished volume the second time - despite having added another 150ml of water. Where on earth did it go ? I can imagine that much would evaporate in such a short time !

Thankfully, after a second set, the texture of these was much better.

With the remaining agar agar (without condensed milk) I added 2 tsp of sugar and approx 70ml of water and warmed it in a saucepan.

I then scratched the recessed area inside the heart jellies (so the next layer would adhere) and filled each recess with the liquid

That's it !

These do taste quite yummy. The textures of agar agar is however very different to conventional gelatine and I don't really know yet that I like it. I'm very tempted to recreate this using gelatine leaves at some point as a direct comparison

Sarah-Jane Nash - - July 2011


  1. Dulce de leche is my favorite flavor!!These look so delicate and flavorful..I can almost taste the combo:) If I were to try to make this I would have to substitute espresso instead but the essence sounds perfect:)

  2. Oh they look absolutely beautiful Sarah! and the flavour seems really tempting...I love coffee and dulce de leche...brilliant combo.

    Yes agar agar is very very very firm so you can use just a lttle if you want it wobbly. I dont quite like it too firm either ...i like a littel wobble...but it sets at room temperature and fast...thats the only advantage plus its easier to turn out than gelatine jelly. The konyaku jelly that i sent you is even firmer than agar agar and has a crunch to it when you bite. Personally I have never tried making konyaku jelly but I have eaten it...i think..there was a craze on konyaku jelly for a while...:)

  3. These look perfect and I am sure they are delicious because I like the flavors. Glad you persisted and modified the recipe-your effort really paid off. Thanks for sharing.

  4. These look delicious! I absolutely love dulce de leche - I really must give this recipe a go. Lok the heart moulds too, so cute :)

  5. Well done! I'm glad you kept at it to get the best consistency and taste, they look lovely :)

  6. Those are absolutely beautiful! I admire your willingness to try, try again until it's right. I bet they are amazing!!

  7. These look so good! I have never worked with agar agar either... Shoot- I just discovered gelatin sheets this year! Love the new creation!

  8. How cute are these! And they look delicious, great job! :)

  9. Yum! these sound delicious and the little heart shapes make them even cuter!

  10. I saw the words Dulce de leche connected to coffee and knew I had to head right over! Can a combination be better? They're gorgeous.

    I've never used agar agar, but I don't have problems with gelatin (at least parts are being used instead of just thrown out is my thought).

    Thanks for sharing!


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