I had the most awful day today! I made 2 jellies for the challenge and then I realised that I didn't have time to bake a birthday cake for my son Wey who turned 17 today so I made an agar cake instead because agar sets quickly. I was getting ready to cook a special dinner for my family and in-laws when I opened the fridge and the agar cake, which unfortunately was on a cake stand, slipped and fell onto the floor! Why do these things ALWAYS happen to me? But all wasn't lost because the top 3 layers of agar held together well and stayed on the cake stand. The bottom 4 layers had slipped off and were totally smashed. Lesson: when you make jelly layers, always pour hot jelly liquid over the previous set layer to meld them together. It was 4:30 pm. I wondered whether to make a new one or go with whatever's left. There wouldn't be much sunlight left for photography by the time I finished another cake. But being a perfectionist and an optimist, I went ahead and made another one anyway. It didn't set until about 6 pm by which time the sunlight was nearly gone because today was a cloudy day.
I gave up and posted photos of the first agar cake at 9:51 pm but got an almost immediate comment about copyright. That bugged me so I went downstairs and started on working to change the bird's features. I made a bigger beak, a different crest, different eyes, a tail, those brownish feathers on the cheeks and a peach-colored chest. Uploaded just a minute before the deadline. It's been a long day but I'm happy that this turned out even better than the first one.
I didn't think I was going to include this cake as part of the Jelliriffic! challenge but my daughter said that it qualifies since I used the mould to make the beak so I'm saving the other jellies for tomorrow.
Sometimes, mistakes can be a blessing. The brown patches on the red bird's cheeks were stains from the grass jelly (the eyes) on the red jelly of the first cake. My daughter noticed the brown patches and suggested that I use the stained jelly to make them. I'm so happy with the way the beak turned out (thanks to the Jelliriffic mould!) because it made the bird two-dimensional.
Very Angry Bird
1. Wrap the bottom and side of a 9 1/2" or 24 cm ring pan with strong aluminium foil to prevent any leaks. Place over a flat serving plate or cake board.
2. Put 200 ml water into a small pot. Mix 2 tsp agar powder and 50 gm (will be quite bland; add more to your liking) caster sugar and scatter over the water. Heat, stirring all the time until sugar and agar are dissolved. Remove from heat, add 300 ml room temp water and 2 tbsp of cream or thick coconut milk or replace 50 ml of the water with evaporated milk or fresh milk. Mix in some color.
3. Pour into the pan and leave to set. Meantime, work on the next layer. If it gets cold by the time the first layer is set, you have to re-heat it before pouring onto the first layer or the layers won't stick together.
4. Repeat for another 3 to 4 layers of different colors, ending with a red layer. The second layer from the top must be white or peach so that the top layer of red can stand out.
5. The black of the eyes are made from store-bought grass jelly, the white from agar and the beak (Jelliriffic! mould) from agar. Use the ring pan to cut the lower third of the red agar and remove it to expose the beak.
Note: if like, use medium-thick coconut milk instead of water for a delicious agar cake. Also, if you want thicker layers, use a total of 600 ml liquid to 3 tsp of agar.
* The red bird yells out, 'Caw caw!' when launching attack!