We doubled down on lab cookbook recipes, following our tofu ball dinner up with this funny little dessert. 'Frog in a pond' is a simple, kid-friendly concoction of chocolate frogs swimming in a pond of jelly. Terry kindly shared a vegan-friendly version using agar agar instead of gelatine and a note about dairy-free chocolate frogs from Haigh's.
As you can see from the picture, we didn't make it to Haigh's and resorted to milk chocolate Freddo frogs. The jelly is based on grape juice, which makes for a not-quite-fitting red pond (blue or green jelly typically makes for a less natural food and more natural-looking pond). Perhaps our pirate-costumed Freddo was standing victorious in the blood of his enemies. Or, less gruesomely, perhaps this was the lake in Westgate Park in full algal bloom! On a whim, I stirred a tablespoon of almond milk into one bowl of jelly to enhance the effect, but it separated and looked a bit too much like algae to be appetising.
I really liked the texture of this agar-based jelly - it was set, but still quite soft. This isn't a dessert I'd have thought to make at any other time, but we both really enjoyed it and I'd definitely consider returning to it.
Frog in a vegan pond
(a recipe shared by Terry)
1 1/2 teaspoons agar agar flakes or 3/4 teaspoon agar agar powder
1 cup red grape juice
1 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
3-4 chocolate frogs (Haigh's dark chocolate ones are vegan)
In a medium-large pot, stir together the agar agar, juice, water and sugar over medium-high heat. Bring it all to the boil and keep it boiling for 2 minutes.
Since I chose to serve the chocolate frogs on top, I poured this hot mixture directly into three bowls and refrigerated it for several hours to set. I placed the chocolate frogs in the bowls at serving time.
Alternatively, you can refrigerate the hot mixture for 45 minutes until it has cooled but is not set. If you take this path, place the chocolate frogs in the bowls and pour the cooled mixture over them, and refrigerate the jelly for a few more hours until it is set.