Eventide: a wagashi

I have been meaning to try making a mizugashi wagashi for a while. Mizugashi refers to clear water/translucent finish, which these desserts have. I really wanted to make one that was naturally colored, gluten-free, and vegan, just to embrace the beauty of nature, something that wagashi tries to embrace and capture. For mine, I used purple yam, coconut, and elderflower, with only the first ingredient being traditionally found in Japanese cuisine. I wanted to use the purple yam in a couple ways, so I poached it and turned it into a paste, and with the residual water, I dyed it back to purple using yuzu to lower the PH levels, and set that as the top layer to get a beautiful purple top for the gelees. I named the dessert “eventide” to reference the end of the day when the sun is beginning to set and night is failing upon us.

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For the coconut gelee:
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons agar agar
a pinch of salt

Bring ingredients to a simmer, and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat. Pour onto a flat surface and refrigerate until solid, 4-5 minutes. Cut into small squares.

For the purple yam paste:
1/4 cup finely diced purple yam
water
a pinch of salt

Simmer purple yam in water and salt for about 10 minutes on medium-high heat. Strain out the purple yam. Press through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve the water for your gelee.

For the purple yam gelee:
1/4 cup purple yam water
2 tablespoons yuzu juice
2 tablespoons agar agar
a pinch of salt

Simmer together ingredients until the agar has been melted into the liquid. Pass through a sieve. Pour a thin layer of the gelee into the bottom of 12 silicone bar molds, filling them only 1/5th to 1/4th the way up. Place in about 1/2 teaspoon of the coconut gelee. Allow the gelee to set up in the freezer, about 3-4 minutes. Spoon on three small pieces of the yam paste.

For the honey-elderflower gelee:
1/2 cup agar agar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons elderflower liquor
1/3 cup water
a pinch of salt

Bring to a simmer and reduce until the agar has melted into the liquid and the alcohol has cooked out. Pass through a sieve. Pour the gelee over the already set purple yam gelee with the coconut gelee and yam paste placed over them. Freeze for another 20 minutes to guarantee that everything is set before removing.

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