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 Post subject: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:47 pm 
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Tofu Pup

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I'm planning to make the espresso filling from Vegan Cupcakes take over the World and can't find any agar powder or agar flakes. I'm a pretty experienced baker, but this is a new ingredient for me. What is agar, what does it do, and what could I use as a substitue? Help


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 Post subject: Re: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:17 pm 
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unfortunately there isn't really a good substitute for agar. Where do you live? Do you have an asian market nearby? They often sell agar powder in little packets. If you can find it and you have to choose between powder and flakes, powder is the better choice. you can also order it online from a variety of places including vegan essentials.

agar is a gelling agent made from seaweed, and it's closest to gelatin, which is why there isn't really a good sub.

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 Post subject: Re: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:18 pm 
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If it says you need agar, you probably need agar. Agar is made from algae and when dissolved in hot water becomes like gelatin. There is really no other product that does the same thing. Have you thought about ordering it online? I bet amazon has it!


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 Post subject: Re: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:04 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Try your local Asian grocery store!


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 Post subject: Re: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:10 pm 
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Tofu Pup

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well pooh! thanks for the info.


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 Post subject: Re: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:02 pm 
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Dislikes Rick Santorum
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you can find agar flakes at whole foods in the asian section.

agar powder you probably have to go to an asian market.

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 Post subject: Re: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:10 pm 
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I have often bought agar agar in the long packages, (which are pretty cheap), at Asian food stores, and then stuck the strands in my blender to pulverize them. But the powder is easier to use.

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 Post subject: Re: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Some health food stores will carry it. I always used to get NOW agar powder at my local health food store on the aisle with vitamins, supplements, and protein powders.

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 Post subject: Re: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:36 pm 
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Can I grind agar flakes in order to make agar powder? Ausfox gave me all of her baking goods before she moved abroad and I hate to waste the flakes (but it seems that in general people aren't fond of flakes, go figure).


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 Post subject: Re: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:30 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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I've never heard of grinding flakes working out because the powder is so fine and it's hard to get the flakes that way. If you have a really good grinder, maybe go for it?

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 Post subject: Re: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:35 pm 
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mixmaster_mo wrote:
I've never heard of grinding flakes working out because the powder is so fine and it's hard to get the flakes that way. If you have a really good grinder, maybe go for it?


makes sense. I feel like I could/should just be patient and try to boil them down before completely abandoning them.


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 Post subject: Re: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:17 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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You can totally use them! I've used them plenty of times for cheeses and stuff. I'd only worry about it in things that need an ultra smooth texture. Otherwise, they work but it's not a 1 to 1 ratio. Foodsubs says it's 3 Tbsp flakes for every 2 tsp powder.

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 Post subject: Re: agar powder/flakes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:18 pm 
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yeah I used to always use flakes because for a long time that was all I could find, and they worked fine for uncheeses, less well for jello shots (because of the texture). The texture is not totally smooth, but they still gelled up perfectly.

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