Everyone of these miniature fruits are made from sweetened yellow bean paste, and food colourings. The shine comes from a glaze made of agar. Don't be put off, they are not as difficult to make as they look, and you can have a lot of fun with your children making them.
Make each one small, 10-15gms of yellow bean paste is perfect, if you make them too big, they are difficult to dip in the agar later and will not hold their shape. A good way to hold the fruit is to skewer them on toothpicks as you paint and dip them.
200 gms Yellow Bean
150 gms Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
100 ml Coconut Milk
Ingredients for Glaze
5 gms Agar Agar
50 gms Sugar
1. Soak the yellow beans overnight, steam for 45 minutes.
2. Pound or blend the bean to a paste, add mix with the sugar, salt and coconut milk.
3. Place into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring continuously until the paste thickens, then leave it to cool.
4. Now comes the artistic stage, take small pieces of the yellow bean paste, about 10gms each and form them into fruit shapes.
5. I find it's a good idea to use toothpicks and a block of foam to hold the shapes while I paint them with the food colouring.
6. Now to glaze, mix the agar with water and heat until the agar has fully dissolved.
7. Leave it to cool slightly, but be careful not to let it set.
8. Dip the fruit into the agar and stand them up by pushing the toothpick into foam or polystyrene. Let the agar set on the fruit, then repeat the process and coat the fruit again with another layer of agar. You may have to reheat the agar in the pan to melt it again each time.
Hints for Each Fruit
Banana - Bananas are slightly oblong, with 4 stripes running down the sides.
Chom Pu - These are a Thai fruit, a little pink yellow and orange on the base and make the top slightly green.
Cherries - The stalk I made from a stalk of coriander.
Chillies - I rolled out the basic shape and used a blunt knife to make the leaf shape at the top. Then skewer them with a toothpick and paint with food coloring.
Man Cud - the leaves on the top are made by pressing in the top of a pen to give the round leaf shape.
Melon Slices - I found it is easier to not paint the bottom edge of the melon.
Mini Orange - One of my favourites, make the leaf separately and be careful when dipping this one in agar because the leaf can come off.
Mini Sweet Corn - Make a tapering sausage shape, cut a grating into the soya with a sharp knife, then paint with yellow food colouring and green edging.
Mini Tomato - A blunt knife is used to make the star shaped leaves, by pushing down the soft yellow bean paste.
Mini Pears - I made these pears too big, and as you can see one of them bent when I was coating them in agar.