Category Archives: Dessert

No Churn Black Sesame Ice Cream

Inspired by Nadiya Hussain’s rhubarb ripple ice cream that she made last week on her British Food Adventure, I am fuelling my obsession with black sesame and I’m sharing my recipe for my No Churn Black Sesame Ice Cream.

The black sesame ice cream has this wonderful charcoal grey colour which I think is so visually pleasing and attractive. What’s more, you certainly don’t expect the nutty, bitter and smoky flavour of black sesame to come from this grey coloured ice cream and it’s that flavour which lingers after an initial hit of creamy sweetness.

Both Nigella and Mary as well as Nadiya have also demonstrated this no churn ice cream method on their shows and it really is so simple. Instead of using a crème anglaise base for the ice cream, double cream and condensed milk remove all the hard work of making custard and using an ice cream maker.

Condensed milk contains most of the sugar you need and because it is condensed, the moisture from the milk has been evaporated giving a creamy ice cream that doesn’t contain large ice crystals which would be good for a sorbet or a granita. Whipped double cream makes the ideal ice cream texture which is light and takes away the churning process. Golden syrup, or liquid glucose, reduces the firmness of the ice cream when set and I like to add evaporated milk for a similar reason.

If you cannot find any black sesame powder, you can make it yourself very easily – and remember it is very versatile! Buy a whole load of black sesame seeds and toast them over a medium heat in a dry pan until they are fragrant and then grind them in a food processor or blender until a fine and slightly damp powder forms. Put into a zip lock bag or an airtight container in the fridge and discard when the powder begins to lose its freshness.

Make sure to also check out my Dark Chocolate and Black Sesame Biscuits!


300ml double cream

225g condensed milk

50ml evaporated milk

4 tsp golden syrup (or liquid glucose)

50g black sesame powder

3 tsp black sesame seeds, plus extra to sprinkle


Pour all of the ingredients except for the black sesame seeds into a large bowl and whisk until it has increased in volume and become thick but does not hold soft peaks. Scrape down the bowl using a spatula and fold through the black sesame seeds.

Transfer to a plastic container, scraping down the bowl completely – don’t waste any of that black sesame goodness!! Sprinkle more black sesame seeds over the top and then put the lid on the container.

Place the container into a bag – I recommend using one that you can get at the fruit/veg section in the supermarket – and then freeze for around 6 hours or until the ice cream has set and is firm.

Serve the ice cream either in a waffle cone or in a bowl. Finish the ice cream by sprinkling over some toasted black sesame seeds.

 

Chinese Coconut Milk Pudding (椰汁糕)

One of my favourite sweet dim sum to have at yum cha is 椰汁糕 or Coconut Milk Pudding. It’s a very light little morsel of coconutty goodness and is also wonderfully refreshing but doesn’t require a lot of effort to make yourself at home either!

To get the correct balance of coconut flavour, I use an almost one to one ratio of coconut milk to whole milk; using too much coconut milk can make it very overpowering. Most tins of coconut milk are also sold in 400ml tins so you don’t have to worry about having any leftover. One tip is to use a chopstick or a fork to give the contents of the tin a mix before pouring into the saucepan as the coconut milk usually separates into water and the coconut cream and if the pudding mixture is not well mixed, it tends to separate out later on.

I prefer using gelatine powder as opposed to the sheets which all the chefs seems to use on TV. I find using the weight of a powder is much easier to control the set of the pudding and it’s also much cheaper too; I stocked up on gelatine powder when I went to Hong Kong however it can be easily found online.

150ml boiling water

20g gelatine powder

1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk

350ml whole milk

½ tsp vanilla extract

100g granulated sugar

Dissolve the gelatine powder in the boiling water, stirring until completely lump free. Set aside.

In a saucepan over a medium heat, stir together the coconut milk, whole milk, vanilla extract and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Then add in the gelatin mixture and stir again to dissolve.

Strain the mixture into a deep rectangular or square plastic container and leave to cool for 30 minutes before covering and refrigerating for 4 hours or until it is set; it should have a firm wobble and come away from the edges cleanly when you pull the pudding away.

To serve the pudding, flip out the pudding onto a chopping board and use a knife to slice into even cubes.

White Chocolate Cheesecake Easter Eggs

You might not be left with many Easter eggs by the end of this Easter weekend however I beg you to save a few of them to make my White Chocolate Cheesecake-filled Easter Eggs; you’ll finish them even quicker than the Easter egg itself!

My choice of egg are the eggs that you might use for an Easter egg hunt so maybe persuade the young ones to hand over a few to make these cheesecake eggs. The eggs I used were from Co-op which I received as part of their #GoodEgg campaign. (I have not been asked to promote the Co-op or their product, I am stating where the eggs are from so that you can see what I am working with for reference, other supermarkets may have similar products available in their stores).

Slicing the eggs in half is very tricky and getting perfectly shaped halves was rare, as you can see! Hence you will need more than 6 eggs because some of them will crack in an odd place rendering them unusable. But reserve the broken pieces as they go brilliantly inside the cheesecake mixture! The quantity of cheesecake is enough to fill 12 half eggs as well as half of a large Easter egg or 2 large halves. The cheesecake recipe is adapted from the fantastic Becky over at https://biscuitbases.wordpress.com.


12 x 17g hollow milk chocolate Easter eggs, plus one half of a large hollow Easter egg or 1 large hollow Easter egg

100g white chocolate

200g cream cheese, at room temperature

25g icing sugar, sifted

175ml double cream


Use a serrated knife to halve the Easter eggs as best as you can and place one in each cavity of a 12 hole bun tin. Keep any broken pieces that fall off in a small bowl and break them up into small pieces.

Break the white chocolate into chunks and place into a microwaveable bowl. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds and then in 20 second intervals until fully melted, stirring between each interval.

Working quickly, soften the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Add in the sifted icing sugar and beat in until smooth. Add in the melted chocolate and fold through until even. Then mix through the reserved Easter egg pieces.

Whisk the double cream until it holds a soft but thick peak; do not overwhip or it will split. Fold the whipped cream through the cheesecake mixture. It should be relatively thick and hold its shape.

Fill the hollow egg halves with the cheesecake mixture. You can do this with just a spoon or you can use a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle however the chocolate pieces can block up the nozzle. Place into the fridge for 2 hours to set the cheesecake mixture for the small eggs and 4 hours for the large eggs.

Finish with a few sprinkles and mini eggs and transfer the eggs into a paper case.

Giant Homemade Jaffa Cake

We were all transfixed to The Great British Bake Off when Mary set them the challenge of making 12 Jaffa cakes. Whether it was making sure the cakes weren’t stuck to the tin or putting on the jelly the right way up, there were a lot of hurdles to overcome. I even tried them myself in a 90 minute time limit with varying degrees of success. But I’m giving it another go, this time without a 90 minute time limit but also making a giant version; this is my (edited) Giant Jaffa Cake recipe!

Mary’s recipe calls for a whisked sponge, which is practically impossible for me in my uni kitchen since I don’t even have an electric whisk! All of my bakes have been made completely by hand, from my Crystallised Stem Ginger Cookies to Red Velvet Hazelnut Biscotti. And while I’m happy to whisk up a 1 egg white meringue, I don’t fancy whisking 3 eggs with sugar by hand until the ribbon stage so I use a basic sponge recipe for this cake.

The relatively small amount of water used to make the jelly means it has a relatively firm set, ideal for slicing up when serving the cake as well as transferring on top of the cake. I didn’t get it dead centre the first time but I found that the set of the jelly meant it was fairly forgiving when it needed moving.


1 x 135g pack of orange jelly

200ml boiling water

125g margarine

125g granulated sugar

2 eggs

140g self raising flour

Zest and juice of 1/2 an orange

140g dark chocolate

30g margarine

2 tbsp runny honey

12 Jaffa cakes, halved


Line a 18cm sandwich tin with a few layers of clingfilm, making them as smooth as possible with some overhang.

Cut up the pack of jelly into cubes and place into a heatproof jug. Pour over the boiling water and stir until the jelly has dissolved. Place the sandwich tin into the fridge and then pour in the orange jelly and refrigerate for around 2 hours. When you are ready to bake, remove the tin from the fridge so the jelly comes to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform tin.

In a bowl, cream together the margarine, the sugar and orange zest until it is light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one by one beating well between each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl between mixing. Sift in the self raising flour and baking powder and using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Lastly mix through the orange juice until the cake batter is smooth and even.

Transfer the mixture into the tin, using the back of the spatula to get the surface as level as possible. Bake the cake for around 20 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown, risen, springs back to the touch and an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool, level off the top of the cake using a serrated knife to get a smooth top. When the cake is cool and the jelly has set, flip the jelly onto the centre of the cake.

Prepare the chocolate glaze by breaking up the dark chocolate into a microwaveable bowl and add the margarine and honey. Microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring between each one until the chocolate glaze is smooth and very shiny. Leave to cool slightly for 5 minutes.

Now working quickly, use a palette knife to spread the glaze over the cake and jelly, covering the jelly and the visible top of the cake to get that distinctive Jaffa Cake shape. Then before the glaze sets, place the halved Jaffa cakes on top of the jelly, arranging them in an overlapping circle. Leave the glaze to set at room temperature.

Simple Rich Chocolate Pots

Desserts are a fantastic time to show off a little bit of skill and flair using your culinary skills to leave a lasting impression on your guests. My Rich Chocolate Pots take hardly any time to make, uses only 1 bowl so there’s hardly any washing up and are rich tasting and a delicious way to end any meal.

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Some of the chocolate pot recipes around faff around whipping up egg yolks and egg whites – which to me feels more like a mousse rather than a rich chocolate pot – but I’m keeping mine both simple and easy by using only 3 ingredients: single cream, cocoa powder and dark chocolate (which has 56% cocoa solids) as well as assorted toppings.

The method is similar to making a ganache but the quantity of single cream means that it doesn’t set as firm as a ganache does if it were made with equal amounts of chocolate and double cream. It has a brilliant smooth and silky texture with a lot of richness, which comes from the dark chocolate and the addition of some cocoa powder.

To offset this texture, I top the chocolate pots with lots of different things to add a lot of interest once I’m ready to serve. These include cacao nibs which adds deep chocolate flavour, desiccated coconut and digestive biscuit crumbs. I also had a chocolate truffle leftover from another recipe which I threw on top too.

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I used a teacup to serve my chocolate pot but you can also use ramekins if you have those. This recipe is enough to make 4 chocolate pots so it’s easily scaled up and down.


300ml single cream

175g dark chocolate, broken into chunks; I used 56% cocoa solids

1 tbsp good quality cocoa powder, sifted

Cacao nibs, desiccated coconut, digestive biscuit crumbs, toasted nuts, to finish – you can personalise it here; maybe add fresh fruit to cut through the richness


Heat the single cream in the microwave in a bowl for about 1 minute on high. The cream should be warm enough that you can’t hold your finger in the cream for longer than 3 seconds. Add the broken up chocolate and sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the chocolate has all melted and it is silky, smooth and shiny. If the chocolate hasn’t melted fully, return to the microwave for 20 seconds and then stir until melted.

Sift in the cocoa powder and beat the chocolate pot mix for a good minute, this slightly aerates the chocolate pot mix and also makes sure the cocoa powder is well dissolved. Divide the mixture equally between your 4 serving dishes and allow to cool down. Then refrigerate for around 30 minutes or until the surface has just set. Remove from the fridge and finish with your toppings and serve.

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Sweet Beancurd Soup (腐竹糖水, Fu Juk Tong Sui)

Millions of people across the world will be celebrating Chinese New Year on January 28th and it’s the Year of the Rooster. And in honour of Chinese New Year, I’m showing you how to make one of my most favourite Chinese desserts, Sweet Dried Beancurd Soup, 腐竹糖水 (fu juk tong sui).

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Fu pei is the Chinese for dried beancurd. It comes in sheets which, when rehydrated in warm water, can be rolled around a meat or vegetable filling (this is called fu pei guen, 腐皮卷, literally dried beancurd roll) or in sticks which can be fried with meat and vegetables or added to stews or soups, the latter of which I’m doing. This recipe is courtesy of my nan and she told me it was very easy and having now made it myself, I concur, it’s ridiculously easy.

You might be quite unfamiliar with dried beancurd. When soy milk boils, a film/skin forms on the surface, which is the beancurd. It’s then collected and dried to form ‘fu pei’. But fu pei itself is quite a common ingredient in the Chinese cuisine, often found stir-fried with vegetables. One of my favourite ways to eat it is in a braised lamb belly stew which I have absolutely no idea how to make but I will definitely get my nan to teach me one day!

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But it also goes fantastically in this soup. The Chinese aren’t big dessert and cake people and desserts at the end of a family get together usually consists of fresh fruit and then tong sui, literally sugar water. There are many different types with lots of ingredients in them, including red bean, taro, sweet potato, tapioca pearls and beancurd. My favourite is sai mai lo, 西米露, which contains the sago or tapioca pearls and sweet potato but again, I’m yet to learn that recipe.

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You might be surprised at how little sugar there is compared to the volume of water but as the water boils and evaporates, the sugar concentration increases and it becomes sweeter however going slightly under on the sugar means that we can easily adjust it at the end to taste. I actually found that 4 tablespoons was the right amount for me personally and it tasted exactly as how my nan makes it, but it all depends on how sweet you like it.

1.2L recently boiled water

3 – 5 tbsp granulated sugar, depending on how sweet you want it

2 sticks of dried beancurd, you can find these in the world food section of supermarkets

1 egg, beaten

In a large saucepan, bring the water up to a rolling boil. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of sugar and then crush in the 2 sticks of dried beancurd.

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Place a lid on the pan and leave for 4 – 5 minutes until the beancurd has softened completely and is a pale creamy colour.

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Remove the pan from the heat and whilst stirring constantly, pour in the beaten egg. The egg should cook immediately but put the pan back on a low heat with the lid on for a couple of minutes just for thoroughness. Taste and adjust the sweetness if necessary.

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Serve the soup hot, warm or even cold on its own in a bowl as a great light dessert to end any meal. Any leftovers can be refrigerated and eaten cold but it has to be eaten within a day of making.

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Chocolate Brownie Pudding

Sometimes you just really need a pudding on a cold night to make you feel so much better. And in amongst the revision for my first university exam, I managed to find a bit of time to rustle up a Chocolate Brownie Pudding.

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This pudding is rich and chocolatey and is just so utterly comforting; it’s everything you want in a pudding. The recipe is easily scalable to serve as a pudding for a family or for friends to share.

I read somewhere that if you beat the brownie mix for a bit after it’s fully mixed, that gives you the wonderful wafer thin crust on top of the brownie and so I’m following that same method here to get a crust on top of the pudding. It’s got a slight crunch to it and that contrasts so well with the fudgy chocolate pudding.

The dish that I used is a 14cm oval ceramic dish from Poundland. It’s been one of my favourite purchases and I’ve used it for so many meals, it’s incredibly versatile. I baked my Homemade Chicken Enchiladas in the dish and you can go read the recipe by clicking on the name.


60g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

50g margarine

60g granulated sugar, you can use soft light brown sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

35g plain flour

Natural yoghurt or crème fraiche, to serve


In a microwaveable bowl, melt the dark chocolate and the margarine in the microwave. You can use the residual heat from the melted margarine to finish melting the chocolate. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease a 14cm oval ceramic dish.

Add in the eggs one by one, mixing well between each one. Fold through the plain flour gently until it is just combined and then give it a good mix for about 20 seconds to help form the crust on the pudding.

Pour the brownie pudding batter into the greased dish and bake for around 20 – 22 minutes until the pudding has slightly risen and a crust has formed on the top of the pudding. Serve the pudding immediately and top with some natural yoghurt or crème fraiche.

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