Category Archives: Sweet Treat

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.

Giant Victoria Sponge Donut Cake

Here’s a great way of reinventing the classic Victoria sponge into a showstopper of a cake, this is my Giant Victoria Sponge Donut Cake.

I bought my giant donut mould from Lakeland when it was on offer for £2.50. I don’t often bake with silicon moulds but I enjoyed making this donut cake; greasing the moulds made the cakes turn out really easily and I loved how the cakes looked after they were turned out with the golden brown rings on the base.

The donut mould comes with a lid that you can put on one half so that the cake is baked with a slight hollow so you can fill it like a donut; unlike my Victoria Sponge donut, the filling is instead concealed giving it a more authentic doughnut look but I prefer having the filling exposed, it looks much more inviting to me! And even if you can’t find this exact mould, any savarin-shaped mould will do. Make sure that the inside is well greased and you may want to flour it too to extra ensure it turns out.

This cake went down a huge storm with the teachers at school who requested a cake from me. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a picture of a slice but when you get an empty cake stand brought home, you know it must have been good!


225g margarine

225g granulated sugar

4 eggs

225g self raising flour

1 tbsp whole milk

75g raspberry jam, sieved

300ml double cream

50g granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

80g icing sugar

Red food colouring

Sprinkles, to decorate


Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Grease two 21cm silicon donut moulds well and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine with the granulated sugar until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one, scraping down the bowl with a spatula after each addition. Add in the self raising flour and fold through until incorporated. Then beat in the tablespoon of milk until mixed through.

Divide the cake batter evenly between the 2 donut moulds and use the back of a spoon to level the surface. Bake the donut cakes for around 25 – 30 minutes until the cake is golden brown, coming away from the edges and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the mould for 10 minutes before peeling away the mould and leaving to cool fully on a cooling rack.

In another bowl, whisk the double cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until it holds a thick but soft peak. Then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.

Prepare the icing by mixing together the icing sugar with enough milk to form an icing that is thick enough to stay on the cake but not too thin that it runs off the cake straight away. Add a drop of red food colouring to make a baby pink colour.

Place one donut half on your serving stand and use a serrated knife to level off the top if necessary. Spread the sieved jam over this top half, making sure it doesn’t go over the edge. Carefully pipe over the whipped cream in a swirl pattern, filling in any gaps after. Sprinkle over a few pink pearl sprinkles and then place the other sponge on top the right way up.

Then spread the pink icing over the top of the sponge, covering the entire surface and allowing it to drip down the sides slightly. Before the icing sets, sprinkle over some rainbow sprinkles and leave the icing to set before slicing to serve.

Foolproof Funfetti Icebox Sugar Cookies

I’ve said before that I find making cookies where you roll out and cut out cookie shapes not enjoyable. The cookies would usually end up tough and rather bland however after a lot of experimenting and sugar cookie baking, I’ve managed to get a recipe which produces perfect sugar cookies. These are my Foolproof Funfetti Icebox Sugar Cookies!

The perfect cookie is crisp around the edges and soft and chewy in the centre but the addition of rainbow sprinkles add not only a massive pop of colour but a tiny amount of texture which adds a lot of interest to a standard sugar cookie recipe.

I eliminate the chance of overworking the dough when you roll it out by hand by following an icebox cookie method. If you’ve not heard of an icebox cookie, you might actually be familiar with the method and some cookies which use it; checkerboard cookies, pinwheel cookies and striped cookies all use the icebox method.

The cookie dough is shaped into a log and chilled to firm it up which allows it to be sliced into shapes which give consistency across a batch of cookies. Icebox cookies tend to be smaller than your average chocolate chip cookie so the yield per batch is much higher than most other recipes. I averaged around 60 cookies per batch.

Icebox cookies have a further benefit in that the cookie dough can be made ahead and frozen and after time defrosting in the fridge, it can be used as normal. Just make sure that it is wrapped tightly in clingfilm so it doesn’t suffer from freezer burn.

Check out my other cookie recipes by clicking on the names:


170g margarine

200g granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

355g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

80g rainbow vermicelli sprinkles, plus 50g for the outside of the cookies


In a large bowl, cream together the margarine with the sugar until it is lighter in colour and the sugar has dissolved and is smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Mix through the vanilla extract.

Sift in the plain flour and baking powder and using a rubber spatula, fold through the dry ingredients. Before the mixture comes together into dough, add in the rainbow sprinkles and continue to mix until a pliable dough forms.

Fill a baking tin with the extra rainbow sprinkles. Divide the dough into 4 and on a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a log. Roll the log gently in the tin of sprinkles until the outside of the log is well covered. Lay out sheets of clingfilm and roll up the logs in clingfilm well. Shape the cookie dough into a cuboid shape and repeat for the rest of the dough. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Using a sharp knife and a single downward motion, slice off pieces of the cookie dough ¼ of an inch thick and arrange on the baking tray, leaving room for spreading.

Bake the cookies for 9 – 11 minutes, or until the cookies have spread and are ever so slightly tinged golden around the edges. Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for 15 minutes before carefully lifting off the tray and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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.

Apple and Sultana Hot Cross Scones

Scones are a brilliant starting place for any beginner baker and homemade scones fresh from the oven are far superior to supermarket scones. I’ve given the classic scone a slight twist with the addition of apple and seeing as we’re in April and Easter is around the corner, I added a cross on top of the scones, as an alternative to hot cross buns. These are my Apple and Sultana Hot Cross Scones.

Traditionally, the liquid used to bind the ingredients in scones is milk however I toyed with the idea of using apple juice as the binding liquid and I found it worked just fine, adding slight sweetness as well as flavour. The variety of apple I chose was Gala as they looked the most delicious and sweet in the shops. I like to keep the red skin on however you can peel the apples too. The size of the diced apples is about 1cm.

I usually avoid using a rolling pin to flatten the dough so that I resist the temptation of rolling it too thinly and it also prevents knocking out as much of the air created thus far. Also, when you cut out your scones, don’t twist the cutter otherwise the scones won’t rise properly. The cutter I used was a mug which was 7cm wide at the top so these scones are fairly sizeable but feel free to use a smaller cutter for daintier scones (and also reduce the baking time).


250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

3 tsp baking powder

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

60g margarine, cut into cubes

45g granulated sugar

1 Gala apple, cored and diced

30g sultanas

1 large egg

60 – 80ml apple juice, plus extra for brushing the scones

30g plain flour

Water


Preheat the oven to 190˚C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Sift the flour, baking powder and the spices into a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the margarine into the dry ingredients until it resembles fine and even breadcrumbs. Shaking the bowl will move larger pieces of the margarine to the surface. Create a well in the centre and add the sugar, diced apple and sultanas and stir to combine so the fruit is coated in the flour.

Make another well and crack in the egg and add three-quarters of the apple juice and using a palette knife and a cutting and stirring motion, bring together until it forms a loose dough.

Tip it out onto a lightly floured work surface and use your hands to knead the dough for about 10 seconds to bring it together. It should look quite rough but hold together as a dough; if it’s smooth, then you’ve overworked it. Use your hands to flatten the dough to around 2cm thickness.

Use a lightly floured cutter (I used a mug which was 7cm wide at the top), cut out as many scones as you can from the dough and place onto the baking tray, leaving space for expansion. Reroll and reshape any of the scraps of dough, doing this a maximum of 2 times to avoid overworking.

Brush the tops of the scones with apple juice. In a small bowl, mix together the flour with enough water to form a thick pipeable paste. Transfer into a piping bag and cut off a small hole at the end and then pipe a cross over the scones, starting from and finishing at the sides of the scones.

The scones took around 20 – 25 minutes to bake in my oven. I waited for the tops and sides to be evenly golden brown and lifting up the scones from the parchment, it should come cleanly off the parchment and be browned well on the base. Leave to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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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