Tag Archives: homemade

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.

Recreating Wagamama’s Chicken Teriyaki Donburi

I’m going to say that around 50% of people reading this typed in “Wagamama’s Chicken Teriyaki Donburi’ into a search engine and got to this blogpost. I’d also bet that you went onto Wagamama’s website and was disappointed at their recipe/guide on how to make it yourself at home – I know I certainly was! I decided to create my own recipe for a much tastier version of Wagamama’s Chicken Teriyaki Donburi (and much cheaper too!)

The word teriyaki itself is a combination of ‘teri’ which refers to the shine that comes from the reduced soy sauce and sugar and ‘yaki’ which refers to the method of grilling. I adapt this slightly and cook the chicken in my wok until cooked and then adding the ingredients for the sauce to the wok, almost backwards marinating if you will.

For ease, I cooked my rice in a rice cooker. They are a fantastic piece of kitchen equipment because they save the hassle of cooking rice over the hob, gas or electric, and using microwave rice. Cheap long grain rice works just fine here and you can bulk out your expensive jasmine or basmati rice with the cheap long grain rice to make it go further. A 1.5L rice cooker, which is more than enough to cook 4 servings, ranges in price from £15 to £30.

The time it takes to cook the rice is also how long it takes to cook the chicken teriyaki itself, making for a perfect dinner. I slice the chicken breasts into strips so that they can cook quicker but also makes the chicken breast go a bit further. You can also use chicken thighs for this recipe, they have a bit more flavour but make sure that they are skinless and boneless. I serve the chicken teriyaki with raw carrots for crunch, rocket for pepperiness, sesame and chill broad beans to up the vegetable content and kimchi for a punchy kick. You can find kimchi in refrigerated packets in most Asian supermarkets.

This would also go really well with my Romaine Lettuce Kimchi, which has been one of my most popular posts in 2017!


300g long grain rice

2 tbsp oil

3 chicken breasts, sliced into strips

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 tbsp light soy sauce

6 tbsp dark soy sauce

150ml white wine

3 tbsp sugar – you could also use honey

2 spring onions, finely sliced

1 carrot, cut into thin strips

60g rocket leaves

150g frozen broad beans

1 tsp sesame oil

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

100g kimchi, optional


Wash the rice under cold water until the water runs clear, then place into the bowl of your rice cooker. Add enough water to the rice cooker to reach just under the first crease of your middle finger when you touch the surface of the rice with your middle finger. Switch on the rice cooker and leave the rice to cook.

Heat the oil in a wok over a medium high heat. Cook the chicken breast strips in the wok until they are cooked through, stirring to stop it from sticking. Once cooked, add in the crushed garlic, the two soy sauces, the white wine and the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Leave the teriyaki sauce to boil down and reduce by half. When reduced by half, add in a handful of the spring onions and carrots and reduce by a third.

Place the broad beans into a pan of salted boiling water and cook for around 7 – 8 minutes until they are soft and tender. Drain away the water and return to the pan, adding in the teaspoon of sesame oil and chilli flakes. Toss to coat.

Remove the chicken from the wok and place into a small bowl and set aside. Continue to reduce the sauce, letting it thicken naturally until it coats the back of a spoon. Return the chicken to the sauce and warm through.

When the rice is cooked, fluff it up using a fork and then divide equally between 4 bowls. Lay the carrots around the left side of the bowl, the rocket leaves around the right side of the bowl and then fill the centre with the chicken, drizzling the teriyaki sauce over the chicken. Serve the broad beans and kimchi in a bowl on the side.

White Chocolate Hemispheres with Truffle Centre

Chocolate shops all over the country will see a boom in sales as some frantically rush around to find a Valentine’s Day gift for their loved ones. I tried making my own chocolates which I think could possibly eclipse many of the chocolates you’ll find on your high street. My White Chocolate Hemispheres have a white chocolate shell with rainbow sprinkles and a soft dark chocolate truffle centre.

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I employ my ‘quick temper’ method for melting my white chocolate. By this, I mean that I melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds to begin with, stirring and then continuing to microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring after each one and stopping when most of the chocolate has melted before stirring the chocolate to melt the last bits of chocolate to prevent overheating. Then, depending on the quantity of chocolate and what I’m using it for, I will add in 20% more chocolate and stir to melt that in too. For the shells, I will employ this latter method because it’s the visible chocolate but to fill and cover the bases, I will just melt it using the former method.

It doesn’t always guarantee shiny well-tempered chocolate (as you can see in my pictures, it did bloom) but it is a good practice of melting chocolate. The blooming may have come from the fact that I refrigerated the chocolate for 15 minutes before turning the chocolates out however it doesn’t affect the texture or taste of the chocolate.

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I used single cream for my ganache. I have started to use single cream to make my ganache because I prefer the texture of it in this chocolate. The ganache ends up being slightly softer which contrasts well with the white chocolate shell but still tastes rich and smooth.

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The mould I used was a silicone 30mm diameter hemisphere mould with 24 holes. They can be found very easily in any kitchen retailers or online. I recommend using silicone moulds for making chocolate as their flexibility lends to popping out the chocolate both quickly and easily. The technique I use is to turn the mould over, push down on the hemisphere with my thumbs whilst peeling the silicone mould away so they pop out with ease.

The chocolate I recommend is the cheap 100g bars from the supermarkets. I find that they melt really nicely and are just as good quality as your high end brands. I tend to leave the high end, more luxurious chocolate for eating on their own. The dark chocolate I use has minimum 50% cocoa solids but don’t mistake this for cooking or baking chocolate or chocolate covering, they aren’t the same.

I can make these 24 chocolates for exactly £1, which is significantly cheaper than a box of Valentine’s Day chocolates. So you can really impress by making these chocolates which look expensive but cost absolutely nothing to make! Also make sure to check out my similar recipes:

White Chocolate Sprinkle Hearts

Valentine’s Day White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies

White Chocolate Confetti Popcorn

White Chocolate Mendiants


Rainbow sprinkles

100ml single cream

100g dark chocolate, broken up into pieces

170g white chocolate, split into 90g, 20g and 60g


Prepare your 24-hole 30mm hemisphere moulds by placing a few sprinkles in each hemisphere. Set aside.

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Make your ganache by heating the cream in the microwave for a minute on the highest setting. Add in the broken up chocolate and leave for 2 minutes. Then stir to combine into a smooth, shiny and silky ganache. If the chocolate doesn’t melt fully, return to the microwave for 20 seconds to melt and stir again. Leave to cool and firm up at room temperature.

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Take the 90g of white chocolate and break it up into squares and place into a microwaveable bowl. Melt the chocolate starting with 30 seconds, stirring and then reducing the time to 20 seconds, stirring after each interval until the chocolate is almost fully melted. Then continue to stir the chocolate until it has all melted.

Leave the chocolate to cool for 5 minutes, stirring it every so often. Then place the chocolate into a piping bag. Twist the top of the bag and then wrap around your finger so you can squeeze it easily. Cut off a small hole off the end (allowing you more control) and fill each of the hemispheres with enough chocolate to come up to one-third of the hemisphere mould. Then using the handle of a teaspoon, guide the chocolate up the sides of the hemispheres, covering them completely. Repeat for all of the holes, adding more chocolate into the holes if the coating looks a bit thin. You might need to keep an eye on them to see if the chocolate drops down to the base; just use the spoon to coax it back up the sides. If you’ve got a cool room, the chocolate should set up fairly quickly but do not refrigerate at this stage.

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Once the ganache has cooled and thickened up to the right consistency – firm enough to hold its own shape, but not too firm that it can’t be easily manipulated; this takes around 15 minutes – then transfer to a piping bag. Cut off a small hole off the end and pipe some of the ganache into each of the holes. Avoid overfilling (as tempting as it is) the holes with ganache or you will find that getting a smooth base is almost impossible, although you can very gently manipulate the ganache with a spoon dipped in hot water.

Then melt the remaining 60g of white chocolate (with any leftover chocolate from earlier) following the same procedure as above (not adding any extra chocolate) and after cooling and putting in a piping bag, fill the hemispheres with chocolate, making sure there is also enough to cover the surface. Use the spoon to again level out the chocolate, removing any excess if there is any. Give the mould a shake to level out the chocolate, removing any air pockets and smoothing out. Leave the chocolates to set up at room temperature and then I refrigerated for 15 minutes. If your room is cold enough, they should set at room temperature.

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Once set, turn the mould over onto a board and peel away the silicone mould from the chocolates. Store the chocolates in an airtight container. If it is cool enough, you should be able to keep them at room temperature.

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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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Homemade Chicken Enchiladas with a Homemade Spicy Tomato Sauce

Enchiladas are a favourite of many people with a tasty meat filling in a tortilla wrap covered with a flavoursome tomato sauce and topped with melted cheese. My version is filled with sliced chicken breast mixed with spicy pickled jalapenos.

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The chicken breast is panfried in cumin oil. I simply place cold oil into my frying pan and season the oil with salt and add the cumin seeds. As the pan heats up, the cumin seeds start to release their aroma and as the chicken cooks in the pan, the seeds release flavour and the chicken absorbs this flavour. Cumin itself, for me, is a very Mexican spice, with its background warmth and toastiness which adds so much depth to a lot of Mexican food.

I think making the tomato sauce from scratch makes a huge difference to this dish. The spices and sweating down the onions and peppers add a lot of flavour and liven up the enchiladas. The sauce is also fantastic with pasta so making extra sauce is always a good idea so you can have a quick meal when you get home from a long day.

The dish I used was a ceramic baking dish from Poundland and I found the mini tortilla wraps from Tesco. You can use any baking dish you have in your cupboard, just make sure that your wraps fit inside it otherwise you might have a bit of trouble squeezing it into your dish.


For the chicken:

1 tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

2 chicken breasts

For the spicy tomato sauce:

1 red pepper, finely diced

1 onion, finely sliced into half moons

1 tomato, diced

1 tbsp tomato puree

½ tsp coriander seeds

¼ tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chilli flakes

2 tsp sugar

Salt and pepper

50g curly kale, finely chopped, stalky bits removed

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp cornflour

For the enchiladas:

30g pickled red jalapenos, finely chopped

6 mini wheat tortilla wraps or 4 normal wheat tortilla wraps

50g cheese of your choice, grated; I used Double Gloucester


Place the cumin seeds and salt into a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Heat up the pan until the oil is hot and the seeds begin to colour and release their aroma. Panfry the chicken breasts in the cumin oil to brown on each side. The chicken will let you know when it needs to be turned over because it won’t stick to the pan.

Once browned, place onto a baking tray and bake the chicken breasts in an oven preheated to 200˚C. Bake the chicken breasts for around 20 – 25 minutes, depending on how thick they are, until they are cooked all the way through and no pinkness remains; if you have a food thermometer, it must exceed 74˚C.

For the spicy tomato sauce, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan. Add in the diced peppers and sliced onions and cook them for around 7-8 minutes until they have softened and the onions are translucent. Add in the fresh tomato and the tomato puree and cook the puree out for a minute. Add in all the spices at once and the sugar, some salt and some pepper and stir to combine.

Throw in the kale and the chopped tomatoes. Fill the tin halfway full of water and swill the tin and add to the pan. Stir and bring it to the boil and allow to reduce by about a quarter. Mix the cornflour with some water to form a slurry and add to the sauce, stirring to thicken. Continue to cook until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Leave to cool slightly.

Shred or chop the chicken into small strips and place into a bowl with the chopped jalapenos. Spoon about half of the contents of the pan into the bowl, avoiding too much of the sauce, and mix together.

Divide the chicken mix between your wraps, placing them in a line in the centre of the wrap. Roll up the tortilla, tucking in the wrap so that they form a tight roll. Place them seam-side down in the baking dish. Pour over the remaining sauce over the top and spread over. Sprinkle over your cheese (I didn’t have a grater so just chopped it up finely).

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Bake for around 15 – 20 minutes until the cheese has melted, the sauce is bubbling and any exposed edges of the tortillas have crisped up. Serve on their own as pictured or with sour cream, coriander and a wedge of lime.

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