Tag Archives: yum cha

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.


Hong Kong Day 12

A new day in Hong Kong and we went to yum cha again in Fanling. We had some new dishes such as chicken feet in black bean sauce and taro dumplings and for the 7 of us, it came to $494; this means $70 a head, equivalent to under £6. This was incredibly affordable and we were all stuffed.  
 I didn’t realise just how many bakeries there were in HK. Every bakery is different but they all offer the exact same things, showing just how popular they all are. Below are some of the other pictures that I’ve taken of the bakery displays, as well as the old ones for comparison.

As we near the end of my time in HK, these posts are coming to an end. I will be posting a reflection on these posts and my travels as a whole back in the UK.

Hong Kong Day 2

My second day started at 2:18am when I woke up after a mere 45 minutes sleep. Since then I wasn’t able to get back to sleep and by that time, it was 3am and I took part in the weekly #fdbloggers chat and once that had finished, I was most definitely wide awake and unable to get back to sleep. I had just accepted the fact that I was going to live on 45 minutes of sleep and soon 7:45am came around. It was literally chucking it down and we needed breakfast. We combined a mix of the same food from day one, the Pork Gyozas with McDonalds, this time Sausage and Egg McMuffins with Hash Browns and hot Soy Milk.

We decided to meet up with my great-aunt and uncle in Shek Kip Mei, a fair way from Tai Po so we boarded the train (MTR) to Shek Kip Mei where we went to yum cha (eat dim sum) with them. We had a variety of dishes and some of them I’m still not really sure how to explain in English, but I did take many pictures of them:

 We then visited a nearby shopping centre and there were shops aplenty with food goods. From baking to general home cooking, there was something for every cook as well as some crafting activities for those who want to make cakes, macarons and wedding cakes.

 After we sampled some different flavours of ice cream, including taro, rum and raisin, green tea, rocky road and cookie. The rum and raisin was beautifully potent with rum but the green tea was terribly bland, so mixed reviews. But 5 scoops for $12 (£1.00), we were very pleased.

So day 2 of Hong Kong 2015 is almost over, I hope I manage to sleep for slightly longer and I’m surprised I haven’t died of exhaustion as of yet. I’ll be back tomorrow with another holiday update!

Steamed Malaysian Sponge Cake

It’s Mother’s Day, the day when all children give their mothers, and grandmothers, gifts to say thank you. Whilst it’s all good and well buying a bouquet of flowers or a massive box of chocolates, I think the best gifts are homemade, the ones that mean something to them and show love and care. I chose to make their favourite cake, Steamed Malaysian Sponge Cake.

Ma Lai Gao

I have to admit that this is my favourite cake as well because it is just so simple. There’s no need to serve this cake with anything except a cup of tea and its flavour shines through. It is traditionally served as a dim sum dish, the Chinese equivalent of afternoon tea, and like most dim sum, it is steamed rather than baked. This leads to a wonderfully fluffy texture.

You’d expect a steamed Chinese cake to contain some odd ingredient that you don’t have in the cupboard because many Chinese cakes tend to be whisked sponges and contain either cream of tartar or ammonium bicarbonate, both of which are replacements for baking powder. However there is nothing out of the ordinary here, except from maybe custard powder but this is still readily available. For a darker sponge, brown sugar is used and this also lends a deeper caramel flavour. I keep it easy by using granulated sugar.


The cake is simple and easy enough to be made completely by hand. It uses American cup measures and this is the perfect ratio. I suggest investing in a set of these and they make baking quite a lot easier and it means I do not have to convert American recipes into metric!

320g self-raising flour (2 ½ cups of all purpose flour, 3 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt)

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp custard powder

½ tsp baking powder

100g margarine

300g granulated sugar (1.5 cups)

80ml sunflower oil – any flavourless oil will do

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp honey

5 eggs

Prepare your tins. You can use baking tins but I like using metal containers. They are quite shallow so it cooks relatively quickly. Grease 2 with oil and line with some parchment.

Into a large bowl, sift together the self-raising flour, salt, the custard powder and baking powder. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together the margarine, sugar and oil until it has turned a few shades lighter and is fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and honey until incorporated.


Beat in the eggs one by one. The mixture will feel thicker with the addition of each egg. Continue to mix until it forms a smooth paste. If the mixture has curdled and looks lumpy, add 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients.

Prepare your steamer. Electric steamers are best but you can fill a wok or large saucepan with water about 2 inches high and bring to the boil, just make sure it does not touch the steamer. Bamboo steaming baskets, like the ones below, impart a slight flavour during steaming.

Add the dry ingredients all at once and fold into the batter. You may need to add a tablespoon of water to the cake batter as it is very thick.

IMG_0776 IMG_0777

Divide between the 2 containers and place each into their own steamer basket. Steam for 20 minutes and the test is the same as baked cakes, if a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, they are done.


This sponge is best served warm, so heat the sponge in the microwave to have that authentic Chinese dim sum feeling.