Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.
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Note Coconut palm sugar is available from Asian
To make coconut milk, Thai food authority David Thompson suggests processing the flesh in a food processor or blender until finely chopped. Gradually add 350ml hot (not boiling) water for every coconut and process to combine, then transfer to a bowl and work with your hands to extract as much flavour as possible (3-5 minutes). Strain the liquid through a muslin-lined sieve into a bowl and squeeze to extract all liquid (discard solids). One coconut processed with 350ml water yields about 350ml coconut milk. If a recipe calls for slightly more coconut milk than you've made, you can top it up with water. It can be used as full-fat milk or the coconut cream can be separated from it.
Mature coconuts are sold with the outer shell and outer husk removed; the inner husk is brown and hairy. They contain a small amount of liquid and a crunchy white flesh used for making coconut milk and cream. Mature coconuts are available from supermarkets and Asian grocers. To open a mature coconut, pierce two of the eyes (we used a screwdriver) and drain the liquid. Tap firmly around the circumference with the back of a large knife, rotating the coconut with each tap until the shell cracks open. If the coconut smells fermented or the flesh isn't pure white, it's a bad nut.
These slippery jellies melt in the mouth. To achieve a pure white jelly, be sure to peel all the brown skin from the coconut flesh when making the coconut milk. You could use canned coconut milk, but the taste and texture of freshly made coconut milk are far superior. You will need 2 mature coconuts to make the coconut milk for this recipe.
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