Month: September 2015


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Serves 6

– 2 plantain ( slices into 2 cm mix with 2tsp all ground all spice)
– 2 vanilla pods
– 150g of caster sugar
– 400 ml coconut milk
– 6 egg yolks
– 3 pieces pandan leaves, cut into 3cm
– Banana leaves to wrap the cake or ramekins
– Salt to taste

How to make :
Heat the coconut milk with the vanilla pod and allow to just come to the boil make sure you didn’t break the coconut milk. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar.
Pour the hot coconut milk over the egg yolks whisking vigorously. When completely mixed in, return to the pan.
Stir over a low heat until the mixture thickens sufficiently to coat the back of a spoon. This will take 5-6 minutes. Drain into a bowl, remove vanilla pods, grab a banana leaf. Give a piece of pandan leaf in it, insert the banana slices and pour the coconut custard. Wrap the banana and custard and steam for 25 minutes. Serve cool or hot

Ps : ground all spice in Central Java refer into “bumbu Spekkoek” ( mix 1 part ground cinamoon, 1 part ground nutmeg,1/2 part ground cardamom and 1/2 part ground cloves)



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Serves 12

This recipe uses stale pastries, if available ask your local coffee shop for their stale pastries it would be amazing for this recipe.

Butter croissant-Pain aux raisins-Pain au chocolate, plantain, coconut butter pudding.

Pain aux raisins-Pain au chocolate and butter croissant are the best ingredients for this butter pudding (so scrap the maple pecan plait, almond croissant and apricot croissant)

12 mixed pastries (chocolate, butter, and raisin)
2 ripe plantains (darker skin is better)
50g butter

1/2 nutmeg
2cm cinnamon
1 clove
1/2 long pepper
2 cardamom
(All spices slightly toasted and ground)

Coconut cream custard
250ml whole milk
125ml coconut milk
200ml double cream
3 egg yolk
1tsp vanilla extract
35g caster sugar
1tsp cornflour
Pinch of Demerara sugar

– Slice pastry into 3, spread with butter, slice plantain into 1cm on the diagonal and mix with spices mix, using paella dish (30cm), place the pastry and plantain alternate layers.

– In a medium sauce pan, whisk egg yolk cornflour sugar and vanilla extract, add milk, coconut milk and double cream, put on a low heat cook for 8 to 10 minutes, just make sure the custard is smooth but not too thick

– Pour the custard over the pastries and plantain. With a large wooden spoon press the pastries firmly to make sure all the custard soaks inside the pastry and leave it for about 3 minutes before putting it in the oven for 30 minutes at 180°C

– sprinkle with slightly toasted desiccated coconut (and usually still have extra coconut custard left to serve)



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Serves 4 comfortably

July 1998, finally my sister married her boyfriend, after a two year battle with our parents because he is Chinese. Just wondering why my parents didn’t realise that Chinese and Javanese people had already mixed hundreds of years ago and my families favourite dish is “Bakmi Jawa”, a Chinese dish with a touch of Javanese. Just thought how the racism is just everywhere, behind our closed door and how food actually didn’t recognise it. Looking back was such a drama and now we can laugh about it and still Bakmi Jawa is our favourite even my British other half loves it so much.

This dish wasn’t difficult to make because basically it is the same as making simple noodles but it taste vibrant because of the aromatic chicken stock, and creamy candle nuts and egg yolk.
½ large free range chicken (skin removed)
400g fresh egg noodle
¼ kg white cabbage cut into 1 cm pieces
4 heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 eggs yolk, beaten
4 spring onions, finely sliced
½ tbs sweet soy sauce
5 Asian shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 candle nuts (or 10 raw macadamia nuts if you can’t find candle nut)
1tsp ground white pepper
1 kaffir lime leaf
3cm ginger, bruised
1 bay leaf or salam leaf
1tsp black peppercorns
1tsp salt to taste
1tsp dried shrimp, toasted and finely grind
2tbs vegetable oil
900ml water

Clean the chicken and remove excess skin and fat. In a large pan boil the chicken, lime leaf, black peppercorn, ginger and bay leaf with water for 15 minutes, and simmer for 45 minutes, remove the chicken and keep 500ml chicken stock, shred the chicken into small pieces, discard the lime leaf, bay leaf and black peppercorn.
Use pestle and mortar to pound shallots, garlic, white pepper, dried shrimp and candle nuts to a fine paste.
Heat the oil in a large wok Fry the paste for 2 minutes until fragrant, add the spring onions,cabbage, chicken stock and sweet soy sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and noodles, simmer for 4 minutes until all ingredients are tender. Add the 2 beaten egg yolk, keep stirring and simmer for 2 minutes.
4. Spoon into bowls, serve with chopped parsley, thinly sliced boiled eggs (optional), fried shallots and pinch of ground white pepper.

Ps: if you prefer using dry noodle, Simply M&S medium egg noodles(250g) are the most similar that we use in my home town.
If you can’t find dried shrimp, use 5 large raw prawn (use food processor grind finely), prefer you didn’t use nampla (fish sauce) because it’s too strong.
Pickled cucumber, ginger and birds eye chilli would compliment the dish
– 1 large cucumber, ½ cm sliced
– 1tsp ginger paste or grated ginger
– 8 bird eye chillies
– 1tbs salt
– 3tbs rice wine vinegar
– 3tbs water
– 1tbs caster sugar
in a bowl rub the sliced cucumber with salt, leave it for 30 minutes, rinse under tap water. Put the cucumber in a bowl add ginger paste and birds eye chillies. In a small pan bring the boiled rice wine vinegar, water and sugar. Add the hot vinegar into the cucumber mix.


Javanese Spoon

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As we saw on Nigel Slater’s Eating Together season 1 episode 5 (Sharing plates), how I learned to cook without using standard measurements, pinch with fingers are, Javanese spiritualism in cooking comes from Pawon that means place for ash, as in traditional Javanese kitchen always separated from the main house or in the back of the house, I even still remember my grandmother from paternal side her kitchen was a small stable as my grand father owned a few horses and carriage when Indonesia was still Nederland East Indies. Pawon always uses dry wood or charcoal to cook and women are the main act to do the job.

When I was young, my grand mother always woke up at around 4 am in the morning starting the ritual of “Dadhek Geni” or making a fire and she always said to me go back to sleep, I always sneakily followed her and it was such fun to play with wood and fire. Nothing can stop me and I think I was her favourite grandchild, as long as I remember she never snapped at me.
She usually offered me peanut brittle so I was out of her way so she can do her “ritual of cooking”, from washing the rice I found it so complicated for me only to cook the rice in her method, she used a saucepan to start cooking the rice and after the rice absorbed the waterand she transferred it into a steamer to finish the cooking.
The ritual of cooking passed down from my grand mother through the generation, devoted to feeding the family became my mothers job, the ritual early morning wake up and preparing breakfast for the family. Trust me breakfast was not always easy with five kids, but Nasi Goreng was our favourite breakfast and as school started at 7 am so she had to have cooked the Nasi Goreng before 6 am.
This Nasi Goreng recipe is from my mother
500g cooked and cooled long grain rice
150g prawns, heads and shells removed,
2tbs vegetable oil
1tbs salted butter
4 spring onions
1tbs sweet soy sauce
1tbs tomato ketchup
Salt to taste
For the paste
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
5 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
5 red chillies, deseeded and sliced
2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced
½ tbs dried shrimp
½ tsp shrimp paste
½ tsp white pepper
To serve :
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 baby gem lettuce, washed
4 eggs, deep fried
To make the spice paste, use pestle and mortar to pound garlic, shallots, chillies, shrimp paste, dried shrimp and white pepper to the paste
Heat the oil in the wok add butter, fry spring onions for 30 seconds add the paste fry for about 2 minutes add the prawns and fry another 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir well, add tomato ketchup, sweet soy sauce and cook for about 4 minutes.
To serve, garnish the fried rice with tomatoes, cucumber, baby gem lettuce and individual deep fried egg. Topping the rice with crunchy fried shallots and chopped parsley.
Rice is the most important dish to the Javanese community, if the meal didn’t have rice in it, you can’t count that you have a meal. When political conflict rose in 1965 my grandmother said to me, she didn’t know what to do with the bulgur wheat that the government gave to them as a substitute because at that time rice was to difficult to find as the economy was falling apart.
Living in the UK for the past ten years, something that I have learned is to embrace multiculturalism of food, black pudding, bacon, vindaloo, taleggio, courgette, wild garlic.
Trying never hurt anybody, especially if food is involved and trying to put a Javanese influence into a British dish sometimes works well.
My coconut rice pudding is my favourite for a cool autumn day, replace milk with coconut milk, adding Pandan leaves instead of vanilla extract and put kafir lime leaves instead of nutmeg, but British berries to serve is a must.



Picture : Alex Hannam for Leicester Mercury


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Serves 8

This recipe is inspired by Pisang Molen Kismis (banana and raisin roll) Rum was the only alcoholic liquid that I knew when I was a kid, to be honest my mother spoke to me whilst I was writing this recipe about Rum and Raisins. This Dutch influenced recipe uses raisins, rum and mixed spices, my mothers uncle married a Dutch lady. She also mentioned how difficult it is now to find rum in a cook shop in my home town due to the new alcohol regulations. She never drink it, rum only use for cooking, it reduces the eggy taste when she made “fla” (custard cream) and for soaking raisin when bake Roti Kismis (similar with raisin brioche). Anyway before too much gossiping with my mother here’s the spice rum and raisin banana roll for you.


230g raisins
5 bananas (try to get skinny ones)
79ml golden syrup, plus 4tbs for drizzle
1tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground clove
¼ tsp ground mace
118ml rum
15g semolina
30g ground almond
1 ready roll puff pastry
1 egg yolk
Extra plain flour for rolling.

In a medium bowl mix together the raisins and all the spices and stir well, add the rum and golden syrup, just make sure all raisin are covered with the liquid. Wrap with cling film and leave it at least 4 hours (I leave it to soak overnight). Take the raisins before use for filling and keep 2tbs of the rum liquid to drizzle over the banana.
Roll the puff pastry into two 18x32cm square, cover with ground almond and semolina before placing two and half bananas a long in each puff pastry, cover it with raisins, be generous with raisins just make sure you use all the raisins, drizzle with golden syrup and extra spice rum liquid. Roll the puff pastry around similar like you make a sausage roll.
Cut each long roll into 4, so you will have 8 all together, brush with egg yolk. Bake in the oven 195°C for 20-24 minutes.
This sticky, lovely spiced rum and raisin banana roll is perfect for a rainy autumn day.

Ps : if your bananas are fat, cut the bananas in half lengthways, so you can use all the spice raisin for the filling. Don’t discard the spice rum liquid after you took the raisins out, you still can add raisin into it for another recipes (I did spice carrot and raisin cake).



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Serves 4 as compliment for cheese board or savoury board

When the theme come with cheese cake, first I thought I will bid for cheese cake ice cream as I prefer unbaked cheesecake and then I realise the other half can’t handle sweet dish, #sadface but just think about how many sweet cheese cake recipes (once again #millions).
So savoury cheesecake could be the one that people will think can enjoy it.
The first batch I did salmon avocado cheesecake (lovely) but you can not enjoy with the other meat plater, and you will have enough after two spoons.
The second batch I prefer avocado and basil. So bang bang.. I love it, my thought for this recipe only one, because this cheesecake is the centre for meat plater, I prefer use the best ingredients such as Lampung Black Pepper, Himalayan pink salt and really fresh basil leaves.


200g fromage frais
110g mascarpone
1 ripe avocado, spoon the flesh and finely chop, add a squeeze of lemon juice to stop it from browning
Lime juice from ¼ of lime
Lime zest
8 basil leaves, finely sliced
½ tsp ground Lampung black pepper
Salt to taste

For the base
60g Scottish oat cakes
40g cold unsalted butter
¼ tsp ground Lampung black pepper
Pinch of chilli flakes
Salt to taste

Use food processor, grind Scottish oat cakes, chilled butter, ground black pepper and chilli flakes into fine crumbs, layer the cake tin (11cm mini spring form cake pan) with parchment paper, use spoon press the base mixture down firm (slightly hard) into the bottom of the tin. Leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Use food mixer with paddle attachment, beat the fromage frais, mascarpone and chopped avocado until a smooth consistency, add basil leaves, ground black pepper and salt to taste stir well.
Using a piping bag pipe the cheese mixture on top of the the base and spread nicely, leave it in the fridge to set
Enjoy the cheese cake with, sliced smoked salmon, jamon, salami and British ham.



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Serves 4 comfortably

When I hear crumble, I always think about the Paloma Faith song “Only love can hurt like this” “When you’re not there I just crumble”. Crumble always reminds me of the end of Summer, here we go again Autumn is coming and for some people their hearts are crumbling when they can’t wear shorts, flip flops, and the sun moves down south. Spice your autumn and warm your heart with this nutty crumble and baked spice fruit, it just hits the spot for early autumn. For the lovely crumble I prefer to bake it separately and not with the fruit.


For the crumble :
60g whole hazelnut skin on
85g plain flour
40g dark brown sugar
40g demerara sugar
80g butter
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla extract

For the spice fruit:
4 pears, peeled, discard the core and dice into 2cm cube
6 plums, stoned and cuts into 4
3tbs of blackberry
2tbs caster sugar
20g unsalted butter, diced
1 clove
¼ star anise
1 vanilla pod
5cm cinnamon stick
2tbs brandy
2 long pepper (optional)
1 mace

Pre heat the oven at 180°C (same temperature for crumble and baked fruit),
To Make the spiced fruit, in a baking tray with tin foil and baking parchment on top place the diced pears, plums and blackberry. Sprinkle and rub gently with sugar and brandy, add all the spices and the diced butter. Wrap using tin foil like a parcel, set a side.
To make the crumble, using a food processor roughly grind the hazelnuts and set aside, with the same food processor blitz the flour, ground cinnamon and butter until mixed like grains of sand, add dark brown sugar, Demerara sugar, vanilla extract and diced hazelnut, and blitz again until mixs together and crumbly
In the baking tray with baking parchment scatter the mixture roughly.
At the same time bake the parcel of fruit and crumble mixture. After about 15- 20 minutes take the the crumble from the oven let it cool down for 15-20 minutes. Keep the parcel in the oven another 15 -20 minutes. If it sticks together, with a fork break the crumble into small pieces. Take the parcel from the oven discard all the spices divide into 4 small bowls or jars, put the crumble on top serve with whipped double cream and extra liquid from the spiced fruit.


Carrot, blackberry, walnut cake

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Serves 12

Ingredients :


180g unsalted butter, softened
180g plain flour
170g light brown sugar
160g grated carrot
80g walnut
3 medium eggs
1tsp baking powder
1tsp ground of cinnamon
1tsp ground of allspice
1tsp vanilla extract


150g blackberries
75ml Cointreau
4 tbsp caster sugar


400g mascarpone cheese
40ml Cointreau
300ml double cream
35g icing sugar

Preheat the oven 180°C and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
Sift the flour, baking powder and spices together into a bowl. Using a hand-held electric mixer or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until smooth. Stir the carrots and chopped walnuts into this mixture then fold in the sifted dry ingredients.
Divide the batter between the paper cases filling them up to two-thirds. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin. Then place on a wire rack to cool completely while you make the blackberry compote.

Put the blackberry and Cointreau into a saucepan and stir in the sugar. Place the pan on the hob and bring to the boil, allowing the liquid to slightly reduce and the blackberries break up, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Using an electric whisk beat the mascarpone and Cointreau until smooth add whipped double cream and icing sugar.

When the cupcakes have cooled, use a knife to cut top of the cupcakes, pour approximately 1 teaspoonful of blackberry compote, let the syrup soaked into the cupcakes

Frost the cupcakes with the mascarpone cream and drizzle with the blackberry compote.




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Serves 2 comfortably

This recipe is dedicated to all the vegans.

For the vinaigrette:
1tbs rapeseed oil
1tbs avocado oil (I am using“La tourangelle”)
1tsp wholegrain mustard
1tsp balsamic vinegar
For the Salad:
2 just ripe avocados, stone removed one fan cut and the other one roughly chopped.
150g firm tofu, match stick cut
100g mixed salad leaves
2 heirloom tomatoes, chunky chopped
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1tbs coriander leaves, roughly chopped
2 jalapeño pepper, finely sliced
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of sea salt
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp hot paprika powder
1clove of garlic, finely chopped
½ tbs rapeseed oil

In a frying pan, fry the tofu with rapeseed oil until slightly golden brown. Place the chilli flakes, finely chopped garlic and pinch of sea salt in a small bowl. Add the fried tofu and toss so the chilly flakes and hot paprika covering the tofu. Set a side.
In a salad’s bowl mix all together, the salad leaves, heirloom tomatoes, spring onion, coriander leaves, jalapeño and roughly chopped avocado.
In a small bowl, whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together, add and toss into salad mix.
To serve, divide the salad into two salad plates add the spicy tofu and place the fan cut avocado on top. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with more vinaigrette on top.



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Serves 4

The first time my other half tried avocado juice in Indonesia when he visited me in Bogor, West Java. We had lunch in a place that was famous for baked pasta. The comment from him “it’s strange”, Avocado in Indonesia is more often served for a mixed fruit cocktail. Es Teler as an example where avocado is served with young coconut flesh, jack fruit, coconut water, condensed milk and crushed ice.
When I was studying in University in Malang, East Java the type of fruit there were more complex and exotic and avocado was to became part of the ingredients. I prefer Indonesian avocado juice to share, but this recipe would be perfect for desert because if we use the real Indonesian recipe for avocado juice it could be “too much”, I ditched the condensed milk and replaced it with almond milk to make it lighter.


2 large ripe avocados, pit removed
59ml dark rum
118ml vanilla syrup (Monin vanilla syrup)
85ml almond milk
1 ½ crushed ice
4 tbs dark chocolate sauce (Monin dark chocolate sauce)
2 tbs grated dark chocolate
In the blender blitz all together the flesh of the avocado, dark rum, condensed milk, vanilla syrup and crushed ice, until smooth.
Drizzle dark chocolate sauce in the bottom of a brandy glass, add the smooth avocado mix, drizzle more dark chocolate sauce and topp with grated dark chocolate. Serve immediately.