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Coconut milk & cream (for culinary purposes)

To prepare coconut milk and cream from scratch, scrape the meat from a broken coconut and discard the shell. Cut the flesh into 3cm chunks, then either grate it by hand or in a food processor.

For cream: cover the coconut you have with an equal volume of boiling water or milk. Allow this to stand for 30 minutes, then squeeze through muslin or a clean tea towel to extract the liquid. The solids can be thrown away unless making milk. It will still have a slightly granular texture.

For milk: after this first squeezing - set the cream aside for future use, then cover the residue coconut over a 2nd time with the same quantity of boiling water or milk and repeat the operation. You can repeat this a 3rd time if you wish, each pressing will produce a thinner, less oily liquid.

Both the cream and milk keeping the fridge for a few days or freeze well.

Both coconut milk and cream can be bought in tins, or the above procedures can be repeated using unsweetened desiccated coconut. See 'Coconut'

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