Cookery Coach

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Saturday night homemade takeaway: Thai Green Curry with Chicken

There's nothing better on a Saturday night than being snuggled up in front of a great film with a delicious, indulgent meal. But forget the takeaway tonight, just pop to the shops to pick up a few pieces and you can make a fantastic Green Thai Curry that's even more scrumptious than a takeaway- and cheaper!

Check out Jez from our sister company School of Wok in his Blue Dragon video recipe below, and let us know how you get on...


Recipe of the month: Thai Spring Rolls

If the freezing cold weather has left you daydreaming of sunnier climes, transport your kitchen to the Far East with these easy-to-make Thai Spring Rolls. Enjoy them plenty of sweet chilli dip.




Makes about 20

50g vermicelli
100g minced lean pork
1 clove garlic
70g beansprouts
2 tbspn oyster sauce
1 tsp white sugar
1 tbspn chopped coriander
pinch salt
pinch white pepper (black will do)
20 x sheets of spring roll pastry
banana for sticking




1. Mix the pork with the oyster sauce and a pinch of the white sugar. Mix well.

2. Soak the noodles in boiling water for a few minutes, rinse under cold water
and chop into 40mm lengths

3. Pound the garlic in a pestle and mortar until crushed.

4. Gently heat the oil in a wok and stir fry the garlic until golden - do not burn.

5. Add the minced pork and continue to fry breaking the pork up into smaller

6. Once the pork is cooked, add the bean sprouts, and cook for 1 more minute

7. Add the noodles, oyster sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and coriander.

8. Mix and then turn out onto a tray to cool.



1. Cut the end of the banana and use as a sticking paste (much like edible pritt stick!)

2. Place cooled filling in centre of pastry


3. Fold over diagonally and stick*


4. Holding finger tips over the ‘roll' use thumbs to roll pastry slightly to enclose the filling


5. Fold in sides and stick*


6. Roll the until fully closed and stick



1. Deep fry at 170°C until golden brown
2. Once cooked, place on kitchen towel to remove excess oil


1. Place in a basket with sweet chilli sauce in a side bowl


Looking to upgrade your meal? Why not cook a Thai Red Curry to follow the spring rolls? Check out this video from Jeremy Pang, the head chef of our sister company School of Wok. Delicious!



Recipe of the month: Mince Pies!

We might be sick of the little blighters by New Year but there's nothing quite like your first mince pie of the festive season. All that buttery pastry and rich, fruity mincemeat instantly evokes the sparkly excitement of Christmas. But did you also know that mince pies are shrouded in superstition? Cookery Coach brings you our top 5 mince pie superstitions followed by a brilliantly easy recipe to make your own!


1. You must eat at least one mince pie on each of the 12 days of Christmas (think of it as the second course to your Advent calendar chocolate)

2. Never turn down a mince pie if someone offers you one (banish the skinny jeans to the back of the wardrobe)

3. When making mince pies, always stir the mincemeat in a clockwise direction (unless you want a year of doom and gloom?)

4. Don't forget to make a wish whilst eating your first mince pie of the season (works better than a letter to Santa)

5. Never speak whilst eating your mince pie (give pie eating the reverence it deserves!)



Nev's recipe for super easy mince pies

Makes 12

230g cold butter , diced
350g plain flour
110g golden caster sugar
280g mincemeat
1 small egg , beaten
icing sugar , to dust

To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour, then mix in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine the pastry into a ball - don't add liquid - and knead it briefly. The dough will be fairly firm, like shortbread dough. You can use the dough immediately, or chill for later.

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Line 18 holes of two 12-hole patty tins, by pressing small walnut-sized balls of pastry into each hole. Spoon the mincemeat into the pies.

Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids, big enough to cover the pies. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal - you don't need to seal them with milk or egg as they will stick on their own. (The pies may now be frozen for up to 1 month).

Brush the tops of the pies with the beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. To serve, lightly dust with icing sugar. They will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.


What REALLY happens on a Flavours of China food tour?

Chances are you've heard us rambling on about our sister company School of Wok's brilliant Flavours of China, the gastronomic day out that combines a foodie tour of London's Chinatown with a hands-on cooking lesson in the city's trendy Ping Pong restaurant. But are you intrigued about what really happens on a Flavours of China tour?

Check out this piece by the fantastic Chinatown London to get a mouthful-by-mouthful account of just what you can expect when you join us on this fun-and-food-filled day... Click the image to see the full article.



Cookery Coach meets Crumbs and Doilies

Cupcake week continues at Cookery Coach! Today we chat to Jemma Wilson, Director & Creative Director of Crumbs and Doilies, about unshakable standards, boob cakes and Harry Potter...

Hello Jemma! So tell us, how did Crumbs and Doilies start?

I set up Crumbs and Doilies 5 and a bit years ago after a year spent baking for Rose Bakery in Dover Street Market. Prior to that, baking had just been a hobby but one which I increasingly felt I needed to spend more time on and eventually decided to make it my work.

I set up a market stall at Brick Lane's Sunday upMarket and took the occasional private order. My business partner Sam came on board when it was clear I was taking far too much on for one human being! He created our beautiful website, exchanged the handwritten doilies I was handing out with my number on for lovely flyers with our logo on, word spread, orders increased and after 3 years we had outgrown the home operation and moved to our lovely kitchen in Wandsworth.

The team grew to 5 (3 in the kitchen and 2 in the office) and here we are now - still growing, still making what we consider to be the best cupcakes in London (possibly the world, but that's just a feeling!). We're still focused on using the best ingredients we can buy and making every cupcake with a borderline obsessive attention to detail.


british_flag_cakes_crumbs_and_doilies beatles_cakes_crumbs_and_doilies pacman_cakes_crumbs_and_doilies

What sets Crumbs and Doilies apart from other cupcake companies?

Our unshakably high standards! We never cut corners, use cheaper, lower quality ingredients or let anything out of the door unless it is amazing. Plus, everything we do is totally bespoke. We don't have a standard range of cupcakes. We work with each customer to get a feel for what they are after and then we use our creativity to guide us with the decorating.

We are also possibly the only cupcake company who does such intricate piping work. All the hand-piped images and logos we do are painstakingly reproduced free-hand with royal icing, with no stencils or templates. Also, flavour-wise, our cupcakes are hands down the tastiest I have ever come across. Baking all of our cupcakes in small batches using really great ingredients, you can really taste each element of the cupcake, rather than just tasting generic 'cake' flavour.

You mentioned all your cupcakes are bespoke - which has been your favourite request?

I always like it when we get a fun request or a really strong theme. We do a lot of stuff for movie launches and the Harry Potter one was pretty epic. Four giant cupcakes each in the style of the four houses of Hogwarts and with a sugarpaste plaque of each crest, hand painted in food colouring. This was the first time I had painted since art school so it was a challenge for me but it turned out really awesome.

I also loved doing the 80s hip hop themed cupcakes.

harry_potter_crumbs_and_doilies harry_potter_cakes_crumbs_and_doilies 80s_hiphop_full


And what about strangest cake request you've ever received...?!

A dozen big cupcakes all iced to look like boobs. It was pretty traumatic to look at a dozen boobs in a box and we have since decided never to do any rude or naughty cupcakes EVER AGAIN!

Who would you most like to make up a batch of cupcakes for?

Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes (tv show about Baltimore bakery Charm City Cakes). We are HUGE fans of that show and think what they do is amazeballs but Duff is reknowned for hating cupcakes. I would like to convert him!

The world's definitely gone a bit cupcake crazy recently- why do you think there's such a renewed excitement for the little spongey wonders?

Because they are absolutely adaptable and perfect for every occasion. Also, I think home baking has really taken off again in the last few years and with it an increased appreciation for all things sugary! Not to sound like a cliche but things have been a bit depressing for lots of people over the last couple of years and food and, in particular sugar, is a comfort.

Cupcakes are particularly popular because they are visually exciting and pleasing on the eye but also because they are one hit! Unless you eat 12.

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Tell us about your exciting Create Your Dream Cupcake competition!

We have always run a Name-the-Cake competition where we make a particularly interesting looking cupcake and people have to give it a name (in case you hadn't already guessed the point of the competition by its name!). Every month, we get a handful of entries from people who have misunderstood the competition and suggested flavours! Since we are always coming up with new flavours for our Flavour of the Month, we figured other people might want to get involved! And so the Create your Dream Cupcake competition was born! I'm really excited to start experimenting!

And finally.. Do you have any tips for getting perfect cupcakes every time?

Make sure your oven is doing what it says it is. All ovens lie about their temperature so buy an oven thermometer and experiment until you get it right. Also, never scrimp on quality ingredients. It might cost a bit more to get the good stuff but you will always notice the difference, trust me!


Check out more delicious Crumbs and Doilies goodness on their website, Facebook site and Twitter feed - don't forget to enter the competition!

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