A few months ago I started to cook more vegan recipes, especially cake items, as I wanted to cut out products like egg, milk and butter as moistening or binding agents. When I started looking up tasty recipes online I discovered that many of them required coconut cream for taste and to blend. I have cooked sweet and savoury items using coconut cream in the past but had always just scooped that gooey thick bit out of the top of a tin of coconut milk! I wasn't aware you could actually buy pure coconut cream until I spotted it on the shelf in my local supermarket!
This product is made by Blue Dragon who specialise in making products for Oriental, Indian and Caribbean cooking. The Coconut Cream UHT comes in a small 250ml sized carton which is the same plastic-cardboard blend material as a drinks carton. The carton is printed with lots of helpful information about the product.
Nutritional values are printed on the side of the carton. The cream contains 196 calories and 19.4g of fat per 100mls. Full ingredients can be found on the back of the carton. The cream isn't totally a pure product but the ingredients contain 78% of coconut extract as well as water, emulsifier(E471) and stabiliser (E466). It is marked as being suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The carton is quite soft and must be opened using scissors along the top. I didn't want to use all of the cream in one go so I snipped off one corner. However, I found that it was difficult to squeeze out the thick cream and the more I did the more the carton started to tear. It can be a bit difficult to extract all of the cream from the very inner edges of the carton.
Upon opening the cream there was a slight watery section but then underneath this the cream is bright white, thick and smooth. It has a slightly waxy but silky melt in the mouth texture which is gorgeous. It is a completely smooth cream so it blends well into many recipes. I have been using it in brownie and cake recipes and it gives them a fresh, lively flavour which is delicious. It also works well to give the cakes a really rich, moist consistency which I love.
Since I didn't use all of the Coconut Cream in one go I found that squeezing a dollop on the side of my finished cake was a delicious and indulgent treat!
This is definitely a high quality coconut cream product and it's something I think I'll be using more often. I would recommend this to anyone who needs or wants to use a coconut cream product in cooking and baking. You can access some recipes at:
I often make thai curry.....thai red chicken curry being my absolute favourite! For this, one of the most vital ingredients for this is the creamed coconut - and I generally use Blue Dragon Creamed Coconut. A carton of the Blue Dragon Creamed Coconut from Sainsbury is £1.20. I have only ever seen one size carton, which is the 200g carton - which is a shame actually because sometimes I'd like a smaller carton than this because sometimes I'm only looking for a small bit. Having said that, I have frozen this successfully in the past and it's been fine.
The creamed coconut comes in a block and you need to chip off blocks of the coconut in to add to the dish. The block is fairly soft though and so it's not hard to chip off little bits of the coconut - although it can get a bit messy. It is made of 100% coconut and so it tastes nice and fresh and has that lovely creamy taste that only coconut can really provide. It is very rich and so I never need to add too much of the block to get that creamy and rich flavour. It also works well to thicken the curry and any sauce infact, and because there is no added sugar there is just the nice fresh natural flavour and no superficial sweetness which I can't abide. To add sweetness, if needed, I prefer to add a splash of fruit juice with the coconut - and this combination works really well.
Overall, I do recommend Blue Dragon Creamed Coconut and this it's a really great product if you like to cook exotic dishes.
I'm something of a coconut addict - I find the oil excellent for cooking and the milk a great addition to curries. I'm also partial to snacking on coconut chips. And having recently purchased the creamed coconut from my local supermarket, I seem to have found a new addition to my habit!
The Product: - Taste, Packaging and Uses
The product basically consists of a convenient block of white, solid, fresh coconut. It tastes of... well, coconut: - rich, creamy, slightly sweet, a little nutty and very, very good.
The bar comes in a thin, blue, cardboard wrapping - very eco- friendly and very cheap, I'm sure, but nonetheless, something of a nuisance. If your kitchen is at all like mine in terms of accidental spillages and knocked over glasses, you're likely to end up with a lot of wet packaging and some very soggy coconut - not a great combination, in my experience.
Moving on... Consisting of 100% pure coconut (with none of the thickeners or sweeteners that often pollute other products in the Blue Dragon range), the bar can be put to a variety of uses, and is particularly useful for those who enjoy Indian, Caribbean and Thai cooking: -
1) As a convenient way of making coconut milk, if you've run out of the canned stuff - Add 50g of the coconut, roughly chopped, to 100ml of hot water. Stir well to mix. Add directly to curries and stews.
2) To replace coconut cream in cooked dishes - Add 75g of creamed coconut to 100ml of hot water and stir until dissolved.
3) To thicken sauces - Add directly to stocks, soups, curries etc to thicken and add a distinctive flavour and creamy richness. The slight sweetness of the coconut also acts as a useful foil to the heat of curries.
4) As a substitute for desiccated or shredded coconut - Grate and add to recipes according to instructions
5) As a very tasty snack - Cut off a chunk and nibble. But beware... if you venture too close to the bottom, you're liable to end up with a mouthful of grease, as it is here that the oil gathers. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature due to its high concentration of saturated fat, but can be distinguished from the creamed coconut by its transparent colour. So double check that what you're eating is opaque and white... unless you happen to like raw coconut oil, that is.
Price and Availability
The product is very reasonably priced (£.80 for a 200 gram box) and while you don't get a great deal in the box, a little goes a long way.
While the majority of supermarkets stock Blue Dragon products, I have noticed that some smaller stores tend to carry the milk but not the cream. In my experience, however, when supermarkets fail, Asian markets and health food stores (particularly Holland and Barrett) can be relied upon to carry a good range.
Nutritional Information, for those interested in that sort of thing:
of which Sugars: Nil
of which Saturates: 54.0g
Overall, a highly versatile, tasty product, which makes a great (and cheap) addition to any pantry.
Blue Dragon Creamed Coconut
One of my favourite meals is a thai red or green curry cooked from scratch. This is ready in no time and tastes fresh, spicy, creamy and fragrant. Part of what makes this taste so unique is the addition of coconut milk, unfortunately this is quite high in fat so I usually try to buy the lower fat version.
This week, there was no tinned coconut milk in my local supermarket so I bought this variety for the first time.
The box itself is purple and costs around £1 from most supermarkets (this is cheaper than the tins which cost anything up to £1.50). It has the blue Dragon logo and a picture of a cut open coconut on the front. When you open the box the coconut itself is wrapped in a sealed plastic wrapper for freshness, the coconut is then contained inside and is quite soft and easy to cut into.
Full instructions are on the packet telling you you how to make coconut milk, to do this you pour 400ml boiling water into a jug and add 100g creamed coconut (so you only use half of the packet which means that a pack makes 2 meals) and stir until it is fully disolved. This happens quite quickly and then all you have to do is add it to your curry.
This works just as well as the tinned coconut milk that I have previously been buying and because it is cheaper and lasts longer (1 pack will make 2 curries, even 3 if you use sparingly) too. It adds a creamy consistency to the food with the gentle flavour that is associated with coconut milk. This balances the chilli, ginger, lemongrass and other ingredients which make a thai curry so delicious.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Per 100ml / Per 50ml serving
Energy 815kj/194kcal 408kj/97kcal
Protein 2.1g 1.1g
Carbohydrate 4.2g 2.1g
Of which: Sugars 1.3g 0.7g
Fat 18.7g 9.4g
Of which: Saturates 17.8g 8.9g
Fibre Trace Trace
Sodium Trace Trace
Definitely recommend this product - works well, costs little and tastes great!
My husband taught me to cook Thai Green curry from scratch (actually I think I might make one tonight!) and we always use Blue Dragon Creamed Coconut. In my opinion it is the best on the market. It has a much stronger taste than coconut milk and does not make the curry as watery. If you use a lot of veg in your curries then they can become too liquidy. When you then add coconut milk it can look more like soup than curry. However, if you used creamed coconut, there is no need for so much liquid and the sauce can become much thicker. Also, the liquid that there is has come naturally from the vegetables as they have cooked and so it is much better for you.
It can seem scary to use first of all. Inside the box is a block of solid coconut. You can either make up a coconut milk from it or just add pieces to the curry. This will depend on your personal taste and the taste of meal that you are preparing. For a curry with a lot of liquid from cooked vegetables, I would add pieces of the coconut straight to the pan. In a way you will be making coconut milk indirectly.
A 200g packet costs about 60 or 70 pence and it will last two or three meals, depending on how strong you want the coconut taste.
I have been trying to cook more meals from scratch for ages now, and part of my chicken curry requires some coconut milk. After a while of buying the tinned coconut milk, one week I received a block of sold coconut as a substitute on my food shopping order.
I wasn't very happy or excited at the prospect of using solid coconut in my curry as it is so easy to open a tin and just pour it in. This was going to require effort.
Packaged in a purple cardboard outer shell, the solid block of coconut hides inside wrapped in a thick shrunk plastic wrap. I wasn't even sure what I had to do with it the first time I opened it.
Reading the instructions I learnt that this block would make two meals instead of the one I got from my tin. It could be used directly in foods by crumbling up pieces of coconut, or it could be made into milk or cream to create a sauce as a base for recipes such as curry which is what I needed it for.
So I realised I had to dissolve half the block in 400ml boiling water. Getting into the packet wasn't an easy task in itself. I had to use a knife to get into the shrink wrap and then tear away the plastic and place on a chopping board. Despite being a solid mass, the block did crumble slightly, so there were coconut pieces all over my board. I cut the block in half and put one half in a bowl ready for the water.
I found at this point I couldn't just put the rest of the block back in its original packaging as it was torn too much, so I had to place in a food bag before squeezing it back into the box.
Luckily this product will store well at cool temperatures for a while and I found my kitchen cupboard is cool enough to cope with the left over block.
With my water in, it immediately turned a cloudy milky colour. It looked like a watered down milk to start with, but I left it for a few minutes whilst I did something else and went back to stir it. I found that it needs to be prodded a few times to encourage the block to dissolve fully.
The end result for the milk substance looks almost like a tin of coconut milk would when you pour that out, if not a bit thinner in consistency.
As a base for the sauce I found it worked well, but you may need to cook the sauce a bit longer to get it to reduce fully.
If you wanted to make the milk a bit thicker to start with you can add less water, which works nicely when you want to create a creamy effect.
I'm not a massive fan of the smell or taste of coconut unless it's in a recipe, but I can confirm the milk smelt strongly of coconut, and I think it's probably stringer than the tin would be.
The end result in the cooking I found that I couldn't tell the difference between using the tin and the block. The consistency of the food was the same and so was the taste.
Despite my original reservations about using the product it's now a regular on my shopping list as I get two meals almost for the price of one from a block of coconut, as the block only costs 60p for 200g, and the tin costs around 80p for one serving.
100g of solid coconut will provide you with 667 calories and 67g fat.
I am a great fan of Thai green curry and ever since my friend gave me a recipe, I like to cook it myself. Thai green curry requires coconut milk and coconut cream, now the coconut milk is not a problem to buy as all the supermarkets stock this, but just lately I have had a nightmare trying to get my hands on coconut cream. All supermarkets used to stock it ready made in a small packet, but now they all seem to have stopped. I am sure you will be able to purchase this in the Chinese supermarkets, but they are all located in Leeds centre and it is very rare that I venture into Leeds shopping.
I then spotted Blue Dragon Creamed coconut on the shelves; this comes in a box and is basically a pure lump of coconut which has been formed into a block. If you are a coconut lover like me, then this is delightful when you open it, I always end up nibbling at the corners whilst I am making it!!!
The box itself is purple and costs 56p for a 200g box from Tesco. It has the blue Dragon logo on top and a picture of a coconut at the bottom of the box. When you open the box the coconut itself is wrapped in a plastic wrapper that you have to cut open, the coconut is then contained inside and is quite soft to touch and also smells delicious!!
The instructions that are given on the back advise you how to make coconut milk, to do this you pour 400ml boiling water into a jug and add 100g creamed coconut (so you only use half of the packet) and stir until it is fully dissolved. Now I didn't buy this to make coconut milk with as this can be purchased quite easily, I bought it to experiment and see if I could make coconut cream with it.
All I do is mix 50g of creamed coconut with half of the water that it advises you to use to make the coconut milk and I find that this makes a very good coconut cream. It is literally a thicker version of coconut milk. You just need the creaminess to ensure that your Thai curry doesn't go too watery. It is very simple to make either the coconut milk or cream as the coconut dissolves very easily into the boiling water.
I have found that this is a great alternative to the coconut cream and costs a lot less than the ready made coconut cream used to cost. Although i do actually prefer the ready made coconut cream, if only the supermarkets would start selling it again!!
It can be added, in small pieces, straight into curries towards the end of cooking or can be used to make coconut milk.