Making coconut cream is easy – and the taste difference between fresh and canned is huge; a coconut grater available from kitchenware stores makes the task even easier. No matter how much water is added to the grated coconut, the yield of coconut cream will always be the same, as the cream separates from the milk; using more water will just give more diluted milk. Both cream and milk are best used within a few hours of making, as they start to sour quickly.
1 fresh coconut
300ml warm water
Crack coconut open, discarding the liquid inside or reserving it for another use (it's a refreshing drink).
Grate coconut flesh, avoiding the brown inner skin, or prise it from the shell and roughly chop it. Place in a food processor with warm water and pulse to mix thoroughly. Working with a small quantity at a time, place it into a piece of muslin and squeeze over a strainer into a non-metallic bowl.
Set aside for at least 20 minutes to separate. The thicker cream will float to the top and the thinner milk will settle on the bottom.
To extract more milk, mix the coconut flesh with more hot water and squeeze again; there’ll be very little cream in this second pressing.