Food that comes in a roll will always mean one of two things. One, that it can be eaten by hand, which makes it feel relaxed and informal – wraps, sausage rolls, sushi, burritos, spring rolls and so on. And second that, as well as the roll’s exterior, which is delicious in itself, there is also the promise of the filling, as in a crepe, roulade, arctic roll and so on. This always makes rolls feel exciting. I offer both today: the taquito is relaxed and informal, the mochi a spectacular, filling-filled ta-da!
Prawn and corn taquitos (pictured top)
Taquitos are a classic Mexican snack of tortillas stuffed with meat, cheese or seafood, then rolled and deep-fried. These ones divert from tradition in that they’re baked instead.
Prep 15 min
Cook 45 min
Serves 4 as a starter or snack
8 soft corn tortillas
75ml olive oil
150g soured cream
2 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 lime, quartered
For the prawn filling
280g raw and peeled king prawns
200g frozen corn kernels, defrosted
2 spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1½ tsp chipotle chilli flakes, or urfa chilli flakes
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp lime zest
2 tsp tomato paste
¾ tsp salt
For the chilli oil
60ml olive oil
1 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp chipotle chilli flakes, or urfa chilli flakes
½ tsp sweet paprika
Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Put all the filling ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to a rough paste.
Divide the tortillas into two piles of four, wrap each pile tightly in foil, then bake for 10 minutes. Unwrap the foil, arrange the tortillas on a clean work surface and turn up the oven to 240C (220C fan)/475F/gas 9.
Line a medium baking tray with greaseproof paper. Spread about 65g of the prawn mix over the surface of each tortilla, then roll them all up tightly and place seam side down and 1cm apart on the tray.
Brush the taquitos with the olive oil, making sure they’re completely coated, then bake for 18 minutes, basting three times with the hot oil from the tray, until crisp and golden brown.
Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the chilli oil in a small saucepan, add a generous pinch of salt and place on a medium-high heat. Stir to combine, cook for 90 seconds to two minutes, just until gently bubbling, then take off the heat.
Once the taquitos are ready, pile them up on a platter and spoon over some of the soured cream – save the rest to serve on the side. Drizzle over some of the chilli oil, top with the spring onions, squeeze over the lime wedges and serve.
Chocolate and coconut mochi roulade
Mochi is a chewy, sticky, Japanese cake made from glutinous (yet gluten-free!) rice flour. There are various stages to this dish, but you can make the roulade up to two days in advance and keep it in the fridge. If you do so, hold off on the crisp coconut flakes until you serve, otherwise they will go soft in the fridge. If you can, infuse the cream overnight: it really benefits from having the time to sit around.
Prep 10 min
Infuse 3 hr+
Cook 1 hr 10 min
Chill 30 min
500ml double cream
4 tbsp cocoa powder
60g maple syrup
For the caramelised coconut flakes
200g dried coconut flakes
70g maple syrup
70g condensed milk
½ tsp flaked sea salt
For the mochi cake
200g dark cooking chocolate, finely chopped
50g unsalted butter
1 x 400g tin full-fat coconut milk (at least 70% coconut extract)
180g glutinous rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp instant coffee powder
Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Put all the ingredients for the caramelised coconut flakes on an oven tray lined with greaseproof paper, mix really well, so all the flakes are well coated, then spread out so they’re not clumped together. Bake for 18 minutes, stirring once halfway, until crisp and golden brown.
Put half the crisp coconut flakes in a medium saucepan with 400ml cream, cook on a medium heat for three minutes, until the cream is just warm, then take off the heat and put in the fridge to infuse for at least three hours (and ideally overnight).
Heat the oven to 190C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6, and grease and line a 20cm x 30cm swiss roll tin.
Now make the mochi cake. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, then scrape into the bowl of a stand mixer and add all the other cake ingredients and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt. Whisk on low just until the ingredients come together, then turn up the speed to high for about a minute, until everything is well combined. Pour the batter into the lined tin, even out with a spatula and bake for 25 minutes, until set but still springy. Remove and leave to cool in the tin.
Put the infused cream and coconut flakes into a small saucepan, set it over a low heat and warm it very gently for two minutes. Pour through a sieve set over a bowl and press down on the cream-soaked flakes to extract all the cream. Refrigerate the sieved cream for about 30 minutes, until chilled, and reserve the soaked flakes.
Put the soaked coconut flakes in a food processor with the remaining cocoa powder and maple syrup, and blitz to a coarse paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
To assemble, use the greaseproof paper to lift the mochi cake out of its tin and on to a board or tray. Cover the exposed side with the coconut chocolate praline paste, and spread it all the way out to the edges.
Once the infused cream is well chilled, add the remaining 100ml cream and whip in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk for two or three minutes, to medium peaks; take care not to over-whip it.
Spread two-thirds of the whipped cream on top of the praline paste, but leave a clear 2cm border all around the edges. Starting at one shorter end of the cake, roll the mochi away from you to create a roll. Use the paper to help you lift the cake on to a platter, then remove and discard the paper, spread the remaining whipped cream along the top of the cake, scatter over the remaining coconut flakes and serve.