20140724-154102-56462280.jpg“Quick-cooking aromatic Kaya jam ready in less than 30 minutes.”

For those who aren’t staying in Singapore, Malaysia or nearby countries, you might not know what is Kaya jam. Kaya, is a sweet & creamy coconut spread made from coconut milk, eggs and sweetened with sugar. It is usually served on toast with butter slice as a great breakfast or tea time snack. It is also great as filling in bao (steamed bun) and cakes. Some Kaya will be flavored with Pandan juice or essence, but I still preferred the traditional brown color type, with just a hint of Pandan flavor instead of making it the strong flavor and in green. It’s just personal personal choice with no special reason.

Actually, I wasn’t really keen to make Kaya as we don’t usually eat this at home. Fresh homemade Kaya jam is best to consume within 5-7 days, and a most of the time, we couldn’t. So, I would only make Kaya, unless I have the right amount of yolks leftover unused. Yes, that’s the reason I made this Kaya yesterday. I left some yolks from making the flourless Nutella cake the other day! See, these recipes now come hand in hand (chuckles).

Anyway, making your own Kaya jam at home is good as you won’t get to eat the preservative in it. Not only that, the addition of Muscovado, or called it Molasses sugar, in my recipe benefits your health even. Hence, I reckon using Muscovado (unrefined dark brown sugar). Of course, you may also switch to coconut palm sugar or brown sugar.

In my recipe, I also added only the yolks instead of whole eggs as I personally think that it tastes stronger and more aromatic.

20140724-154102-56462147.jpgAnd, if you wonder why the Kaya jam in your previous cooking turned lumpy, or why were you taking much longer time (more than an hour) to thicken the Kaya? My trick is to use “double boiling” method, with the bottom of the pot submerges in water. This way, your success rate of making quick lump-free Kaya jam would be almost 100%.

Yield 200g of Kaya Jam
5 small egg yolks (or 3 large yolks), room temperature
200ml of coconut milk
50g of Muscovado (Molasses sugar 黑糖)
25 – 30g of caster sugar
4-5 fresh Pandan leaves, tied into a knot and lightly crushed

(1) Separate the egg yolks from whites (in a large bowl) carefully, with as clean yolk with minimal of white attached as possible. Whisk the yolks until well beaten.

(2) Fill water in a large frying pan (or sauce pan) with a steaming rack in it. Water should be more than half full or at least cover above (submerge) the steaming rack. Place a smaller (non-stick) pot on the rack and the bottom of the pot should be in the water as well. Heat up the water in the frying pan over high heat.

(3) When water is boiling, reduce heat to medium fire. Pour Muscovado sugar and coconut milk into the smaller pot. Gently dissolve with a small balloon whisk. Add Pandan leaves, let the coconut milk mixture simmer a little while, until you can feel the steam rises when placing your palm above the pot (simmering should not reach bubbling stage). Then, pour 1/3 of the mixture into beaten egg yolk, stir to combine at the same time. Return the yolk mixture to the remaining coconut milk mixture in the pot. Dissolve caster sugar in it.

(4) Now, simply simmer the watery Kaya mixture until it is thicken. Stir with the balloon whisk occasionally to smooth out the mixture. When the Kaya reaches your desired pasty consistency, heat off. Transfer to a dry container/ jar to let it cool completely.

Tips: Consistency test – lift some paste up with the whisk, it should be able to hold and fall immediately. If too watery, the paste will just flow down without able to hold onto the whisk once lifted. If too thick, paste will be just stick on the whisk or even lumpy. Not forgetting that the Kaya jam will set further (turn slightly thicker than when it’s just out of the stove) once cooled.
* With the right amount of ingredients, steps and cooking time, the Kaya paste shouldn’t be lumpy. I find that using hand (balloon) whisk to stir the cooking is useful. Hence, no blending or sieving is needed in my recipe to smooth the paste out.
* Take note that the pouring of hot coconut milk into beaten yolk has to be done with real quick stir to the yolk. Otherwise, yolk will be cooked. So, the simmering shall not take too long. Or, you may wait a little while.
* Coconut milk in packet is good enough for the recipe. It’s widely available in major supermarkets and grocery stores. No particular brand.
* Small eggs, I am referring to those eggs sold in a big tray (30 eggs in a tray) in supermarkets. That I called them small, while those premium ones sold in 10/packets are large sized.
* May add caster sugar up to 45g, if sweeter preferred, since it’s gonna spread on plain toast, usually.