Friday, April 29, 2011

Kaya- Coconut & Egg Jam

One of best food discoveries we found when we moved to Singapore was Kaya. Although its description of a coconut and egg jam is slightly off putting it probably should be called a curd not a jam. It is delicious spread on hot toast or, my favourite, in pancakes. It is rich and creamy and my prefered type is the green, pandan flavoured one. It is normally served on toast with big pats of butter along with half boiled eggs (you literally scare the eggs with some boiling water and crack the runny eggs into a bowl and season with soya sauce) and strong black coffee.

As we are preparing to move on from Singapore it has set us thinking about all the foods that we will miss, and there are many of them! Singapore has changed our tastebuds forever and as such I have been contemplating making some of the dishes that we normally only eat in hawker centres. That way when we are really missing a dish I should be able to create a tasty variation to ease the cravings. 

I had heard that making kaya was hardwork and time consuming but buoyed on by my recent success of making lemon and orange curd I decided to give it a go. On researching how to make kaya I found recipes using slow cookers and the jam setting on breadmakers and this sounds like the easiest way if you have either of these appliances. This one uses a bowl over a pan and only took around 20 mins to make. Unfortunately, the pictures do not do this dish justice having come out looking like not very appetising baby food!  

Kaya/Coconut Curd (makes two small jars)
Vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free

250ml Coconut Milk
150g Sugar 
4 Eggs, well beaten (weighed around 150g out of the shell)
1/2tsp Pandan essence (optional)

  • In a metal basin over a large pan of gently simmering water add all the above ingredients.
  • Using a whisk, beat the mixture as the steam from the pan heat the bowl bottom. The mixture will start to thicken. Keep mixing to ensure there are no lumps. You may need to use a spatular to scrape the mixture off the sides of the bowl to encourage even cooking. 
  • I found that after 15-20 mins the mixture had thicken up and would make small peaks when you lifted the whisk out. Given that the mixture will thicken as it cools I found that this thickness was about right. 
  • The mixture may appear a little grainy. This can be solved either by blending with a hand whisk or beating with the whisk intermittently as it cools. 
  • Pour mixture into an airtight container or sterilised jars and store in the fridge.  

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