I made this kaya jam twice during the past 1 week. I used 1 tbsp from the 1st bottle for my pandan kaya butter cake on Friday and I finished the rest within 2 days. Then, because I still had so many pandan leaves left and I was still craving for more homemade kaya, I made the 2nd bottle on Sunday and these fotos were from the 2nd batch.
For those who have never heard of this jam, Kaya Jam or Coconut Egg Jam is actually a jam made from coconut milk, eggs, pandan leaves and sugar. This kaya jam is very popular in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. As far as I know, there is nobody whom I know who dislikes kaya jam or kaya toast (toasted bread with kaya and butter). The famous Singapore food blog ieatishootipost once blogged about how to make kaya using the traditional bain-marie method, I have no doubt that method produces very delicious kaya, but it will take you at least 1 hour, if not 2 hours. If you have little time to spare, then this method below will be your life-saviour. :)
This method of making kaya jam is so easy that I can easily make a bottle a day, one after another! I can even make 2 to 3 bottles per day, just give me 1 straight hour of undisturbed quality time! You don't have to stand in front of the stove for hours on end, stirring and stirring and keeping watch of the heat. Just spend 15 min from start to end and you have a bottle of nice and fresh kaya that keeps for at least 1 week in the fridge. Actually I have no idea how long it can keep in the fridge, because it is so good that I can finish the whole bottle all by myself within 2-3 days. My 14-month-old baby knows what good kaya is, after having eaten one piece of bread with kaya spread, she kept asking for more kaya and rejected breads with other spreads. :)
This kaya is very creamy and the taste from the palm sugar is really heavenly! You may ask why is the kaya brown? Is it because the kaya is caramelized by heating up sugar in a pot? No, actually the brown colour is from the palm sugar or gula melaka. Palm sugar and gula melaka are the same thing, by the way. I used a combination of palm sugar and normal white sugar; palm sugar to give it a caramelized flavour and white sugar to give it the required level of sweetness. I find that I will not be able to achieve the same taste if I use 100% palm sugar or 100% white sugar, the ratio has to be 50-50.
The only thing which I differed from the original recipe was the use of canned coconut milk instead of fresh coconut milk. You know where I live, it is nearly impossible to get fresh coconut. So far I tried 2 brands of canned coconut milk, the first one was Chao Koh brand (250ml box) which turned out to be very watery and not very thick; the second one was Rajah brand (400ml can) which had a layer of hardened coconut cream on top and a layer of coconut juice just below the cream. I shook the can hard before opening, but the cream was so hard that there was no way I could get a well-mixed coconut milk from the Raja brand no matter how hard I shook. I was only supposed to use 200ml of coconut milk, so I made sure I scooped half of the hardened coconut cream and top it up with coconut juice to make 200ml.
Recipe adapted from KitchenTigress (big thank you!), you can watch her video here.
4 egg yolks at room temp, well-beaten
45g palm sugar/gula melaka, or 3 rounded tablespoons
45g white sugar, or 3 rounded tablespoons
200ml undiluted coconut milk, fresh or canned
4 fresh pandan leaves
1. First, beat 4 egg yolks thoroughly with a handwhisk (or fork or chopsticks, up to you, just make sure it is well-beaten).
2. Add the palm sugar, white sugar, coconut milk and pandan leaves in a pot over medium heat. Stir constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture begins to simmer. Turn off the heat.
3. Slowly pour 1/2 of the coconut milk into the egg yolks, stirring at the same time.
4. Then pour the combined mixture back into the remaining coconut milk in the pot, turn on the heat back to medium-low / medium. Keep stirring for the next 10-15 minutes. You will see the kaya thicken gradually over the next 10-15 min. The kaya, though thickened, may still look a little runny after 15 min. In fact, I cooked mine for 15 min, but don't worry, it will set if you leave it in the fridge.
5. Remove the pandan leaves and transfer the thickened kaya into a clean sterilized glass jar, leave the jar lid open to cool down completely. When it is completely cooled, close the jar and keep in the fridge. It can be kept in the fridge for 1 week.
Important Notes :
- Make sure you extract only egg yolks and there are no remnants of egg whites attached to the egg yolks, otherwise the egg whites will curdle at the next stage, and you will end up with lumpy or grainy kaya.
- The eggs have to be at room temperature, if they are too cold, it will not thicken easily when you pour hot coconut milk into the egg yolks.
- Please follow the steps and first pour 1/2 of the hot coconut milk into the egg yolks and then back into the coconut milk. If you do the reverse, you may end up with lumpy or grainy kaya.
- If you are using blocks of palm sugar, make sure you chop or crush them into finer pieces. I am using the Srikandi brand of powdered palm sugar which is already in powdered form, no need to chop or crush.
- If you don't have palm sugar, I strongly recommend that you go get your hands on 1 packet, bcos this kaya won't taste nice without palm sugar. Worst comes worst, you may replace palm sugar with brown sugar, but the taste will be slightly different. If you use just white sugar alone without any palm sugar or brown sugar, the taste will be completely different, which I will not recommend.
- If you don't have fresh pandan leaves, you may add artificial pandan paste. The best pandan paste is the koepoe koepoe pandan paste from Indonesia, it is available both in Singapore and in Belgium. I got mine from Sheng Siong supermart in SG.
- You may cut the pandan leaves to a length which will fit into the pot, but don't cut them too short, otherwise you would have to spend more time to pick out the small pieces at the end.
- When you are removing the pandan leaves, hold on to one end of the leaf using one hand, and using another hand, use a pair of chopsticks to squeeze the pandan leaves to catch any remnants of kaya jam sticking to the leaves, so that the kaya jam will not be wasted.
Sorry, I know I am a bit cheong-hei (long-winded), but if you watch the video from KitchenTigress and follow my notes, making this kaya will be a breeze!