I am not a morning person, therefore I am not a breakfast person. Breakfast to me, is the most boring meal of the day. Unless you live in Asia, but we’ll get to that later. Here in Europe, breakfast is usually bread, butter, jam, nutella, etc. I have had asian friends ask me what I’m feeding my kids for breakfast and when I tell them, their responses were somewhere along the lines of “why are you starving your kids?!”, ” breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” and “that’s bordering on child abuse”.
You see, in Asia, breakfast is a huge thing. And the choices for it are ENDLESS! Just to name a few of my favourite breakfasts, we have braised duck porridge (my absolute favourite!), dry tossed noodles (I still haven’t found a recipe for that), fried carrot cake (savoury, not sweet), nasi kuning, Indonesian meatball in broth and wanton noodles. Notice that it’s all savoury and involves meat? That doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy the Ol’ bread and jam though. In fact, we have a very unique jam that’s pretty much exclusive to Singapore and Malaysia.
Kaya is a very rich and smooth spread made of just three ingredients and a lot of elbow grease. Okay, maybe not elbow grease but your arm will get tired. The recipe I have here is the most basic recipe for Kaya to which you can add all kinds of flavour. Although, we usually only have Kaya in two flavours, original and Pandan.
I’ve never really been a big fan of Kaya but my husband and daughter are. When we ran out of the Kaya I had brought back from Singapore, she bugged me for weeks to make some. So I caved and made a batch. When I asked her if it was as good as the store-bought variety, her answer was simply, “better”. With a huge grin I might add. How my heart sang!!
For this recipe, I used German rock sugar, Kandiszucker, because I wanted the caramel flavour that is typical of Kaya. But I had to grind it in a mortar first or it would never dissolve in the mass. If you can’t find Kandiszucker, you could use light brown sugar or half white sugar and half chopped Palm sugar. Or you could try caramelizing white sugar first by cooking it in a separate pan. That’s what I’ve found in other recipes but have yet to try out myself. If you do, let me know how that turns out.
Kaya (Coconut Egg Jam)
- 1 cup sugar (Kandiszucker)
- 1 cup eggs
- 1 cup coconut milk
- *2 pandan leaves, washed and tied into a knot. I didn’t use any this time because I didn’t want to buy a pack of 10 leaves just for this.
- In a metal mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. If you are using Pandan leaves, add it in only after the sugar has fully dissolved in the mixture.
- Find a pot that the mixing bowl will sit snugly on. Fill the pot with about two inches of water and bring it to a boil. Then lower the temperature so that the water is just simmering at a gentle boil.
- Place the mixing bowl on top of the pot (the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl) and keep stirring as the mixture slowly cooks. It will take a while before it starts to thicken. However, don’t let it stand or you will get scrambled eggs instead.
- If the mass starts to clump up, don’t worry, run your hand-held blender through it then return it to the heat and keep stirring.
- When it’s the consistency of mashed potatoes, it’s ready. This can take anywhere from an hour to two hours depending on how much Kaya you are making. This particular batch took only about an hour. Transfer the mass into sterilised jars and close the lid on it. When it’s cooled, you can keep this in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Or longer, but check for mould before eating.