Sunday, 9 February 2014

Kaya coconut jam: breakfast made simple and sweet

Breakfast of Kaya jam, butter and toast with soy milk
Toast. A staple and acceptable food for my breakfast, lunch and dinner, and one I will be sadly giving up for Lent. It's such a simple pleasure, and although never really the hero of the show, it is the silent supporting act to make other food truly sing out. After reading Nigel Slater's mesmerising words and descriptions in 'Toast', I might stop here as no other person can give justice to toast like he can.

"It is impossible not to love someone who makes toast for you...Once the warm, salty butter has hit your tongue, you are smitten. Putty in their hands."

I only discovered this little wonder of a recipe  a few years ago. Whilst staying in the +852 one summer, I started noticing the emerging market for Hong Kong's love of toast and little breakfast joints. If you think Mcdonalds in the UK has a sensational breakie menu (my guilty pleasure of choice) then I salute you, but it doesn't compare to HK. One major chain is simply named "toast" and it was here I discovered Kaya. Not that hot chick off Skins, but a coconut "jam" to best describe it. Luxuriously creamy and mellow, it's unlike any other jam you've probably had, but as I say with practically all other recipes, you've got to try this. Pandan leaves are infused into the mixture which gives the kaya an added edge of mystery and a "why-do-I-love-this-so-much" questioning after each bite. Easy to find in Thai supermarkets, it's worth getting these when you find them (you can freeze them till they are needed). 
Feel free to add as much as your toast can take - it'll only make life better
Kaya is a spread hailing from Singapore and Malaysia, (meaning 'rich' in Malay), where caf├ęs will set out early in the morning to make fresh batches. There is a quick fifteen minute recipe for this, but the longer way gets better results not only in taste, but in satisfaction that it has been lovingly tended to for an hour for that emotional investment.
Taking this little pot to work. Winning.
 Kaya should be eaten with a crispy, buttery and fluffy piece of white toast, but upcoming Shrove Tuesday could also call for it as a delicious filling for pancakes. The past week I've been finding ways to sneak a spoonful in most of my meals such as my morning porridge, yoghurt, steamed mantou bread buns, muffins, crumpets... Basically any carb which I should be slowly (and painfully) removing from my cupboards (and yes, I have a whole cupboard just for carbs) in the run up to Lent and my annual self inflicted foodie sacrifice.

Kaya coconut jam - (makes one small jar)

3 pandan leaves, tied in a knot to fit into a large heatproof bowl
1 tin of coconut milk
75 grams of caster sugar
15 grams of palm sugar
3 eggs (go for as high a quality as you can)

In a heatproof bowl that you can set over a bubbling saucepan of water, mix the sugar and eggs roughly. Set this over a medium heat of boiling water and after five minutes add the coconut milk and pandan leaves.

Keep heating for about an hour, making sure every ten minutes you check and stir it so it doesn't go lumpy and that the pandan leaves start to soften. After an hour, it will have nicely thickened to a texture which will stick to the back of the spoon, but very reluctantly fall off of it. Leave to cool and it will thicken slightly more. Transfer to a sterilised jam jar.

Spoon out generous lashings on heavily buttered toast for the full Kaya experience. It's that easy.

Please feel free to comment below (you don't have to have a blog to do so!) or follow me on Instagram @loloslittlekitchen or Twitter @Loloskitchen for more unadulterated food ramblings.


  1. OH I'm so bummed that I didn't get to try this when we were in Malaysia last year! Send me a jar of that pls... mandy@ladyandpups

    1. I'm literally scraping out the last of it as we speak! I would definitely have sent you one-I'm absolutely inspired and in awe of your blog- making your confit pork belly this weekend!

  2. How many ml or grams is one tin of coconut milk? Thanks! :>

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  4. Can you freezer kaya? Thanks