Kaya (Malaysian Pandan Coconut Egg Jam) with Fried Mantou

Nyonya-style Kaya (Malaysian Pandan Coconut Egg Jam)

Hello Everyone! Try something new on your morning toast! If you’re looking to change up your breakfast condiment selection from the everyday jams and jellies, try this Pandan Coconut Egg Jam. It will transport you to the tropics with its flavourful, rich, and sweet taste!

Kaya (Malaysian Pandan Coconut Egg Jam) with Fried Mantou

Kaya in the Malay language means “rich”, with reference to the texture of this jam. It is a sweet coconut egg jam that is rich, thick and custard-like in texture, and flavoured with pandan, giving it a fun green colour.

There are two well-known varieties of kaya:

  • Nyonya, which is green in colour
  • Hainanese, which is darker brown in colour and often sweetened with honey

The colour variation depends on the number of eggs, the caramelisation of the sugar, and the amount of pandan leaves used. In the Philippines, a variation of this jam is known as matamís sa báo, but it does not contain eggs and is less thick in texture. In Thailand, it is known as sangkhaya.

Kaya (Malaysian Pandan Coconut Egg Jam) with Fried Mantou

This version of kaya that I will be sharing with you guys tonight is the Nyonya-style one, which gets its aromatic fragrance and natural green colour from the pandan leaf. The idea of treating it as a dip rather than a spread or a filling was inspired from my trip to Thailand a couple years back, in 2013. We (my family and I) were at a roadside stall for dinner and on their menu they had steamed thick-sliced bread with a kaya and condensed milk dip. I decided to recreate this dish to share with you guys tonight, but instead of serving it with steamed bread, I fried some mantou buns for that extra-added crunch on the outer layer while still keeping the inside of the buns soft.

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original where I drew my inspiration from over on Curious Cuisiniere by Michelle Wong.

Kaya (Malaysian Pandan Coconut Egg Jam) Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | MAKES 1 SMALL JAR

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 pandan (screwpine) leaves
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar

Optional (to serve with)

  • Condensed milk
  • Fried mantou buns

METHOD

  1. Place the pandan leaves together with the coconut milk in a food processor or heavy-duty blender, and blitz/blend for a few minutes until the pandan leaves have been finely puréed.
  2. Pour the blended pandan-infused coconut milk over a fine sieve and into a large bowl. Strain the coconut milk from the pandan leaf pulp, pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon to extract all of the coconut milk from the pulp. Discard the pandan leaf pulp.
  3. In a separate heat-proof bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar, until frothy. Then, add the pandan-infused coconut milk to the egg and sugar mixture.
  4. Create a bain-marie (double-boiler) by pouring some water into a pot that is slightly larger than your heat-proof bowl. Very important, check to see if your bowl can sit on top of the pot without any water touching the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Heat your pot of water over low-medium and bring to a slight simmer. Once slightly simmering, place the bowl with the coconut milk and eggs over it and gently whisk for 10-15 minutes, ensuring no water escapes from the bottom pot. It’s important to keep a low simmer or else the eggs can curdle quickly (refer to notes).
  6. Once done, transfer the kaya to a small serving dish and add just a touch of condensed milk (just enough that it doesn’t become overly sweet) and serve with your choice of steamed or fried bread. Whatever tickles your fancy! Enjoy!

Kaya (Malaysian Pandan Coconut Egg Jam) with Fried Mantou

Transfer the remaining kaya into a sterilised and clean jar. Let it cool before storing in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Kaya is eaten as a condiment spread on bread or toast, usually as breakfast.

Kaya (Malaysian Pandan Coconut Egg Jam)

Notes:

  • If you don’t have access to fresh pandan leaves, you may be able to find pandan extract which comes in a small bottle or pandan leaf powder, which will work perfectly fine with the recipe.
  • If your eggs curdle during the cooking process, not to fret! Continue to cook for the full 15 minutes, and then transfer the mixture to a blender. Blend until the kaya is smooth.

Growing up in Brunei, Nyonya-style kaya was my go-to choice of spread (together with peanut butter or just butter) on the waffles that you’d get at the local supermarket (Hua Ho) in the snack corner. Their freshly made kaya-filled pancakes, or even the kaya buns on their shelves were also my go-to choice. Also not forgetting the Hainanese kaya-filled cakoi (Chinese youtiao fried dough) from a nearby roadside stall from my workplace that my then workmates and I used to drive to our lunch breaks, and the kaya-buttered toast from a popular Chinese kopitiam known as Chop Jing Chew. These are, if not all, then some of my fondest memories of kaya.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Cherry Ripple Black Forest Cake

Cherry Ripple Black Forest Cake

Hello Everyone! Yes, I know it is a Sunday which for those of you who are new to my blog, I don’t normally post on a Sunday – but I wanted to get all the Noche Buena recipes up before the New Year because I’ll probably have another batch of recipes to post from a New Years Day Lunch (maybe dinner depending on how energised I am to cook after a long day/night out the previous night) that I am planning to host – a small one though with probably 2-3 dishes maximum. Noche Buena was hectic and I don’t want to have a repeat that’s a week apart from each other. I won’t be doing Media Noche because I will most likely be camping out the whole day/night for a good spot by the harbour to view the Harbour Bridge Fireworks at midnight.

Cherry Ripple Black Forest Cake

Anyway, tonight’s recipe is from our Noche Buena dinner that Jialing and I hosted on the Eve of Christmas. This Cherry Ripple Black Forest Cake is one of the many desserts we had on the menu for the night. When deciding on a cake to make for the festive dinner, we found it difficult to decide on a cake that felt festive – besides a Yule Log. Even though I wasn’t too fond of a Black Forest cake, that is what we decided on. The reason why I am not fond of it is because every time I indulged in a store bought Black Forest cake, they ALWAYS use those horrible canned/tinned/jarred Maraschino Cherries that I absolutely hate. Not for our Black Forest cake NO! I was determined to use fresh cherries and if I had to use cherries from a can, at least not the maraschino ones!

Before Jialing and I went to do our groceries for the dinner, we talked about how we haven’t been seeing any fresh cherries at the local supermarkets. But when we got to Coles, we saw that cherries were on special and looking very fresh! I was so happy! Also, please do check out the original recipe over on Taste. Like how I’ve probably been describing over and over again in my previous posts, the recipe says to use a little more than 1/4 cup of Jim Beam Black Cherry Bourbon, but I didn’t want to buy a 700ml bottle for $30 for that amount. So from the leftover vodka I had from the East Orange Frosting I made for my Gingerbread Men, Jialing had the idea of infusing that into the cherry syrup for that boozy touch. Also, our sponge didn’t rise that much to be able to cut it into three layers, so we ended up having a two layer cake.

Cherry Ripple Black Forest Cake Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 20 MINS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

For the chocolate sponge

  • 1 & 1/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cocoa powder
  • 200g dark cooking chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large free range eggs

For the cream-jam filling

  • 1 can (425g) pitted black cherries in syrup, drain and reserve syrup
  • 300ml double cream
  • 250ml thickened cream
  • 1/2 cup black cherry jam

For the choc-cherry ganache

  • 100g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
  • 60ml thickened cream
  • Vodka-infused cherry syrup*
  • Fresh cherries
  • Chocolate curls

*Add the reserved syrup to a small sauce pan together with about a tablespoon of vodka to the reserved syrup and bring to a simmer to infuse the flavours. Use this to brush onto the sponge cake layers and in the chocolate ganache.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 160C. Grease the sides of a 20cm round springform cake pan with melted butter and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Chocolate Sponge Cake: Sift the flour, almond meal, and cocoa powder into a medium sized bowl. Whisk until combined and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar using an electric handheld mixer until pale and creamy. Beat in the melted chocolate and eggs, and fold in the dry ingredients and buttermilk until well combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly before transferring the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Choc-cherry Ganache: While the cake is baking in the oven, stir all the ingredients (leaving about 1/4 cup of the vodka-infused syrup for brushing) for the choc-cherry ganache in a small saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes or until the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Set aside cool slightly.
  6. Cream-jam Filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the double and thickened cream in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Then fold in the jam to create a swirled effect.
  7. Assembly: Cut the cake horizontally into 2 (or 3 if you can) even layers. Place the cake base on a round cake board and brush the cut surface with half of the vodka-infused syrup and spoon over the cream-jam mixture. Dip each pitted black cherry into the ganache and place on top of the cream filling. Brush the vodka-infused syrup on the cut surface with the other half of the cake layer and top over the base. Pour the choc-cherry ganache over the cake and decorate with fresh cherries and chocolate curls. Sprinkle with a bit a icing sugar for a Christmasy finish.

Cherry Ripple Black Forest Cake

Cherry Ripple Black Forest Cake

Cherry Ripple Black Forest Cake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Basic Scones Picnic

Basic Scones

Hello Everyone! So from yesterday’s a post, I mentioned that I had a tea and scones party. I decided to hold one when I made strawberry jam a few days ago. I wanted to have some scones with them, but I didn’t want to eat everything for myself – and so I decided to share the love! It was an afternoon/night of fun and laughter, and meeting new people over homemade goodness. When I say meeting new people, I mean my friends from different places (uni, housemates, etc.) meeting my other friends, and becoming mutual friends.

Basic Scones

I decided to go with very basic scones because I wanted the berry-flavoured jams and lemon curd to shine. The original recipe for these basic scones can be found at Taste. When baking them, the kitchen and hallway filled with amazing buttery aromas. You could tell that these were going to be really tasty; crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. I think we (my friend Jialing & I; we made two batches so she worked on one while I worked on the other) may have underestimated how high the scones would rise so some rose a bit too much and collapsed – but still tasty nonetheless. This recipe is for one batch, which should make about 16 scones (probably only 10-12 if you made them too big like we did :P)

Basic Scones

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS MAKES 16 SCONES

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 80g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup milk

Only 3 basic must-have pantry ingredients! How convenient!

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Sift the self-raising flour into a large bowl and add the cubed butter. Rub the butter into flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles a breadcrumb texture.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the milk. Mix with a flat-bladed knife until the mixture forms a soft dough. If the mixture is a bit dry and crumbly, add more milk if required. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth (don’t knead the dough too much though or your scones will be quite tough).
  4. Pat the dough into a 2cm-thick round, and using a circular cutter (about a 5cm diameter, or to whatever size/shape you want), cut out rounds. Press the dough together and cut out the remaining rounds.
  5. Place scones onto a tray lined with baking paper, 1cm apart from each other. Lightly sprinkle the tops with a little flour and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and well risen. Serve warm with cream, assorted jams, and lemon curd (for the cream, we just bought a tub of thickened cream and whisked it until it thickened to a spreadable consistency).

Basic Scones

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Homemade Strawberry Jam

What do you do when you have a punnet or two of strawberries in the fridge that are on the verge of becoming overripe? – Make jam of course! I’m pretty sure you can do many other things with them, but today, I made jam.

I’ve actually had the strawberries in the fridge for almost 2 weeks before I decided to do something of them. I got them from my friend Pam; she was leaving to go back to Singapore that day. I wasn’t going to eat them only because I’m a bit sceptical of any fruit lasting beyond a week. The strawberries were actually still quite firm. They were very dark red in colour and the outside looked like it was starting to dry up. They were nonetheless still quite juicy when I cut them open.

Homemade Strawberry Jam Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS MAKES 2 JARS

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 x 125g punnets of strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2/3 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice of one lemon

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and cook over very low heat for 20 minutes, until the strawberries release some of their juices and the mixture boils slowly. Cook until thickened.
  2. Pour carefully into sterilised canning jars and either seal or keep refrigerated (see below on sterilising jars).

Sterilising Jars:

Jars should be made from glass with a metal lid that has a rubber seal. To sterilise the jars and lids, wash with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Leave in a preheated 80C oven for 25 minutes, or boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Remember as a rule:

Hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars.

Homemade Strawberry Jam

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com