As mentioned before, kaya is a traditional name for coconut jam. Made with eggs, sugar and coconut milk, kaya is usually flavoured with pandan and usually consumed like a jam on breads. Depending on the amount of pandan added and the caramelization of its sugar, kaya can be either golden brown or green coloured. I have made the green-coloured version of kaya before and would like to make the caramel (golden brown) version for this post.
I remember having one friend who proposed to me a business plan... During the days that I was a poor and thrifty student studying in Australia, my friend proudly showed me his homemade kaya, made using his student-accommodation microwave. He proposed to make jars and jars of them to sell but I wasn't keen. I didn't want to waste all my time standing in front of the microwave making kaya and so I tasted his kaya and then ignored him. - LOL!
Now knowing that I have to cook kaya for at least an hour to achieve its ideal consistency, I begin to recall my friend's microwaving kaya idea and thought that it is actually brilliant! Here and here are the tips that you can find about cooking kaya using a microwave. Essentially, the trick is to cook the jam with short bursts of low microwave power and stir it frequently. Brilliant? Of course! All for the fact that I don't need to stand in front of a cooking stove for hours just to enjoy a small amount of freshly made kaya.
The caramel kaya recipe that I'm using originates from Sonia from Nasi Lemak Lover. It was later adapted by Esther from Copycake Kitchen, using brown sugar instead of cooking caramel from white sugar. To make my kaya really really really fast, I'm using Esther's adapted kaya recipe and also microwave to cook. Stay tune to see how fast I can make my kaya...
You know... Good kaya must be enjoyed with good breads. These milky buns are beautifully soft kopitiam breads that you wouldn't want to miss! I know it straightaway when I saw them at Esther's and Jeannie's post and they are truly as good as they can be.
|Love these! This is how I made these old-style Kopitiam buns and caramel kaya...|
|First, I made, shaped and proved these bread dough.|
|Then, I baked them.|
|Making this kaya is super-easy... First, I made two types of sugar syrups.|
|Mix all with bruised-shredded-and-knotted pandan leaves and microwave...|
|Mix and microwave, mix and microwave, mix and microwave...|
|My express kaya - Made in less than 15 minutes using microwave!|
|Seeing this, I need to eat these soft and fluffy kopitiam milk buns now!|
|No need to wait... I can eat these breads with freshly made kaya now!|
Here are the recipes mostly adapted from Copycake Kitchen
Kopitiam Milk Buns
A : Sponge
215g bread flour
20g milk powder
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp water
half an egg (30g)
95g bread flour
15g milk powder
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
50g unsalted butter, softened
Using a breadmaker, an electric mixer or by hand, mix and knead ingredient A for about 10-15 mins. Allow the sponge dough to prove at least 4-5 hrs in room temperature or 12-16 hrs / overnight in a fridge.
Using a breadmaker or an electric mixer, mix and knead both sponge dough and all ingredient B (adding butter last) together to form an elastic dough. Allow the dough to prove for 1 hr or until double its size.
Divide dough equally into 9 portions. Shape each portions into balls and place them into a lightly greased 20 cm square baking tin. Allow dough to prove for 1 hr or until their size doubled.
Pre-heat oven at 160°C or 150°C fan forced and bake for 15 mins or until golden brown. Allow buns to cool completely on wire rack before serving.
Express Caramel Kaya
Makes about 100ml
1 large eggs, lightly beaten
50g brown sugar
30g caster sugar
125ml coconut milk
(I used Ayam brand light coconut milk)
4 pandan leaves, slightly bruised, shredded lengthwise and knotted
Dissolve brown sugar in 1 tbsp of boiling water. Allow mixture to cool slightly.
Mix caster sugar with coconut milk in a microwavable bowl, whisk until sugar dissolves slightly.
Microwave coconut milk mixture for 1 min with high power. Remove and stir. Repeat this microwave step for 1 min with high power, remove and stir until sugar has completely dissolved. The mixture should be hot but not boiling. Then, add brown sugar mixture and pandan into the coconut milk mixture.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until well-mixed. Pour through egg mixture through a sieve to remove bubbles and also make sure that the egg yolk and white are properly combined.
While the coconut milk mixture is hot, stir with a whisk while pouring in the egg mixture in a stream. The mixture will thicken slightly.
Microwave the mixture again on medium power for 30 secs. Remove and stir. Repeat until kaya develop a slightly translucent texture with a deeper colour and the mixture become relatively thick.
Discard pandan leaves once they are cooked. Repeat microwaving and stirring step until kaya reaches its ideal smooth and creamy texture.
Cool completely before store in a clear jar and keep in the fridge.
Happy Baking and Cooking
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