Making Homemade Caramel Kaya, also known as Coconut Egg Jam, is easier than you think! This delicious basic kaya recipe is the best: an easy beginner friendly kaya recipe that you certainly must try.
Watch How To Make Homemade Caramel Kaya (Coconut Egg Jam) Recipe Video
What is Homemade Caramel Kaya? Also Known As Coconut Egg Jam 焦糖咖椰酱
Kaya is a delicious coconut egg jam, made from 3 base ingredients: coconut milk, sugar and eggs. This smooth and creamy homemade caramel kaya jam is very popular in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
The coconut egg jam, Kaya comes in several variants and colour. For this recipe, we will be making homemade Caramel Kaya, which is the traditional basic kaya, best known for its shiny golden brown colour and rich caramelised taste.
What Do You Eat Kaya With? Some Ways To Enjoy Homemade Caramel Kaya
This aromatic coconut jam is usually spread on both soft or toasted bread, topped with a partial thick slice of butter and is usually eaten alongside soft boiled eggs seasoned with soy sauce and white pepper. Kaya toast is so delicious and typically eaten in the morning for breakfast or even throughout the day. Goes perfectly with toasted slices of homemade Basic White Bread from our other recipe.
Kaya is also popularly used in several kuih and desserts. One popular kuih is Pulut Tai Tai (Pulut Tekan): blue glutinous rice cakes made of compressed rice coloured with butterfly pea flowers, topped with creamy caramel kaya. If you’re interested to make this delicious nyonya kuih to go with your homemade caramel kaya, do check out this recipe for Pulut Tai Tai. For Dragon Boat Festival, kaya is also a popular filling for Plain Alkaline Water Dumplings (Zongzi).
What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Homemade Caramel Kaya?
Homemade Caramel Kaya is extremely simple to make. With only 3 simple ingredients: coconut milk (santan), eggs and sugar, you can make delicious homemade Caramel Kaya jam (Coconut Egg Jam). The traditional way to make kaya is to use the same bowl as measurement. So you just need 1 bowl of eggs, 1 bowl of sugar and 1 bowl of thick coconut milk. Yes, it is that simple so do give it a try.
How To Make Authentic Homemade Caramel Kaya (Coconut Egg Jam)?
Part 1: Making Egg / Kaya Mixture
To start, first make the egg/kaya mixture. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and just STIR with a whisk. Then add in the sugar and thick coconut milk. Continue to lightly stir the kaya mixture till the sugar is completely dissolved. Make sure you do not beat the mixture so that there is no bubbles. Otherwise the kaya will turn out coarse and not smooth.
When sugar has completely dissolved, strain the kaya mixture using a sieve. This is very important as straining the kaya mixture will remove certain part of the undissolved egg whites. If not, white patches will appear on the kaya mixture when cooked and the kaya will not be smooth as well.
Part 2: Making Caramel
Then prepare the caramel. Place sugar onto a small pan. Using low heat, melt the sugar naturally (without stirring). When sugar has turned to golden brown, add in water to dilute the caramel. This will make the caramel easy to use later. Pour the hot caramel into a heat proof bowl.
Part 3: Cooking Caramel Kaya Mixture
Next, cook the kaya mixture. Pour the strained egg mixture into a non stick pan. Using very low heat, cook the kaya mixture, stirring continuously until the mixture starts to thicken and become hot with steaming appearing (about 10 minutes). At this juncture, gradually pour in the prepared caramel. Keep stirring the mixture for another 15 minutes or till the kaya mixture thickens further.
When about done, add in the knotted pandan leaf and continue to stir for just another minute. Do not add the pandan leaves too early as we only want the fragrance. We do not want the green colouring from the pandan leaves to absorb into the kaya mixture making the kaya dull looking. Discard the pandan leaves and let the kaya jam cool down completely before transferring to a jam bottle.
And we are done! The taste of the kaya is absolutely delicious and addictive. It is smooth, creamy and tasted just like how kaya should be. So Enjoy!
Important Tips On How To Make The Best Homemade Caramel Kaya
1. Don’t Overbeat Kaya Egg Mixture
Do not beat the egg mixture when adding eggs, sugar and coconut milk. Just lightly stir continuously till the sugar is completely dissolved.
Make sure to strain the egg mixture to ensure a smooth and creamy kaya.
2. Don’t Overcook The Caramel
Do not over-cook the syrup when making caramel as the syrup can burn and become bitter-tasting. Once the syrup is the colour of caramel (golden brown), remove from heat.
The colour of the kaya jam depends on the caramelization level of the sugar syrup. To achieve a rich golden brown kaya colour, cook the caramel till it turns golden brown in colour.
3. Be Mindful of Heat When Cooking Kaya Mixture
Use only low heat when cooking the kaya mixture. We need to stir continuously (non-stop) throughout the whole process of cooking the kaya on the stove.
4. Add Pandan Leaves At The Very End
For this Caramel Kaya recipe, add the pandan leaves at the very end of the cooking process as we only want to infuse the fragrance from the leaves. If added too early, the green colour released from pandan will make the colour of the kaya dull. Don’t cook the pandan leaves for too long as it will turn the kaya mixture from shiny brown to a dull brown colour.
Homemade Caramel Kaya Recipe FAQs
Coconut milk (santan) can turn rancid quite easily. So, it is best to store homemade kaya in the refrigerator and finish within two to three weeks. A helpful tip: always use a clean spoon or knife when removing jam from the jar. This will help the coconut jam to keep fresh for longer.
For homemade kaya to last, make sure to transfer jam into clean, sterilized glass jar or container. Allow to cool completely before covering and storing. Make sure the jar and lid are dry and clean. If done this way, homemade kaya can be kept at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the fridge for up to a month.
Cooking temperature is important in making kaya. To make smooth and creamy kaya, use only low heat when cooking kaya mixture. It’s important to strain the kaya egg mixture before cooking. Remember to stir non-stop when cooking kaya on the stove.
The preference for kaya texture differs for everyone: some prefer it thicker and some prefer it to be more runny. For this recipe, we are making thick kaya with a rich consistency. To achieve thick kaya texture, cooking heat and time is very important. Remember to cook at low heat and keep stirring non-stop till the kaya reaches desired thick and creamy consistency.
Usually bitter kaya taste is caused by overcooking the caramel, causing the syrup to be burnt and taste bitter. Make sure not to overcook the sugar syrup when making caramel. Once the syrup turns golden brown, remove pan from heat.
Homemade Caramel Kaya (Coconut Egg Jam) 焦糖咖椰酱
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Kaya mixture Ingredients:
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 200 grams sugar
- 250 ml thick coconut milk, santan
- 3 pandan leaves, knotted
- 50 grams sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- Have ready all ingredients needed to make Kaya.
- Crack 4 eggs into a mixing bowl and lightly mix with a whisk. (Do not beat). Then add in the sugar and continue to mix.
- Next add in the thick coconut milk (santan). Continue to lightly stir and mix till all the sugar has dissolved. Then using a sieve, strain the egg mixture into a bowl and set aside. Then prepare to cook caramel.
- Put the sugar to caramel in a small pan and put on a stove top. Using medium low heat, allow the sugar to melt naturally. Do not stir. Let the sugar melt completely and turn into golden brown. Then add in the water and just shake to dilute the caramel into a running mixture.
- Remove from heat and pour into a heat proof bowl.
- Pour in the egg mixture into a non stick pan. Using low heat, start to cook the egg mixture and stir continuously until the whole mixture becomes thick. When you see some steam coming up, gradually add in the caramel and continue to stir non stop till the mixture thickens further, is smooth and is of thick pouring consistency.
- Then add in the knotted pandan leave. Use a ladle to press on the pandan leaf and continue to stir for just another minute and we are done! Remove the pandan knot and pour our ready made kaya into a container.
- Let kaya jam cool down completely, then cover and transfer to chill in the refrigerator.
- This rich and aromatic kaya jam is perfect for toast and a cup of coffee. So Enjoy!
Cook Homemade Kaya:
- When making caramel, don’t overcook the sugar syrup as it can burn and turn bitter. Once the syrup turns the desired colour of caramel, turn off the heat.
- The resulting colour of the kaya varies depending on the extent of the caramelization of the sugar. So, to have a beautiful colour for the kaya, cook the caramel till it turns golden brown in colour.
- For this recipe, only add the pandan leaves at the end of the cooking process as we only want the fragrance from the leaves. If add too early, the green colour will make the colour of kaya dull.
- As coconut milk tends to turn rancid quite easily, it is best to keep homemade kaya in the refrigerator and use within two to three weeks at most.
- For kaya to last longer, transfer into clean, sterilized glass jar or container and cool completely before refrigerating. With this method, the kaya can keep at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to a month.