Kaya (Coconut Jam) Doughnuts

kaya doughnuts

I love kaya. I love doughnuts. Making kaya doughnuts was pretty much inevitable. 

I’ve got my friends Steph and Karen to thank for introducing me to kaya, a caramelised coconut jam enriched with eggs and flavoured with pandan leaves. It’s popular in Malaysia and other South-East Asian countries, served on toast with soft boiled eggs for breakfast, or with sticky rice flavoured with blue pea flowers in a treat called Pulut Tai Tai. I totally overdosed on kaya toast on my trips to Malaysia!

kaya doughnuts

A few years ago Steph gave me a little jar of her home made kaya that was out of this world! The continuous stirring required to get the silky smooth texture makes it quite labour-intensive, but it is also available to buy at some Asian grocery stores.

I used my normal doughnut recipe, substituting the milk for coconut milk and the vanilla extract for coconut extract. After they were cooked, we filled them with kaya, and then also spread some on top and sprinkled with some lightly toasted coconut, because you can never have too much kaya. Holy yum! I think they’d be perfect with a cup of tea (or a teh tarik).

kaya doughnuts

Kaya Doughnuts
Makes 18

• 125ml (1/2 cup) pouring cream
• 60ml (1/4 cup) coconut milk
• 1 teaspoon coconut extract
• 225g (1 ½ cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
• 1 tablespoon dried yeast
• 30g caster sugar
• Vegetable oil for deep frying
• 1 jar kaya
• 1/2 cup shredded coconut

For the doughnuts, combine cream, coconut milk and coconut extract in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until lukewarm (30 seconds – 1minute). Meanwhile, combine flour, yeast, sugar and a pinch of fine salt in a large bowl. Add cream mixture and stir to combine. Turn onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth. Transfer to a lighly oiled bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (35-40 minutes).

Knock back the dough and roll out on a floured surface to 2cm thick. Cut out 5cm circles, place on trays lined with baking paper, cover with a clean towel and stand for 30 minutes or until risen. Preheat oil in a deep fryer or deep-sided saucepan to 180°C (350°F). Deep fry in batches, turning occasionally until golden and cooked through (3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towel and allow to cool slightly.

Place kaya into a syringe or piping bag and pipe into the center of each doughnut, being careful not to overfill. Toast coconut in a frypan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until lightly coloured. Spread some kaya onto the top of each doughnut and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Doughnuts are best on the day they are made.

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