A homemade gift goes far. In Tuesday’s case, it was my Grandma’s homemade kaya, or coconut jam, lugged all the way from Singapore when my mum came to visit just a few weeks earlier. It was the exact same recipe for the green batch of love I played around with for my kaya maple loaf cake, the recipe for which you can find on Amazon as I speak!! Whew, rush rush rush. Anyways, a throwback was in demand as I held the tubs of curdled emerald goodness. Once again, an odd combination formed the scaffold of more funny kitchen business.
I occasionally find myself refusing to go against instinct for the fast and funny. As a student, the will to carve out day-long space is for something in total artistic favour is admittedly a little impractical with coursework and intense lecture review. There is indeed worth in all that labour, and I look forward to when I can do so without a penny of guilt eating away at the back of my head. It is true creative catharsis.
So you whisk together the dry and wet, fill half your cake molds with the final batter, add a teaspoon of nut butter of choice, then continue filling, then bake. The combination of kaya and avocado was approved by my skeptical flatmate. The best bit, I personally think, is the crusty sugar outside of the whole cake. Mmmmm. Kaya is sweet and, depending on the way you make it or the brand you buy, very coconutty, as green as the pandan leaves used to flavour the homely concoction of coconut milk, eggs and sugar. Avocado pretty much substituted most of the butter in this case, so the final texture of the cake was incredibly tender but not reminiscent of your typical cupcake, which might leave a buttery crumb. Pressing this will leave your fingers dry (and beautifully scented), yet the mouthfeel is airy and moist.
As I’ve touched on before, I do enjoy eating and making vegan meals and desserts, especially after all those silencing documentaries and Youtube lectures I’ve watched on the veggie movement. Though I am not full vegan for personal and family reasons, I will now officially include vegan or at gluten-free versions for all my recipes. I only want this blog to cater to all types of dietary needs, so if any of you feel like something is amiss, please feel free to email or DM me.
Kaya Avocado Nut Butter Cakes (makes 6-7 cakes)
*= vegan substitute
190g plain flour (*same weight of gluten-free flour)
a generous pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
300g kaya (*recipe for vegan kaya below, using 1 sweet potato, 1 tsp pandan extract, 80ml coconut milk and 3 tbsp coconut or maple sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg (*1 mashed banana)
120g white caster sugar (*same weight of coconut sugar)
1 mashed avocado
3 tbsp olive oil
optional: nut butter of choice
*to make vegan kaya: Roast one large sweet potato (about 200g) at 200C for half an hour or until soft and mashable. Using a fork or blender (you pick the easy way out, ha ha), mix with the rest of the stated ingredients. And there you have vegan kaya! You should be able to use all the kaya you make, but weigh out 300g to be sure.
Firstly, preheat your oven to 180C and grease a 8 of your muffin tins. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients excluding the nut butter and mix well. You should have a thick, green batter of easy dropping consistency. If it’s too thick, add a drop of milk/nut milk until you get the desired consistency.
Fill your cake molds halfway up, then add a teaspoon of nut butter to the centre, then continue to fill with the batter until the mold is 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Serve with more nut butter, yoghurt, honey and frozen berries (trust me on this one).