Nanyang Kaya - Breakfast in a Chocolate Bar
Walk around Singapore’s kopitiam in the morning and you’d likely see people munching on kaya toasts and dipping them in soft-boiled eggs while sipping hot kopi. It’s the quintessential Singaporean breakfast. For those unfamiliar with kaya, it is a highly addictive coconut and egg jam that is slowly cooked with palm sugar and aromatic pandan leaves. Every store has their own secret recipe but it’s always delicious when smeared on a nicely toasted traditional white bread. The light crunch as you bite into it, followed by the toasty flavour mixed with the aromatic kaya will wake you up nicely every morning.
Our take on this well-loved dish is a milk chocolate made with Rehoboth Estate cacao, pandan leaves, coconut oil and toasted bread. We have a love-hate relationship with pandan leaf. It’s one of those ingredients which has to be used in moderation because of its strong unique perfume. Too much can kill your appetite, too little and the chocolate will struggle to feel like a kaya bar. It took us a while to find the perfect pandan for this bar, and then an even longer time to get the right balance.
We chose cacao from Rehoboth Estate for its nutty and savory character that reminds us of toasted bread and soy sauce - perfect in a breakfast bar. Finally, to complete the experience, we toasted up some lovely naturally leavened bread baked by our neighbour (there’s a bakery on the fourth floor of our building) and put them into the chocolate to recreate the crunch in the kaya toast.
Hope you enjoy this bar! We had lots of fun developing it.