Before you think this is some kind of egg-y ice cream with bacon bits bookended by waffledsomething let me clarify that this is a Singaporean breakfast ice cream sandwich. Singaporean breakfast consists of a cup of super strong coffee (condensed milk optional), a soft-boiled egg splashed with dark soy sauce (white pepper optional) and creamy kaya jam on toasted white bread (non-negotiable). Let me further clarify that kaya is essentially the Asian Nutella but instead of chocolates and hazelnut and deceptive marketing practices you have coconut cream and egg yolks infused with nutty pandan leaf and cooked until you get a super smooth, slightly green caramelized custard.
P.S. super aware that those eggs aren’t soft boiled but to me fried eggs >>>> soft-boiled because I don’t like how Jell-o-y the egg white situation is for soft-boiled eggs.
If you have never had pandan before the taste is hard to describe but I think nutty is a good approximation. It’s quite good and I recommend you try to find real pandan leaves or reallyyy good extract. I looked in my local Asian markets and could not source any, was about to buy a whole goddamn pandan plant online but then decided to go with this only semi-sketchy looking fresh pandan listing I found on Amazon that was much cheaper than the other fresh pandan options. Luckily they were totally legit and in a couple days I got a clear plastic bag with my little pandan leaves. Although the outer ones were a little brown and sad-looking the inner ones were a shiny, unblemished deep dark green.
I found that the best way to make super smooth but flavourful kaya was to grind up the pandan leaves and make a concentrated paste but for a lovely spreadable texture to use egg yolks only but then add some cornstarch to keep the whole thing together. And as much as I love whole wheat-flax-sprouted-whatever type breads, the kaya really tastes best on a plain toasted square of good ol’ pre-sliced white bread.
Makes one small jar
- 1 cup of full-fat coconut cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4-1/2 cup raw granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
- 3 fresh pandan leaves (or good pandan extract)
- 2 tablespoon water mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
- Whisk 1/4 cup of the coconut cream with the egg yolks until fully incorporated.
- Meanwhile, put 1/4 cup of the sugar over a sauce pan over medium low heat and cook until caramelized. Once the sugar is caramelized, slowly add the rest of the coconut cream and the pandan leaves.
- Whisk the coconut cream until the caramelized sugar is fully mixed in.
- Slowly drizzle in the coconut cream and egg yolk mixture in as well, whisking continuously.
- Let the whole thing cook for 15 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring the whole time.
- At this point add the mixture of water and cornstarch and cook for another 3-5 minutes until it has a custard like texture.
- Taste for sweetness and if necessary add more sugar to taste. Stir to dissolve extra sugar if any was added.
- Remove from heat and pour into a blender, leaves and all.
- Blend until smooth and leaves are mostly shredded into small pieces.
- Finely strain the whole mixture into jars. Let cool and then keep in the refrigerator.
Note that in most recipes you just infuse the pandan leaves in the cream but here I like to blend them in and then strain out the fibrous part to get a stronger pandan flavor. The combination of caramel, coconut, pandan and the silky custard texture is completely addictive. Spread it on top of buttered toasted white bread and served with some soft boiled eggs + dark soy sauce and hot coffee with sweetened condensed milk and you have a breakfast that feels both exotic yet oddly familiar.
Alternatively this flavour combination also makes a crazy, interesting, sweet and salty ice cream sandwich.
I started with a base of Snixy Kitchen’s Vegan Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream but you could use any vanilla or coconut flavoured ice cream you have on hand. To that I swirled in kaya jam, a quick egg zabaglione and soy sauce caramel. Once incorporated I stuck it back in the freezer to firm up. The ice cream was then sliced and sandwiched between two hot slices of toasted Hawaiian bread buttered on both sides.
It’s a bit odd but if you are the kind of person that enjoys salty + sweet combos and adventurous ice cream flavors it might just be your cup of tea.
Singaporean Breakfast Ice Cream Sandwich
- 2 cups of vanilla or coconut flavoured ice cream
- 1/2 cup of kaya jam
- 2 egg yolks
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- Fill a small pan with water and let the water reach a simmer.
- In a separate sauce pan, Heat up 3 tablespoons of the sugar over medium heat until caramelized. Remove from heat and add in the soy sauce. Quickly whisk to incorporate. Once mixed, set aside and let cool.
- In a separate stainless steel bowl whisk 2 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Set over the simmering water and beat the mixture until it is hot and forms thick ribbons, about 3-5 minutes. Let cool.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let warm until it is softened and malleable (but not completely melted).
Swirl in the kaya jam, cooled zabaglione and cooled soy sauce caramel.
- Put back in the freezer to firm up.
- Once ready to serve butter one side of 4 slices of white Hawaiian bread and toast on a pan until golden.
Place on plate toasted side down and scoop or slice the ice cream onto the untoasted side. Place the other slice on top (toasted facing outwards) and then press down. Slice each ice cream sandwich in half.
I left the coffee out because it felt like one too many things going on but if you think the soy caramel might not be your thing you could always make it a coffee caramel….OR even make a soy sauce and coffee caramel?? Although I really have to say I can’t wholeheartedly back that one. That just might be the ice cream sandwich line.