When Ovens Attack…

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

aka Malaysian Flavours Hangout On Air 2 – Kaya

Ovens don’t feature prominently in Malaysian kitchens – a point painfully brought home to me when I twice needed to do some baking over the last week.  Kaya (Malaysian Coconut & Pandan Jam) was involved on both occasions – more specifically, Kaya Bread and Butter Pudding.


The first time it happened, I was filming a cooking segment at the iconic Malaysian restaurant Chinta Ria for The Travel Bug.  We found out on arrival that Chinta Ria’s kitchen does not come with an oven, though it does have an impressive steamer.  

Undaunted, I reasoned – it’s all heat, right? So let’s steam our Kaya Bread and Butter Pudding.

30 minutes and a big gooey mess later, the director and I tried to convince my manager/stylist JJ that it looked good.  She wasn’t buying it (thankfully) – so in a stroke of genius, JJ managed to coerce/bribe the restaurant next door to allow us to use their oven.  In the end it got the thumbs up during the tasting segment from Morgan, the show’s presenter – and I promise I didn’t bribe him to do so.


But back to the Live broadcast, and six months after I moved into my Darlinghurst studio, I’d yet to use the portable electric oven/grill that sits on the kitchen bench – further testament to how small a role baking plays in my culinary life.

So what better time to finally test it out than Live On Air.  Of course.

Kaya and its many uses was the theme of Malaysian Flavours Episode 2, my new series of weekly Google Hangouts On Air where I introduce and incorporate Malaysian ingredients into everyday (read – Western) meals.

So why Kaya and why Bread and Butter Pudding?  Kaya because I once got an email from a lady who’d bought a tub from one of my markets, to say whilst she had no idea what she just bought, she was excited to toss it into the stir-fried noodles she was going to be cooking for her family that night.  Clearly there’s a dearth of knowledge out there regarding Malaysian ingredients and products.

I’d seen a Malaysian-ized Bread and Butter Pudding in a cookbook many years back, but Singaporean cook extraordinaire Madam Tan who was here in Sydney recently was the one who reignited my memory of it when she suggested that as a variation.

I was using Dollee Kaya – which contains all natural ingredients including real eggs – a quality product all-round.  They carry 2 versions in their range and I mistakenly said On Air that one contains pandan and the other (which I used) doesn’t – they do in fact both have pandan, just in different amounts.


Everything was moving along just fine until the internets died – yes, plural, because I actually pay for 2 broadband subscriptions from different providers using different technologies for redundancy reasons.

I realised that night that’s not helpful when they’re plugged into the same circuit and the fuse trips (this kind of oversight happens to the best ex-Microsoft systems engineers, I’ll have you know).

It caused me to drop out of my own Hangout whilst in the middle of cooking, leaving the other participants to engage in 20 minutes of what I can only imagine was some awkward small talk as they silently wondered if I was going to re-join them at some stage.

Still, as the lead character in a certain movie classic once said – always look on the bright side of life – so here’s a list –

–          During our “downtime”, we managed to more or less finish off cooking the bread and butter pudding.   You wouldn’t know since I’m all about keeping calm under pressure but as we were tackling the bread and butter pudding I was kicking myself for not having started on the dish earlier in the proceedings, then moved onto the other 3 menu items whilst it was baking. I’d had visions of us standing around twiddling our thumbs for 20 minutes when the internet dropped so the oven fail kind of solved that problem :/

–          We gave up on the oven after that disaster, and decided to deep-fry the kaya puffs instead of baking them.  What a revelation – they are so good I’m tempted to add it to my menu.  In fact, when I discovered Shae had forgotten to take her stash of kaya puffs home, I ended up eating most of them myself, they were that irresistible.  Sorry, Shae.

–          The participants Ken and Khairul who were left to Hang Out without me when my connection dropped, ended up getting along like a house on fire, so a new friendship was forged.  No need to thank me, guys.

Kaya Puff

Kaya Puff – Deep-fried

Giveaways –

Before I forget, thanks to Melbourne’s Ling Pang‘s shameless enquiry (typical Singaporean :P) I’m offering some Giveaways per mentioned in my videos but you’ll have to watch them to find out what and how to qualify.  Just provide your answers by commenting on YouTube or right here in this post.

Don’t forget my Kaya recipe is in my Truly Malaysian iPad App (search for Truly Malaysian in the App Store) and also in my Jackie M Street Food At Home cookbook – available for worldwide shipping and also available in e-book format – visit http://www.TrulyMalaysian.com .

And be sure to check out The Travel Bug – https://www.facebook.com/thetravbug 

To catch future broadcasts and other Jackie M videos, subscribe to my YouTube Channel – http://youtube.com/jackiemsydney

Recipe for the Kaya Bread and Butter Pudding is now online at The Travel Bug’s website – http://thetravelbugtv.com/editors-picks/jackie-ms-kaya-bread-pudding/


Range of Dollee Products – email me if you’d like to find out more.

Share and Enjoy !