Over here in Stuttgart, everybody's in a frenzy of activity painting eggs for Easter. Nobody in their right mind would ever label me ''artistic'' so I did not even bother to try. But what I do have is a long memory and while I was in bed last night visions of Agar-Agar Eggs from my long-gone childhood creeped into my mind and I woke up determined to make some for Easter.
And so I did. And am right pleased with myself. Just need to find a few decent-sized eggs, poke and make a hole (just big enough for the tube of a small funnel) gently on the narrow end of each egg and empty it of its content. Then rinse the inside of the empty egg shells with water and put them back in their egg-box.
In a small pot, dissolve a packet of agar-agar mix in some water and let it boil gently while stirring it all the time. Using a funnel, fill up the egg shells with the agar agar mixture, let them cool and set a little and then put them in the fridge for a few hours.
To make fancier agar agar eggs, you can stir in some beaten egg when the mixture is still boiling in the pot, put some fruit like cherries, mangoes, peaches, lychees etc in the egg before filling it up with the agar agar mixture, add food colouring to the mixture, or pour in some coconut cream in the egg shell before pouring in the mixture...Loads of possibilities.
When the agar agar is sufficiently cold, take them out of the fridge and let the kids choose their eggs and peel them themselves. Voilà delicious and cooling agar agar in the form of eggs!
Meanwhile, it broke my heart to empty the shells of their egg and throw the nutricious stuff away. Not feeling like eating any omelettes, I hit upon the idea of making Kaya (egg and coconut custard) Jam, something I had been meaning to try but never found the opportunity to do so before. And I just love Kaya Jam, and it's not something you can buy off the shelf here in Stuttgart.
And never thought it could be so easy. Ah Yat in Singapore must be making a fortune selling his Kaya toasts. I've been studying the subjet on the Net plus in my old cook book for quite a while and have decided to combine 2 popular methods, namely microwaving and slow cooking in a pot, but well, I'm getting ahead of myself, we have yet to start the cooking.
Basically, the recipe calls for X number of big fresh Eggs + its weight in coarse sugar + its weight in thick Coconut Cream. So I had 6 eggs (about 200g) and I beat it vigourously with 200g of sugar in a big mixing bowl and then added 200g of thick Coconut Cream (not the usual coconut milk in a can) and continued beating.
Next, I microwaved the mixture uncovered for 5 minutes on High (mine's 750 watts), took it out and beat it vigourously, and then put it back to be microwaved uncovered for another 5 minutes on High.
I didn't have Pandan Leaves so I decided to do a Nonya Brown Kaya instead. This meant preparing a caramel using 4 Tbsps of fine sugar and 6-8 Tbsps of water and boiling the mixture in a thick-bottomed pan (mine's a small Le Creuset pot), stirring all the time and wanting it to turn brown but not black (my 1st attempt produced a ''natural black dye'' as I was careless enough to answer an email half-way through).
I then added the egg custard mixture and 1/2 Tsp of vanilla essence into the caramel, lowered the fire to the smallest possible and stirred it. It was a bit crumbly (after the microwaving) so I added a bit of milk and kept on stirring :-).
After that, just cover the pot and leave it to simmer for a few hours, checking and stirring it from time to time. When you like the texture of your Kaya, let it cool for a while before keeping it in the fridge. Best eaten as a jam spread on fresh bread or toasts, and can also be made into Kaya Buns, Kaya Swiss Rolls, Kaya Cakes etc.
PS : My agar agar eggs in the photo contained rose essence, beaten egg and/or coconut milk.