The first time I had kaya puff pastry was when I was about 10 years old and my family was in Ipoh visiting my late grandmother. My pak-mo (伯母, a Cantonese way to greet my father’s elder brother’s wife) bought me this sweet pastry puff that looks like a flattened curry puff. I had a bite and had since fallen in love with the rustic countryside pastry puff. It also reminds me of the kindness of my pak-mo who showed her love in simple snacks like these. Whenever we visit Ipoh, I will always request for this sweet pastry and I can never find the same kaya puffs anywhere else.
What is Kaya Puff Pastry?
Kaya puff (Kaya Kok 咖椰角) is a sweet flaky local pastry filled with creamy rich kaya coconut jam baked to perfection. These traditional Chinese pastries are filled with kaya, a coconut jam commonly found in South East Asia. and baked using lard or shortening.
There are two types of coconut jam that can be used to fill the kaya puff, the Pandan Kaya which is green in colour because of the pandan extract used, and the Hainanese Kaya which is brownish in colour because of the palm sugar caramelised in the jam. Making the kaya is traditionally a tedious task that requires hours of stirring the kaya jam, but check out my 10-minute Hainanese Kaya recipe to see how to make delicious kaya in 10 minutes.
The pastry dough is typically made of two types of doughs—a water dough and an oil dough. Layering both types of doughs is what produces the flaky texture in this puff pastry.
How to store Kaya Puff?
Once the kaya puffs are baked, cool the pastries on a cooling rack for about an hour. Store the pastry puffs in an airtight container on the kitchen counter top for about 3 days, or in the fridge tor about 1 week. If stored in the fridge, simply just warm the kaya puffs up in an oven toaster before enjoying it.
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Kaya Puff Pastry
- 1 egg beaten, room temperatur
- 100-130 g kaya either Hainanese kaya or Pandan kaya, chilled
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 160 g plain flour
- 25 g Stevia sweetener or castor sugar
- 60 g unsalted butter cubed and chilled
- ½ tsp salt
- 80 ml cold water adjust accordingly
- 100 g plain flour
- 60 g unsalted butter softened
Make water dough:
- Mix flour, Stevia sweetener, salt in a food mixer with paddle attachment and mix on low briefly
- Add chilled cut butter and mix briefly until the mixture turns sandy.
- Add cold water to form a consistent soft dough. Adjust water accordingly, if too dry add more water. Do not overmix.
- Form the dough into a ball and cover with clingwrap. Let the dough rest for about 15 minute in the fridge.
Make oil dough:
- In a food mixer with paddle attachment, add 60g softened butter and 100g flour, mix on low into a consistent soft dough. While mixing, use a spatula to scrape down the dough on the side. Do not overmix.
- Form the dough into a ball and cover with clingwrap. Let the dough rest for about 15 minute. If it is too soft, chill in the fridge to harden slightly.
Assemble the kaya puff pastry:
- Pre-heat oven at 170 degree celsius / 338 degree Fahrenheit.
- Divide the water dough and the oil dough into 12 equal portions each and roll them into balls.
- Wrap each oil dough with a water dough, and roll into round balls.
- Cover the dough balls with clingwrap.
- Lightly flour the kitchen top or rolling mat and the rolling pin. Roll each dough lightly into oblong shapes. Then roll the flattened dough up like a swiss roll.
- Turn the swiss roll dough 90 degrees. Repeat the above step – Roll each dough lightly into oblong shapes, then roll the flattened dough up like a swiss roll.
- Cover the dough with clingwrap. Let the doughs rest for about 15 minute.
- Lightly flour the kitchen top or rolling mat and the rolling pin. Roll out each dough into oblong shape (mine is about 7cm x 10cm, perfect size for afternoon tea). The thickness of the rolled rough should be about 2mm.Spoon about 1.5 tsp kaya filling in the middle of the flattened dough.
- Fold the dough and immediately pinch the sides to seal the semi-circle edge. Do it quickly to prevent the kaya from flowing out.
- Pleat the edge by pinching and folding the sides 1cm at a time, overlapping each fold.
- Place the kaya puffs 3cm apart onto a non-stick baking tray (or a parchment paper on a baking tray).
Get ready to bake:
- Beat an egg to make the egg wash. Brush some egg wash on top of each kaya puff.
- Sprinkle some white sesame seeds on top of each kaya puff (optional).
- Bake in preheat oven (top and bottom heat with fan) at 170 degree celsius / 338 degree Fahrenheit for about 25-30 minutes till the kaya puffs turn golden brown in colour.
- Once baked, let it cool on a cooling rack.
- Store on counter top for 3 days or in the fridge for 1 week. If kept in fridge, you can warm up the kaya puffs in an oven toaster before enjoying it.
Sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday.