Pantry Basics: homemade kaya ice cream

have a cone?

This kaya ice cream is awesome served with French toast and drizzled with salted caramel. It would also work well with a toasted coconut pound cake or pandan cake. But of late, it has been so blisteringly hot that a simple scoop of ice cream in a cone thrills me to bits. Here, it’s topped with homemade granola and lashings of condensed milk soy caramel (recipe coming soon).

We always have ice cream in our freezer. There are so many things you can do with a tub of vanilla ice cream, for example. Enjoy it on its own; top it with espresso (for an affogato), or root beer or cola (for an ice cream float); whizz it with milk (for a milkshake); sandwich it between choc chip cookies; serve it with a slice of cake. The possibilities are endless.

Imagine what you could do if you had with a range of flavours to play with. I occasionally get into a kitchen-frenzy and bang out a whole a stash in a bunch of flavours. I keep kid-friendly options like strawberry and vanilla on hand along with more crowd pleasing grown up flavours.

ice cream fun

This is my current favourite, which is inspired by a Singapore breakfast staple, kaya (a jam made of coconut milk, eggs and sugar). The ingredients that go into this ice cream are similar to the ones that go into kaya. I use fresh pasteurized coconut milk I buy at Tekka Market (primarily because I just don’t have the time to make it the old fashioned way), egg yolks, gula Melaka (palm sugar; I like getting mine from Malacca or Indonesia) and fresh pandan leaves (this grows relatively easily in Singapore and I keep a pot of it sitting on our fire escape). Additional coconut cream powder (I use both Kara and Santan which come in 50g packets) intensifies the rich coconut flavour and light corn syrup and invert sugar (in addition to the egg yolks) help to maintain scoop-ability even after it has been chucked into the freezer. Because the flavour of pandan leaves (old versus young leaves, for example) varies, do feel free to adjust the number of leaves you use to your personal taste.

If you have a Thermomix, it’s just a matter of measuring out the ingredients and in 10 minutes you’ll have your creme anglaise. Truthfully, I’m slowly falling in love with our Thermomix. It gives me another level of kitchen efficiency that I’ve hitherto never been able to achieve. But I’ve also included my preferred stovetop method.

Top photo by Alex Lim.

About Su-Lyn Tan

Su-Lyn is Aun's better half and for many years, the secret Editor behind this blog known to readers simply as S. Su-Lyn is an obsessive cook and critical eater whose two favourite pastimes are spending time with her two kids and spending time in the kitchen. She looks forward to combining the two in the years to come.


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  1. Strawberry Cupcakes 10 July 2015

    Dear Su-Lyn Tan,
    Welcome back from posting the blog it been forever since you post I miss reading your post! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe I really appreciate your hard work and effort for doing that! I think you are extremely talented with cooking and baking and you inspire me to become a better cook. Since you own Le goût authentique retrouvé by Hidemi Sugino’s I was wondering can you please help me translated some of Hidemi Sugino recipe in English because I can’t read Japanese or French? I will be really thankful if you can help me.

    Thank you!

  2. Debbs 20 July 2015

    Hi, would it be alright to omit the corn syrup? Or sub it with something else?

    • Su-Lyn 23 July 2015

      Hi Debbs,

      The corn syrup and invert sugar are there to help keep the ice cream texture smooth and scoopable (very often, homemade ice cream goes from rock solid to puddle in 5 minutes).

      If the texture doesn’t matter so much to you, then feel free to omit the corn syrup 🙂

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