Kaya Swiss roll is a must-try when visting Singapore, especially from Rich and Good Cake Shop, one of the first kaya Swiss roll bakeries in Singapore. The bakery was founded in 1997, and while it may not have been the first bakery to spread kaya into a Swiss roll, they were one of the first to do so commercially in Singapore.
This recipe by Jeslyn Chow, a Singaporean baker and pastry chef, is a take on the one from Rich and Good Cake Shop. The Swiss roll can be made with store-bought kaya jam, which works well because the texture of canned kaya is firm and spreadable. But if you can’t find premade kaya, the jam is easy enough to make from scratch at home. Also, while pandan is what gives this dish its unique color and nuttiness, it’s completely optional.
1 roll cake
- In a large bowl, separate the egg yolks from the whites, and beat the yolks with a fork or whisk until smooth.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the coconut cream, sugar, and pandan extract, and mix until the sugar is melted.
- Turn off the heat, and slowly add the cream and sugar mixture into a bowl with the egg yolks while beating the egg yolks with a whisk. This ensures that the eggs do not curdle. It is important to do this slowly.
- Transfer the whole mixture back into the saucepan and, over low heat, cook until it has a thick, jam-like consistency, about 15–25 minutes. Make sure to continuously stir. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
- Let the jam cool down to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly coat an 11x11-inch square cake pan with nonstick spray, and line it with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine egg, egg yolks, and pandan paste, and whisk lightly.
- Sift together the cake flour and salt, and set aside. In a small saucepan, gently heat the coconut oil over low heat, and whisk in the flour and salt. Stir continuously and cook until the mixture thickens. Transfer immediately to a large bowl.
- Slowly whisk in the egg mixture to the cooked flour, mixing thoroughly to disperse any lumps. Mix in the coconut milk and strain the mixture through a sieve.
- Using a stand mixer or a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat the egg whites until foamy, and add in the superfine sugar gradually. Raise the speed to high, and whip until medium peaks form.
- Mix ⅓ of the meringue into the egg and flour mixture until combined, then gently fold in the remaining meringue, ensuring that the batter is evenly mixed and there are no more streaks of white throughout.
- Transfer the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is evenly browned and springs back when pressed gently. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool until slightly warm, about 15–20 minutes.
- Remove the parchment from the bottom of the cake and spread the kaya jam evenly over the surface, leaving a ½-inch border. Place the cake on a fresh piece of parchment paper, and use the paper to assist in lifting and rolling the cake into a log. Wrap the roll in the parchment and chill it for 30 minutes.
- Slice and enjoy. Tip: If you want a bright green exterior on the cake, gently rub the cake’s brown skin off with your fingertips. This must be done while the cake is still warm.