Arrow's Recipes

Fig Jam - Pure and Simple
By Arrow

April 2013
A friend gave me a container of fresh figs from his garden a few days ago. I was eager to make fig jam with them. On that same evening, I did make the fig jam and I am very happy with the result. 

Figs taste fantastic and are full of healthy benefits as well. They are loaded with nutrients, fibre and anti-oxidants.

Here is my simple recipe which I hope you will like. It would be great to hear your comments!

  • 19 medium-sized figs (There were 20 figs but I couldn't resist eating one fresh fig!)
  • 1/2 cup Honey - or have a mix of honey and sugar

That's it for the ingredients - now you are ready to start!

1) Chop up the figs. I like to use everything including the skin as this is edible and has health benefits.  I do remove the stems and any blemishes on the fruits. I like jam with chunks - as you can see from the photo, I have cut the figs into large pieces. 

Chopped up fresh figs

2) Use a saucepan with a thick bottom, if you have one. Otherwise, just pay more attention to the stirring. Place the chopped figs and honey/sugar in the saucepan.

Cook this mixture until it is boiling, and keep stirring while it continues to boil. The figs will release  a large amount of water and the mixture will bubble happily. Take care as this will be very hot!

3) The figs will gradually disintegrate until you get a thick liquid with chunks of fig. Break up the chunks if you prefer.  To test when the jam is ready, scoop a small spoonful onto a plate. If it gels when cool, your homemade fig jam is ready!

4) While the jam is cooking, I sterilise the jars that I want to use. There are several ways to do this. One simple way is to thoroughly wash the jars, then make sure you have a small amount of water in the jar and microwave for about a minute. Place the jam in the jars and cover tightly with the lid.

Fig Jam in Sterilised Jars

Your fig jam will keep for about 7 days in the refrigerator. No preservatives have been added so it is not a long-life jam like the ones from the shops. But you will finish eating it in 7 days, so that's not a problem. :)

I had the fig jam with toast and pure Danish butter - scrumptious!

Fig Jam and Toast

Other ideas for serving the fig jam - as a sweet contrast to steak, on top of ice cream, with crackers and cheese.

Kaya - Pure and Simple
By Arrow

Kaya is a spread popular in Southeast Asia. It is typically eaten on toast and is also used as a topping on desserts. Absolutely delicious, the recipe ingredients are surprisingly simple – just four ingredients consisting of coconut milk (or cream), sugar, eggs and pandan leaves. Or three ingredients if the pandan leaves are omitted.  However, the pandan does impart a beautiful aroma to the kaya.
The traditional method involves hours of stirring over a hot stove. However, today, there are many recipes for the microwave. This is my version. Enjoy!

(Note: Only 1 can of coconut cream is used)
400 ml coconut cream
    (or 350 ml if using smaller eggs)
10 large eggs
1 cup white sugar
4 - 6 Pandan leaves (fresh or frozen ) - optional

Pandan Leaves
Makes 4 cups of kaya.

Large glass bowl that can be used in a microwave
Smaller bowl for beating eggs
Measuring cup

1.  Crack the eggs into the smaller bowl. Whisk the eggs.
2.  Place the coconut cream and sugar into the large microwavable glass bowl.
      Whisk until well mixed.
3.  Microwave the sugar and coconut mixture on high for 1 minute. Remove carefully from microwave. Stir to mix evenly. Repeat this microwaving and stirring process until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is well blended.                    Note: Depending on the microwave and mixture volume, you may wish to do the repeat microwaving for 2 minutes each time, instead of 1 minute, or  alternate with both timings.
4.  Trickle the beaten eggs into the sugar and coconut mixture, while whisking and blending into the mixture.  
Note: If the bowl is too small, to avoid overflow while microwaving, divide mixture into halves and apply the rest of the steps to each half.
5.  Tie a knot in the pandan leaves.
6.  Microwave the combined mixture and pandan leaves for 30 seconds. Remove carefully from the microwave. Stir to mix evenly. Repeat this microwaving and stirring process until the mixture has thickened. It will be slightly runny but will firm up on cooling.
Note: As before, you may wish to do the repeat microwaving for 1 minute each time, instead of 30 seconds, or alternate with both.
7.  Once thickened, whisk the mixture to get the desired consistency. I prefer my kaya with a bit of texture, or you can whisk it until smooth.
8.  When cooled, transfer the kaya to a sterilised jar.

So there you have it, kaya in a few minutes! And your kitchen smells wonderful with the cooking of the pandan leaves.

All ingredients featured can be purchased from Asian grocery shops in Australia.

1.  To give the kaya a browner colour, caramelise three tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan on the stove. When the sugar is reddish brown but not burnt, mix this into the kaya, stirring briskly. Take care as the caramelised sugar is hot!
2.  Instead of white sugar, try gula melaka which is palm sugar with a rich dark brown colour. Naturally, this will give the kaya a very rich brown colour.

3.  If possible, use organic or free range eggs with beautiful yellow yolks. These are healthier and gives a nicer colour to the kaya.

Crack eggs into small bowl, 10 eggs with golden yolk, Whisk the eggs
1 cup of sugar, 400 ml coconut cream
Whisk coconut cream and sugar to mix well

Microwave for 1 minute. Whisk. Repeat until sugar is dissolved.

Trickle beaten egg into the coconut milk and sugar mixture while whisking

Microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk. Repeat until thickened.

Thickened mixture. There will be liquid but mixture will firm further when cooled.

4 cups of Kaya


If you prefer to buy ready made kaya, this is one of my favourite brands

Salted Duck Eggs
By Arrow

March-April 2013
I decided to make salted duck eggs, a Chinese delicacy. Fresh duck eggs are not as common as chicken eggs in Melbourne, Australia. And salted duck eggs are more common than fresh duck eggs.

Fresh Duck Eggs from the Market

Salted duck eggs can be boiled and eaten with rice or congee (Asian rice porridge). It can also be added to various dishes.

This is my recipe for making salted duck eggs.

  • Sea Salt
  • 15 Duck Eggs
  • Warm Water
  • Optional - 2 to 3 tablespoons Shaoxing Wine

  1. Wash eggs well.
  2. Make brine using 1 part salt to 3 parts warm water. Let this cool down.
  3. Place eggs inside a clean container.
  4. Pour in the cooled down brine. The eggs will float. Weigh them down with a cup or a zip lock bag at the top of the container. Tip: I fill the bag with brine, instead of tap water. This is in case the bag leaks into the container.
  5. The egg yolk of the salted egg will be an orange colour. Add Shaoxing wine to the brine if you want the egg yolk to be a reddish colour. 
  6. Cover the container with a lid.
  7. Place in a cool place in the house. Leave for 4 weeks.
  8. At the end of Week 3, take out one egg and boil. Taste to see if it is salty enough - this is based on personal preference. If it is not salty enough, leave for another week. 
  9. When eggs are salty enough, remove from container, wipe dry, store in egg carton and use as needed. 
Fresh Duck Eggs Soaked in Brine
Now the waiting starts ... 

Scientific Memory Jogger
Making these salted reminded me of 2 scientific points:

1) When I was dissolving the salt in water, there came a point when no more salt would dissolve - a portion of salt sank to the bottom of the jug. No matter how much I stirred or pressed the salt, or even warmed it up on the stove, the salt stayed at the bottom of the water. That reminded me of a forgotten fact - when salt dissolving in water reaches equilibrium, the water is saturated and will not absorb any more salt.

2) When I was measuring the amount of water I would need, I put the eggs in the container and filled it with tap water. The eggs did not float in the tap water. Later, when I filled the container with the brine, the eggs floated. That reminded me that salt water is denser than tap water and denser than the eggs - it is more buoyant and so the eggs floated.

It is interesting making these salted eggs!

The Big Reveal!
Three weeks after I put the duck eggs in the brine for salting, two eggs were taken out for a taste test to check if the eggs are salty enough. These were boiled to make hard boiled eggs. I made rice congee - plain with just ginger and some stock - to go with the eggs.

The egg yolks were a nice orange colour. The egg whites were quite salty. There is no need to leave the remaining eggs for another week.

Taste Test for saltiness at end of Week 3
Boiled Salted Duck Eggs
Salted Duck Egg with Rice Congee
I saw this board 'Have you ever tried Duck Eggs for breakfast ..." in Collins Street in the Melbourne CBD a week ago. What a coincidence as I am in the middle of making salted duck eggs! I have tried fresh duck eggs - fried. And they are delicious - very similar to chicken eggs, with a lot of brilliant orange yolk. 

Coffee Cup Cake
By Arrow

April 2013
I like recipes which are simple. This one in particular is a very handy way to make a single serve of cake, literally in minutes. There are many variations of this recipe, usually with chocolate as the main ingredient. My recipe uses coffee.

I call it Coffee Cup Cake. The name is a play on the words 'coffee cup', as I am making the cake in a coffee cup. And also a play on the words 'cup cake'.

If making one serve, I would mix everything into the cup. If I am making several serves (cups) cakes, I mix the batter in a small jug before dividing it into the cups.

Recipe - Making One Coffee Cup Cake

  • 2 tablespoons Self-raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Coffee granules - I used Moccona Classic Light Roast here
  • 1 small Egg
  • 2 tablespoons Milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted Butter
  • Handful of chocolate chips
  • Microwave-safe Cup

Increase above accordingly when making more than one Coffee Cup Cake.

  1. Lightly beat the egg in the cup.
  2. Sieve the flour, sugar and coffee granules into the cup. Mix in with the egg.
  3. Combine milk and melted butter into the mixture.
  4. Place the chocolate chips at the bottom of the cup if you want a chocolate sauce at the bottom of the cake. Otherwise, mix the chocolate chips in with the batter.
  5. Place the cup in the microwave. Cook for about 2 mins, depending on your microwave.
Coffee batter in Coffee Cups

Like magic, a moist delicious cake will form in the coffee cup. Your Coffee Cup Cake is ready!

Coffee Cup Cakes


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hi Anon,

    In reply to your Q on whether you can use chicken eggs instead of duck eggs - yes, chicken eggs can be salted using the same brine method as duck eggs.

    As you may know, chicken eggs are not as rich as duck eggs. Also, duck egg has a bigger yolk to white ratio compared to chicken egg. Some people prefer the yolk when they are eating salted eggs.