I'd read about kaya—a thick, jamlike breakfast spread made from eggs, coconut milk, sugar, and aromatic pandan leaves—before taking a trip to Singapore and Malaysia, and I set out on a quest to find the best version. My conversations with locals led me to Tang House in Malacca, Malaysia, where the region's acclaimed coconut palm sugar adds richness and depth to the simple spread. I sat in the courtyard, drinking Malaysian coffee with condensed milk and eating kaya spread on toast. Hooked on kaya's deep caramel color and sweet, custardy taste, I now make a version at Double Crown, which I use as a tart filling or a flavoring for chocolates. Any way you go, kaya is a simple yet unusual pot of deliciousness. —Brad Farmerie, PUBLIC and Double Crown, New York City


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