cake / dessert dip / sauce

Minatamis na Bao (Coco Jam)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014Enz F

Last time, I baked some bibingka (Christmas rice cake) for merienda but had too much of the leftover ingredients. I bought more than enough of the needed grated coconut so I had ended up with more than half a liter of unscathed freshly pressed kakang gata (coconut milk) which I should make usable into something else or otherwise throw into the sink. I knew this would easily perish but I did not want to put too much amount into the waste so I decided to make some homemade coconut jam. Quickly I went to the nearest grocery store and bought one kilo of dark brown sugar which was again too much for my jam but at least, I could store the excess in the cupboard. Sugar do not get spoiled easily, I thought, unlike coconut milk.

Turn your leftover coconut milk into delicious homemade coco jam!
Minatamis na Bao or Coco Jam is a traditional sweetened coconut spread and dessert indigenous in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. It is basically made from coconut milk and melted panutsa/ panocha (unrefined cane sugar) and oftentimes scented with pandan. Panutsa/ panocha is also known as jaggery. These are dark brown blocks of unrefined cane sugar and usually molded in coconut shells. I could not find panutsa/ panocha in the store so I settled to muscovado sugar. Molasses could also be a good alternative. The sugar is dissolved in coconut milk and cooked while constantly stirring for several minutes in low heat until it achieves a very thick honey-like consistency. Coco jam is also called kaya or serikaya in Singapore and Malaysia, and sangkhaya in Thailand. The ingredients and cooking process are almost the same except the addition of eggs.

This my favorite toppings to my kakanin dessert.
So this was I had for breakfast the next morning – freshly-baked sliced pan de sal (Filipino bread roll) spread with a thin layer of sticky and rich coco jam for my cup of hot coffee. This minatamis na bao is also perfect as toppings for toasts, crackers, turon (sweet banana rolls) and glutinous rice cakes like biko and suman.
Minatamis na Bao (Coco Jam)
Makes 1.5 cups

  • 2 cups kakang gata (fresh coconut milk)
  • 1 cup muscovado sugar, crushed panutsa/ panocha (unrefined cane sugar) or molasses
  • 2 pandan leaves, knotted or 1 tsp. pandan extract (optional)

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium to high heat. Bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Once the liquid is boiling, reduce the heat to simmer. Continuously stir the mixture to completely dissolve the sugar and to avoid the jam from sticking on to the bottom of the pan. The mixture will thicken into honey-like consistency and the color will turn dark brown.
  3. Remove from heat and discard the pandan leaves. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Transfer the jam in a clean glass jar and serve as toppings or spread to kakanin (rice cakes) or pan de sal (Filipino yeast-raised bread roll). Coco jam can be stored in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for about a month.

  • Be mindful not to overcook the jam because it easily hardens as it is cooked.

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