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By March 30, 2016 , ,

This is a follow-up post to my Pandan Cake Recipe. Inspired by Buzzfeed Tasty's snappy recipe videos, I've created something similar too as a fun project. Let me know what you think about it! Full written recipe is available below the video:

Pandan Chiffon Cake

For the ½ cup pandan leaf juice:
20-30 pieces pandan leave
3-4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons coconut milk (approximate...more or less to make half a cup of pandan extract and coconut milk mixture)

For the flour batter:
200 grams top/cake flour (see note)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking of soda
¼ teaspoon salt
100 grams extra-fine castor sugar (see note)
8 egg yolks
6 tablespoons corn (or other vegetable) oil

For the meringue:
8 egg whites
100 grams extra-fine castor sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Pre-heat oven to 170°C and position a wire rack at the lower third rack. Prepare a clean 24 cm or 25cm chiffon cake tin. Do not grease. Make sure the tin is dry.

Wash and cut the spears of pandan leaves into ½-inch pieces (using a pair of kitchen scissors is easier here). Place into a blender and add 3 tablespoons of the water. Blend to form a thick paste, add another tablespoon of water if it is difficult to blend. If you have a mortar and pestle, pounding the leaves will be easier and less water will be required. Remove and squeeze out all the liquid from the paste through a fine mesh sieve, strainer or cheesecloth. You should be able to yield close to 1 cup of liquid. Leave the cup of liquid in the fridge to chill overnight or until you are ready to make the chiffon cake.

Discard the clear or murky liquid on the top. You will be left with 1/4 cup (more or less) of dark green pandan extract. To top up and make exactly ½ cup, you can either add some coconut milk, which will go nicely with the pandan flavor, or add more water.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small bowl. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the corn oil to form an emulsion. Add the pandan leaf juice or pandan leaf juice plus coconut milk mixture. Mix well before adding the sugar and whisk till sugar has melted. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk well into a smooth batter, there should be no lumps. Set aside.

On high speed of a stand or hand held mixer, whisk together the egg whites and cream of tartar. Start adding the sugar once the egg whites begin to foam, gradually in 3 additions. Beat till the meringue is smooth and glossy, with stiff peaks. Be careful not to overbeat the egg whites.

Immediately stir in approximately 1/3 of the meringue into the flour batter. With a flexible rubber or silicon spatula, fold in the meringue gently and mix well. Once a roughly homogeneous mixture is achieved, add the rest of the meringue and repeat the gentle, light-handed folding process till the cake batter is well combined. Scoop from the bottom of the bowl to ensure no meringue or flour batter is left unmixed. Do not beat or overwork the batter as this will knock out the air you've put into the meringue. Pour the cake mixture into the cake tin. Using your spatula, dip it into the batter right to the bottom and make circles around the tin twice. This is to remove any large air bubbles possibly trapped while pouring in the cake batter.

Bake at 170°C for 50-55 minutes or until cake is done. The cake tester should come out clean. Don't fret if the top of your cake cracks a little, this is normal. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately overturn it to cool completely, which can be up to 2 hours. Do this over an upturned funnel if the legs of the chiffon cake tin are not long enough to avoid the top of the cake touching its resting surface - the cake should rise to the same level or slightly higher than the center tube. You can also use a narrow necked bottle but ensure that it's stable enough to support the weight of the cake.

Release the cake by running a sharp, thin knife along the sides of the cake tin and subsequently the bottom of the tube. The cake is meant to be served upside down as it is heavier on the top, however, you can display it top side up, if you don't mind the cracks and wrinkles. The cake keeps well chilled in an airtight container or cling wrapped up to five days (three if using coconut milk). If chilled, bring to room temperature before serving.

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