Saturday, August 18, 2012
"Hello ladies, look at your cake, now back to mine, now back at your cake, now back to mine. Sadly, yours isn’t mine, but if you stopped using pandan essence and switched to real pandan extract, yours could smell like mine."
Forgive me! I was just having fun doing my own silly parody on that Old Spice ad. :)
Let's do it again, shall we?
Look at that cake. Anyone who has tasted pandan will tell you, this is impossible to resist.
Look at that tender, tearaway-soft texture ... so delicate, it instantly draped itself over the scalloped edges of my plate.
Look at that pastel green hue - all natural, as it should be. Nothing garish, nothing gaudy.
Bring it close and inhale, and let its heady sweet scent intoxicate you. Take time to smell the roses pandan. ;)
I guess you can never really fully describe pandan ... you just have to taste it to understand it.
Would it surprise you if I told you this was my very first Pandan Chiffon Cake? Yes, I am terribly ashamed of myself. To live in southeast asia where pandan is cheap and abundant, yet never have made a cake out of it is nothing short of sacrilege.
Truth is, I didn't have the cake tin and I never entertained the thought of buying one. My kitchen drawers are perpetually filled to the brim with all sorts of ... things, and a chiffon cake tin is really quite bulky. Recently though, I did a major clean out. Like, MASSIVE. Anything I hadn't touched in a year, I nonchalantly disposed.
It's called "letting go".
And what do you do with new storage space? Why, buy new stuff to fill it up!
It's called "vicious cycle".
Anywaaaaay, I finally bought the tin and Pandan Chiffon was hands-down, the priority on my to-bake list. I guess you might see more chiffon cakes from me now?
(from Jun's Indochine Kitchen)
My notes in italics.
You need a 22-cm chiffon cake tin for this.
- 7 egg yolks
- 75g coconut milk*
- Concentrated fresh pandan extract**
- 150g flour
- 4g baking powder (1 scant tsp)
- 95g sugar (can reduce to 75g)
- 3g salt
- 83g vegetable oil (it's about 83ml)
* Coconut milk
- Option 1: freshly squeezed, first press coconut milk. I think you'd need to buy 1 coconut (grated). You'd also need a coffee sock or cheesecloth, and muscle power. At the very most, add 1 or 2 tbsps of water to the grated coconut before you squeeze. Do not dilute the natural creaminess of coconut milk.
- Option 2 (and one which involves no work): Fresh pasteurised coconut milk. They are usually sold at the refrigerated sections of supermarkets (where they stock the tofu, yellow noodles, etc).
Do not use packet coconut cream (like Kara or Ayam brand) because it is too rich. I speak from experience because I stupidly did. Haha, how embarrassing! ;) My cake was so moist from all that coconut oil, it sprang right out of the pan when I tried to cool it upside down. Tee hee!
**I used 30 fresh pandan leaves + 1/2 cup water and blitzed in a food processor. Squeeze out the juice from the pulp and leave it in a glass overnight in the fridge. Use only the green stuff that settles at the bottom of the glass - Wendy shows us how it's done. And if you can't get fresh pandan leaves from where you are, bottled essence will have to do (use 4g or 1 tsp), in which case, you have my heartfelt sympathy.
- 7 egg whites
- 100 g sugar
1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
2. Combine egg yolks, coconut milk and pandan extract in a mixing bowl. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture and sugar into the bowl. Add vegetable oil and whisk everything to combine.
3. In a separate and clean bowl, beat egg whites and sugar together till it forms soft peaks.
4. Slowly fold egg white into egg yolk mixture in 3-4 additions.
5. Pour cake mixture into an ungreased tube pan.
6. Bake for 45 minutes.
7. Flip the pan upside down against a bottle on kitchen counter and let cool for 25-30 minutes. Loosen side of cake with a knife.