I’ve always said I’m not a big fan of cakes, nor do I crave for any Asian desserts.
However, oddly enough if there was anything more contradictory than that very statement is that I do like pandan cakes.
“What is a pandan cake?”, I hear you innocently ask?
Well, it’s a cake made out of screwpine leaves (also known as Asian Vanilla) to some. The leaves have many uses but are most popular in South East Asian cooking, both sweet and savoury.
The pandan cake is ubiquitous to South East Asia and in particular to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. How or where the cake originated from isn’t very concrete but my guess is that it is an evolution of more traditional chiffon and Angel cakes influenced by both the Dutch and English occupations of these lands.
For one reason or another, I’ve started baking. I’ve always said that I hated baking as well.
Well, I guess I’m happy to be proven wrong on both these vehement statements: P
Part of my newfound baking bonanza love (no, I am NOT nesting), has been motivated by the available ingredients in my fridge and pantry. The second part for my baking is the idea that I will not let baking get the better of me. I am a stronger woman than that! Hell yeah!
With that in mind, I got out my Bundt cake mould (I don’t have the appropriate bakeware) and jumped onto both April’s and Thanh’s blogs to look up how to bake like a master 😛
Pandan Chiffon Cake
- 6 egg whites
- 125 g caster sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 80 g caster sugar (additional)
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- 165 ml coconut milk (the smallest can)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pandan essence
- 120 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- Heat the oven up to 160 degrees Celcius.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Slowly add in the (125g) sugar until you get stiff peaks.
- You should be able to hold the whisked egg whites over your head without it falling out.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar (80g) and vanilla essence until it forms a pale and creamy mixture (it should triple in size).
- In a small bowl, mix the coconut milk, vegetable oil and pandan essence.
- Add this to the egg yolk mixture, whilst whisking at a slower speed. As I used a hand mixer, I had to stop, pour in the entire green mixture and start again.
- Once it is througly mixed through, sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and gently fold through.
- Add one third of the egg whites to the now green mixture. You can beat it as much as you like to loosen up the batter.
- Add the remaining egg white and fold gently into the mixture, taking care to not overwork it.
- Pour the batter into an ungreased ring tin (as I didn't have one, I used a greased Bundt tin).
- Bang the tin on the counter top a few times to release any air bubbles that may have been trapped.
- Bake for around 45-50 minutes. Insert a skewer into the middle to check if it has been cooked.
- Garnish with some toasted desiccated coconut and serve with your preferred choice of beverage.
I eliminated Thanh’s green frosting, as it didn’t resemble the Pandan Chiffon cake served in Malaysia. However, I have tried his version and can vouch that it works as well and is quite tasty.
So would you be making this green alien cake soon for your friends and family?