On a whim, I decided to try my hand at making a pandan chiffon cake for the first time (people posting pictures of their chiffon cakes while I’m working on mens diamond rings reviews don’t help!). I wanted another flavour – lemon or orange – but didn’t have any on hand. Despite my pandan plant looking really sad, I was reluctant to lob off some leaves so have decided to use pandan paste and essence I purchased during my last trip to Paris Store in Lyon.
A quick search on google yield a lot – in fact, too many – results and I had to slowly go through them to pick them right ones. I finally settled for three and adapted my recipe to suit the chiffon cake tins I had stocked up on when we were packing to move from Singapore. They are mini chiffon cake tins from Phoon Huat – about 6-7″ in diameter – and because of their size, I had to halve the recipe…which required further time expanded into calculating and making sure I had everything I needed.
The result is an edible cake that is quite fragrant but still lacking in original flavour and taste. If you have access to real pandan leaves (about 10-20 small-medium sized leaves with 1/4 cup water should do the trick) and freshly squeezed coconut milk, USE IT. For someone who has no access to such luxuries these days, I’d have to settle for a twin. Someone isn’t really complaining tho (as you can see in the picture above) – she wolfed down a good three slices!
(A) Egg yolk based batter
3 egg yolks (from large eggs)
35 gms coconut milk
1-2 tsp pandan essence/paste
75 gms all purpose flour/cake flour
2 gms baking powder
45 gms castor sugar (drop this to 40 gms – I find it a little on the sweet side)
1-2 gms salt (do not omit as this contributes to the flavour)
42 gms grapeseed oil/vegetable oil
(B) Meringue base
4 egg whites (from large eggs)
50 gms sugar (drop this to 45 gms)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Preheat your oven to 160°C and put aside an ungreased chiffon cake tin. I used two mini chiffon cake tins but this should be okay for a big 15-18 cm tin, if you have one
- Separate the egg whites from the egg yolk. Place the egg whites in a separate clean and dry bowl and put aside for later use.
- Mix the egg yolk, sugar, coconut milk and pandan essence/paste well. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add in the oil as you’re folding in the flour. Be careful not to overbeat. I usually do this by hand. When it’s done, put aside.
- Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and whisk until foamy before gradually adding in the sugar – take your time. Do not dump all the sugar at once; this will result in clumps and lumps forming. Beat your egg whites until they resemble stiff peaks (you can lift the whisk and the egg whites will hold its own shape OR place the bowl over your head – if you don’t have a mess on your hair, you’re good to go!).
- Take a small amount of egg whites and fold it into the egg yolk batter. Use a spatula – not a whisk or wooden spoon. Be gentle and take your time. Once the egg whites are well-incorporate and your batter has been “tempered”, add in the remaining egg whites. Fold gently until they are well-incorporated.
- Slowly pour into the cake tins; jiggle the cake tin A LITTLE to ensure that everything is level (no banging please) and level and smooth the top if necessary.
- Place the cake tins on the lowest rake, lower the temperature to 150°C and bake for 45 minutes. When ready, immediately remove from the oven and invert it – I turn it upside down and placed it over glass jars. The higher it is from the table, the better. Let it cool for 30 minutes to an hour and remove with a serrated knife.
NOTE: Chiffon cakes don’t keep for long as they tend to dry out fast so this is best eaten fresh. If you must keep it, consider wrapping it in foil and storing in the fridge or placing it in an airtight container.