Friday, June 3, 2011

Pandan Chiffon

Feather soft and divine! If you've never had pandan's kind of grassy and tastes like jasmine rice on steroids. Also matches coconut, but it's a lot less assertive of a flavor. We made our pandan juice from frozen pandan leaves, but you can also buy imitation extracts and pastes with artificial coloring. No fake color here! It's a natural green. :)

We wouldn't change much about this recipe. We don't like overly sweet desserts and this one was perfect. There were some larger holes, which may have been due to poorly distributing the baking powder into the flour. Despite not using cake flour, the cake was surprisingly fine-crumbed. Another idea is to bake it as a jelly roll and fill it with coconut cream, or jasmine tea cream! Maybe we would try adding some coconut powder or coconut milk in place of some of the oil to give it more fragrance. Or some pandan extract or vanilla extract. However, having just pandan allows the delicate flavor to shine through!

Pandan Chiffon Cake

4 Large Egg Yolks
70g Castor Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt

85ml canola oil (may be able to reduce this to 70 mL)
115 ml Pandan Juice (see note! make sure it's concentrated)

150g Cake Flour (we used all purpose flour sifted with cornstarch, 5:1 ratio)
3/4 tsp Baking Powder

4 Large Egg Whites
70g Castor Sugar
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar

To make pandan juice: Blend 20 pandan leaves with 1/2 cup or less water in food processor until leaves become smithereens. Gather everything up into a fine cotton cloth and squeeze the living daylights out of it to extract all the juice. You want to concentrate the juice as much as possible, so make sure to pulverize the leaves and add only as much water as needed to get the motor going. This will make more than you need; you can save the rest for another purpose.


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Whisk and then sift (C) twice, set aside.

3. Cream (A) until sugar dissovled using hand whisk. Add in (B) in the order listed. Mix well after each addition.

4. Whisk in sifted flour and mix well. If lumps persist, strain through a fine mesh strainer.

5. Beat egg whites until frothy, add cream of tartar and beat till soft peaks. Gradually add sugar and beat till stiff peaks.

6. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into egg yolk mixture gently with a rubber spatula until just blended.

7. Pour yolk mixture (step 6) into the rest of egg whites, fold it gently with rubber spatula until blended.

8. Put batter into a 20cm chiffon cake pan, bang the pan on a hard surface to release the bubbles and bake at 350 F for 30 - 40 minutes (we did 35) or till the top is light golden and the cake springs back when poked.

9. When the cake is cooked, remove from oven immediately invert the cake to cool. Remove the cake from the cake pan when it is completely cool, or when it is warm after about 30 min if you are impatient like we were!

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