Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Recipe: Pandan Chiffon cake

I've been craving for Pandan Cake for awhile, being in USA and not being able to conveniently get "local" food from stores is killing me. I've been cooking and baking a storm in my kitchen since I've started "playing" in the kitchen. Its where I let my creativity flow, and cook my heart out for my hubs and friends.

I've did the cake 3 times, each time changing the recipe a little. This is the one which got the best feedback, being the softest texture. It did sink alittle, but its really soft, as what the tasters preferred. Its a wee bit sweeter, so I'll go about reducing the sugar next time around.

1 cup all purpose flour (150g)
3 heaping tbsp of corn flour
1/4 tsp salt
8 egg yolks
9 egg whites
1 + 1/4 cup of coconut milk (300 ml)
4 tbsp pandan leaf extract
160g castor sugar
1/2 tsp pandan essence ( I use the indonesian brand, which also gives a green colouring to the cake)
1/2 tsp cream of tar tar

Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix coconut milk and sugar in a sauce pot and let it boil slightly. Stir to prevent from burning. Leave aside to cool.

Mix all purpose flour, baking powder and salt in a big mixing bowl.

Separate egg yolks and egg whites into separate bowls.

Mix the yolks, coconut milk mix, pandan leaf extract, and essence in a bowl, and whisk.
Add yolk mixture into flour mix. Use the whisk and stir till smooth.

Pour egg white, castor sugar, and cream of tar tar into a large mixing bowl. 
Use hand held mixer to whisk it to stiff peaks.

Gently fold with spatula egg white mix into egg yolk mix, till thoroughly mixed.
Pour into ungreased tube pan.
Level and bake 45 minutes.
Let cake cool upside down in pan for 1 hour.
Run the back of butter knife through the sides of the pan before popping it out to slice

Still not perfect, but getting better..

Some things I've learnt along the way:
-Take care that the coconut and sugar mix is not too hot to cook the yolks when you pour it in to mix.
-It will take awhile to whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.
-When you fold the egg white mix into the egg yolk mix, careful not to let more air bubbles into the mixture. Its best to do as gently as possible, while allowing the both ingredients to blend with each other as much as possible.
-The mixture will be very watery, but don't worry about it. When did my first cake, I was worried that it wasn't going to rise, or that its too watery, it will come out as gunk. But it came out quite well, and we finished it in an hour out of the oven.

-To remove as much air bubbles as possible from the cake, drop it from about 2 inches above the table carefully. Or you can hold it firmly with 2 hands, and slam the bottom of the pan onto the table.
-It is very important to let the cake cool completely before taking it out of the pan, or it will crumb terribly. My first cake had to be eaten in handfuls rather than slices.. because I could not wait for it to cool!
-It is important not to grease the pan as you want the cake to "cling" onto the sides of the pan to rise as much as possible.
-Do not fill the pan to full as the cake will rise, and will result in a dome bottom. I fill mine to half, or 3/4 full.
-My last try, I lined the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, as I had alot of problems removing the cake from the pan, even after running my knife through the sides. It did not change any consistency of the cake, and allowed me to remove the cake easily from the pan.

Please try and share with me your photos! Let me know how I can improve this cake if you've done some experimenting on your own.. ;)

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