My brother’s birthday cake this year was a Pandan Chiffon cake, adapted from Dr Leslie Tay’s blog, IeatIshootIpost. In addition to the recipe, Dr Tay’s post includes several tips and techniques to perfect this classic sponge from South East Asia. Flavoured with coconut milk and pandan leaves extract, the tall chiffon cake relies on beaten egg whites and sugar for its light and airy structure. I took me a while to get hold of the main ingredient for this cake; pandan is not grown in Mauritius and its derivates are hard to come by in your regular supermarket.
I got lucky when I met one of my patients who is also an avid baker and food photographer. She graciously shared with me a small bottle of Koepoe Pandan paste which she says works as well as the natural pandan juice extract. Since it was my very first time baking with this product, I added only 1/4 teaspoon to my cake batter to prevent the flavoring from overpowering the subtle taste of coconut. The delicate pale green colour was just right for me but you can top it up to your liking if you prefer a more brilliant shade of green.
PANDAN CHIFFON CAKE
6 egg yolks, room temperature
100g white caster sugar
115ml vegetable oil
140ml coconut cream
175g all purpose flour
25g pure corn flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon pandan paste
1 teaspoon pandan extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
100g white caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Beat the egg yolks and caster sugar together until thick and pale.
- Gradually add vegetable oil and coconut cream and beat until well combined. Add the pandan paste.
- Tip in the pandan and vanilla extracts and combine well until the mixture turns pale green in colour.
- Sift all purpose flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl to remove lumps.
- Gradually whisk in the egg yolk mixture in a slow and steady stream until it is thoroughly combined.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites until foamy, add in cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites in the flour mixture.
- Take care not to deflate batter. Spoon into an ungreased 25cm tube pan and bake for 55-60 minutes.
- Remove cake from the oven and immediately invert the hot pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Release the sides of the cake with a thin knife if it does not fall off from the tube pan while cooling.
- Dust the cooled pandan cake lightly with icing sugar before cutting into servings. Makes 20 pieces.
Pandan Chiffon Cake