Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Natural Pandan Chiffon Cake

It was for the longest time I have never cooked with fresh pandan leaves. Let alone tasting pandan flavored dishes. It was because the tropical plant does not grow in US and I could only get hold of frozen leaves and flavor essence in  the Asia supermarkets. But none of these could duplicate the distinctive taste and fragrance of fresh pandan leaves. 

My one-year stay in Boston has given me many insights into the American cuisine and delicacies. There were occasions which I assimilated food of the West with my prior knowledge of the East. The commonly known chiffon cake is more commonly known as Angel cake in US. It is named because of it's lightness that was referred for the angels.The lightness is achieved by whisking the egg whites and sugar till stiff peaks are formed. 

Now I am back in Singapore, I get to access my well-equipped kitchen and use many tropical ingredients easily. During this baking session, I deliberately left out artificial colouring. I wanted the natural colour and flavor of fresh pandan leaves hence you can see the light tone of green with a strong influence of brown on the cake. However to have a more appetizing color, green food coloring is commonly used. 



But whenever I savor pandan chiffon cakes, it brings me back into memories more than twenty years ago. Then, my brother and I would compress the cake slices into small round balls and popped in them into our mouths. The balls were packed with coconut and pandan flavor, unlike the lightly and airy chiffon cake. 

Recipe:
Ingredients

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 120ml Coconut milk
  • 1 tsp Juice of 8 Pandan leaves
  • 150g All-purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100ml Canola oil
  • 8 Egg White
  • 180g Fine Sugar
  • Green colouring (optional)
Steps:
  1. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius.
  2. Mix egg yolks, coconut milk, flour, baking powder and canola oil in a mixing bowl and set aside. 
  3. Whisk egg white and sugar till stiff peaks are formed. 
  4. Fold in the egg yolks mixture. 
  5. Pour the mixture in greased 11-12" chiffon cake tin (removable base). 
  6. Bake for 35 minutes.
  7. When removed from oven, invert the cake tin and let the cake cool.