Remember the pandan chiffon cake high I was riding on? It was so good a crack that for some insane reason, I went on to create the Lychee Chiffon Cake with Matcha Whipped Cream Frosting. Yes, I am ‘a leetle beet’ crazy. But hey, those days were good. I revelled in the chiffon experiments, gently cradling my mixing bowl as I folded beautifully whipped egg whites into the rest of the cake batter. I also enjoyed inhaling the one-of-a-kind perfume that wafted under my nose as I squatted in front of my humble oven, watching the chiffon rise up, up and away. And my favourite part? Getting swept up in big bear hugs when my pandan-cake-loving husband declared the chiffon a success! Yes, one of the surefire ways to a man’s heart (and big bear hugs) is through his stomach, and I particularly enjoy making M his favourite treats.
It is this love and love alone that made me experiment with yet another pandan chiffon cake recipe. This time, I decided to have a little fun, and combined the very best of both chiffon recipes I tried. You see, with the first pandan chiffon cake I made, the cake was a teeny bit chewy and I wished that it was a little more tender. Then with the lychee chiffon, it was a beautifully soft cake alright, but I didn’t like the way it cringed ever so slightly when I went in with the knife. I was determined to get the chiffon right, and what better way than to be fuelled by M’s insatiable appetite for pandan chiffon?….
……Alright alright, let’s cut the romantic crap. I’m ‘fessing up here. Yes I wanted to perfect the recipe for M, but really, I made my best chiffon yet for a special occasion too. Two dear friends had kindly invited us over to their place for a (REALLY FABULOUS, if I might add) home-cooked meal. As they aren’t Singaporeans or Malaysians, I thought that they might not know what pandan chiffon cake is, and I really, really wanted to induct them into the pandan-loving club. It turned out that one of them have tasted pandan cake before and she was a convert already. That made me pee in my pants a little, because then I was hard-pressed to wow them!
Now, I was really nervous when it was time to cut the chiffon cake at their place. There were two things that I hoped for. I wanted the cake to stand tall and proud even after cutting it, and I wanted the cake to be soft, tender and beautifully light when bitten into. Luckily for me, my pandan chiffon didn’t let the meal down. Phew! My hosts loved it and M was duly impressed. I was most happy with it too, and I definitely think that this recipe is a keeper.
Here’s the recipe:
Pandan Chiffon Cake
(for a 21cm chiffon cake tube pan)
70g plain flour
20g corn flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
80ml coconut milk
60ml sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/2 teaspoon pandan essence
1/2 teaspoon green food colouring
5 egg whites
50g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
10g rice flour
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
2. Sift ingredients in A together, twice. Set aside.
3. Using ingredients in D, beat egg whites till frothy, add cream of tartar and beat to combine until the mixture turns a little more opaque than the frothy state. Meanwhile, combine the caster sugar and rice flour in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of this mixture to the egg white mixture, and beat till you get soft peaks. Then add the remaining caster sugar-rice flour mixture gradually and beat till stiff peaks form. Set aside.
4. Using the ingredients in B, beat the egg yolks and sugar together till volume triples and mixture turns pale. Meanwhile, combine ingredients from C in a bowl. Beat in the combined ingredients from C to the egg yolk mixture. Next, add the flour mixture from Step 2 and beat well to combine.
5. Fold 1/3 of the meringue (from Step 3) to the batter from Step 4. Then gently fold in the remaining meringue until well-incorporated.
6. Pour the batter into the chiffon cake tube pan, use one chopstick to swirl round the batter to get rid of some bubbles. Smooth out the surface with a spatula to remove the ripples created by the chopstick.
7. Bake the cake at 160 degrees Celsius for 16 min, then turn the temperature down to 150 degrees Celsius and bake for 29 min. The times and temperatures may differ, depending on the oven.
8. Remove the cake pan from the oven and invert it immediately. Let stand to cool.
9. Unmould the cake when it is completely cooled, by running a knife along the surfaces that the cake makes contact with the pan (including the tube itself).
I hope you enjoyed this post!
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