Happy Hump Day with a green cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Happy Hump Day everyone! I am so over the hump since starting from tomorrow, I am on two-week leaves. My dearest mom and sister are coming to Sydney. We three mother and daughters have not spent time together for a long while, so this is a good time to enjoy our company – ladies only! ;) I expect mom to bring me a lot of goodies from Hanoi, especially the really nice coffee from a very famous coffee shop near the Old Quarter. Perhaps I will feature it here and talk about how to make the perfect Vietnamese coffee at home?

Speaking of family heritage, I am still learning about my husband side of the family. With the Singaporean heritage, chicken rice, har mee, curries and laksa seem to be the favourites. Oh, did I mention that loving durian is a requirement to be part of the family, too?

My MIL (mother in law) tends to cook simple (and very spicy) dishes, but occasionally she does spend time in the kitchen and make dishes from scratch. Her popiah is the best since not a lot of restaurants here do this dish well. She does not bake but loves sweet stuff. Her sweet palate is typical Asian. That is the dislike of anything too sweet or buttery and the love for cottony soft, simple cake and bread. She still loves the durian pound cake that I baked in our first “official” meeting together (I did know how to please my future MIL for sure ;))

And of course, the family loves chiffon cake, especially pandan chiffon cake. Pandan leaves are much loved in Asia. They lend beautiful green color and especially vanilla-like fragrance to food. I grew up drinking pandan-scented water after a meal, and it was refreshing.

There are a lot of recipes out there for pandan chiffon cake, but I was fortunate enough to get a hand-written one from a Singaporean aunty… One of the “secret” ingredients is the use of coconut milk in the cake batter. This makes the cake a lot lighter and a touch richer, just the way I like it. Coconut milk and pandan flavours are match made in heaven and this cake confirms just that.

Pandan Chiffon Cake

In the old days (or if you are fortunate enough to get fresh pandan leaves at cheap price), the leaves were pounded to get the paste (or juice). In Australia, I got lazy and used the ready-made pandan paste instead. The cake was still lovely and beautiful, but it was a bit too… green. I was fine with it, but Mr. B. was like “honey, is it safe to eat?”

So well, the cake was stunningly green. But it was beautiful, and the flavours were just right. I guess we should not complain right? Because I love bold colors, I do not mind a green cake at all. I made the cake ages ago, and these photos have been on my Flickr stream for a while. I took a look the other day and discovered it was on explore before. So see, I am not the only one who is impressed with a green cake.

Happy Hump Day! Perhaps I should start thinking of a rainbow cake.

Pandan Chiffon Cake

The greenest pandan chiffon cake

Adapted from Aunty K.’s recipe

Ingredients (for 20cm chiffon cake pan. I used slightly larger pan for the cake in the photo)

A: 100g flour (see baker’s note)

1 tbsp baking powder

1 pinch of salt

0.75 to 1tbp pandan paste (to taste. I used 1 tbp and my cake was green)

125ml coconut milk

Light flavoured oil (corn oil preferred)

5 egg yolks

B: 5 egg whites

¼ tsp cream of tartar

110g castor sugar

Method

Preset your oven to 170C.

Mix all the ingredients in A together, except for the flour and baking powder. Sift flour and baking powder to the mixture, mix well to combine.

In a clean bowl, whisk the eggwhite, gradually add the sugar and whisk until soft peak forms.

Take 1/3 amount of the eggwhite, mix well with A to lighten the mixture. Carefully fold the rest of the egg white into A.

Pour the batter into an un-greased chiffon cake mould. Put in the oven and bake for around 50’-60’.

Take the cake mould out of the oven and invert it over a cooling rack onto its feet or over a thin-necked bottle. Let the cake hang to cool completely.


Once the cake is cool, use a thin-bladed knife to run around the edge and the inside to help release the cake from the pan. Push the bottom of the pan up, away from the side. Gently run the knife around the tube to release the cake.

Baker’s note:

* You can use normal cake tin to bake the cake. My friends have tried and it works. Lightly grease the tin in this case.

* Pandan paste can be purchased from most Asian groceries. It’s an Indonesian product. There are other flavours (durian, strawberry etc.), too, but I advise you against those.

* Try to get cake flour to get softer texture. However, I have used plain flour and it works fine.

*If you want to use fresh pandan leaves to make the juice, feel free to ask. I’ll update the recipe.




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38 comments:

AMIT 3:08 AM  

Its a nice post with apple pic.

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MyKitchenInHalfCups 3:41 AM  

It is really green and I like it!

Callipygia 8:27 AM  

I need to locate some pandan paste, I threw out my old pandan extract a year ago! Love the color and the pairing with coconut. Have fun with the ladies!

Erin 5:41 PM  

Quite a unique cake you created, in the fact that it is green! The C shape made when you took a slice makes me think this design would be good for a corporate doo.

tigerfish 9:25 PM  

I have not heard from you for a long long, long long time!

Kitchen Flavours 9:45 PM  

Oh wow....that's an delish and divine cake....looks soft and yum....

Ravenous Couple 1:26 AM  

We've never seen pandan used in cake--mostly in Thach (agar) but this looks fantastic! So exciting your family is coming to town from Hanoi. We actually have family in Sydney.

Manggy 4:03 AM  

Oh Mr. B, why so suspicious? I think it looks beautiful! And of course Anh can do no wrong with her Singaporean Aunty's recipe :) Have a great time with your family!

pigpigscorner 7:06 AM  

Love the green!

Johanna 8:40 AM  

love that gorgeous green colour - I now need to try this pandan paste - the idea of it in a cake with coconut milk appeals - I used coconut milk in cake for the first time recently and loved it

♥peachkins♥ 10:48 AM  

I love pandan flavor..this must taste really good..

Anh 11:40 AM  

AMit, thanks.

MKIHC, I love green cake, too.

Callipygia, you should really try this cake. it is one of the best cake I have made.

Erin, thank you. I never thought of the C for corporate design. :)

tigerfish, yay I'm back.

Kitchen flavours, thanks!

Ravenous couple, thank you. Let me know when you come to Sydney!

Manggy, in the end MrB. ate the cake happily. Oh well ;)

pigpigscorner, thank you.

Johanna, you can use the recipe and substitute pandan paste with vanilla paste. It will still be yummy I bet.

peachskin, thanks!

Gattina 5:41 PM  

oh so excited to hear your family coming! Have a great time, eat, cook and photograph more!
I remember those versatile pandan baked goods in Sg, so popular. Quite sad I still haven't developed a taste for it (that maybe the reason why pandan in HK isn't as common as in the neighboring countries?) anyway, luuuuuuuuve that bold green color!

Dhanggit 6:11 PM  

i thought they were matcha cake, but in pandan WOW!! it must be flavorful!! love the shots as always!!

PetalsYoga 5:11 AM  

Wow! I love learning something new about food and I've never even heard of pandan before. This looks wonderful. I'm headed straight to the asian market to see if I can find some pandan paste.

So glad to have found you!

Cakebrain 8:17 AM  

gee, I've never baked anything so bright green...but I'll bet it tastes great! Pandan isn't an ingredient I'm too familiar with for baking, but I have quite a few cookbooks that employ the ingredient. I'll have to search for it in the Asian market. cool photos!

Anita 8:29 AM  

That is a very green cake! I love the flavour combo you would get from those ingredients. I haven't seen pandan paste before, so will have to go looking for it.

redmenace 9:28 AM  

Lovely! Gorgeous!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking 2:05 AM  

It's green & I love it. I have always wanted to bake a green cake like this & had matcha on my mind. Pandan paste adds a new dimension to my dream! It's a lovely cake!

Arfi Binsted 8:46 AM  

Anh, enjoy your ladies time! Love the cake. I made a pandan buttercake version last time and it was great! Love to see you back blogging again!

Cynthia 4:46 PM  

Love that green.

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge 10:23 AM  

Oh I love this cake. My mum used to buy it from the shops all the time when we were little, I've always wanted to know how to bake one myself, and now I can. The cake looks so gorgeous and green, its awesome!

Deborah 2:24 PM  

I love girl time together!! And this cake looks like so much fun!

ChichaJo 12:10 AM  

We also love pandan cake here! And you are right about pandan water...so refreshing :)

I too love girl time with my mom :)

Marc @ NoRecipes 4:33 PM  

Wow that's quite an impressive shade of green! I picked up some pandan flavouring the other day and am curious to try it out.

Susan from Food Blogga 1:48 PM  

That is the most gorgeous shade of green! I hope all the ladies have a lovely time together.

Rilsta 4:54 PM  

Ooh, thanks for this recipe! The cake is such a vibrant green colour!

For the past year or so I have been trying to find pandan chiffon cake at various chinese shops but have had no luck. I think they seem to have stopped stocking it. Now with your recipe I can get the chance to eat it again!

Kathy 9:26 AM  

The cake looks so fantastic! :( But i cannot find pandan leaves here (in Italy) What a pity! :((

Megan@Feasting on Art 10:38 PM  

What a green cake! Sounds lovely.

Kevin 1:32 AM  

What an amazing green colour!

Juandy 2:10 PM  

Oh No, The Glorious Pandan Cake...

How I long to taste your sweet and tender Nature...

Delicious Original Chinese recipes:
http://original-chinese-recipes.blogspot.com

Mallugirl 4:07 AM  

i got so stunned by the color of the cake! would love to taste this before i try my hand at making it.

myfrenchkitchen 2:28 AM  

I've never seen such a bright green cake, not even mactcha of pistace is that green...stunning1
What is humpday?
ronell

Linda 12:48 PM  

This is awesome.. It reminds me of Poh's chiffon cake that she made on the masterchef Final.. Your one looks softer though.

pablopabla 11:49 AM  

Pandan Chiffon, my favourite! I can eat half a cake in one sitting :D

NQN 6:34 PM  

My mu is hte same, she doesn't bake but loves to cook spicy things but has a love of sweets. She has a similar pandan chiffon cake recipe that I've yet to try-mainly as it involves measurements in "tahs" and things I don't quite understand!

missy-j 9:36 AM  

Hi, how much oil should be used? This isn't stated in the recipe.

Anh 2:19 PM  

missy-j, because of the coconut milk in the batter, there is no need for oil. The cake is still very moist and lovely!

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A culinary journey of a Vietnamese girl, who loves to cook. From her tiny kitchen in the middle of Sydney, Australia. You can contact me at anhnguyen118[at]gmail[dot]com

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