If you recall my previous post on the Orange Chiffon Cake, you would know that I have a love affair with all things ‘chiffony’. But this is my favourite of favourites. It is made with the sweet aromatic green leaves of the pandan (screwpine) used by many South East Asians to flavour their desserts. The combination of pandan and coconut is sublime, like your pinacolada – another heavenly match.
This recipe is my mother’s , using only natural ingredients , no colouring or artificial flavouring.
Grease a chiffon cake tin (or tube tin) 10 inch x 4 inch with a little butter. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.
- 10-12 leaves of the pandan
- 180-200 ml of santan (coconut milk – make sure you give it a stir so the cream/milk is homogenous)
Wash carefully the pandan leaves as there may be some sand/grit. Cut out the brown/discoloured part of the leaves. With a pair of scissors , snip the leaves to about 3 inch long. Put all the leaves and the santan (coconut milk) into a blender or foodprocessor. Blend them into a pulp. Push through the liquid by squeezing this pandan pulp mixture with coconut milk through a fine strainer. So that what you get is in fact coconut milk flavoured with the pandan and coloured green now. Pick out any bits of the leave that may have gone through, as it is rather fibrous and does not taste too good in the cake. You should have about 180ml of the liquid ( pandan coconut mixture) here.
- 7 oz of plain flour
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- pinch of salt
Sift the dry ingredients to a dry tin or bowl, leave aside.
- 6 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar
- 4 oz of castor sugar
Beat the egg whites on high for 2 minutes, sprinkle the cream of tartar over it. Slowly add in the sugar in 4 parts, each after beating for 1 minute. As you beat the egg whites, it becomes more voluminous and stiff. When you turn the bowl , the egg whites should stay and not slide. now the egg whites will look silky and stiff. Once you have reached this stage do not continue beating. Do not overbeat the egg whites will get too dry.
- 6 egg yolks
- 4 oz castor sugar
- 3 tbp of olive oil (I use regular cooking olive oil, not extra virgin as it would lend an olive smell to it)/ if you like you can substitute that with corn oil or vegetable oil.
Beat the egg yolks + oil on high for 1 minute, add in the sugar in 2 parts, after every minute , continue until double in volume and is pale yellow about another 4 minutes.
Now combine the pandan mixture with the egg yolk mixture, pour it in a stream as the yolks are being beaten. Continue beating for another 2 minutes on medium. Fold in the flour in 2 parts carefully.
Follow by the egg whites, folding gently to mix well as not to deflate the air that has been captured through the vigourous beating.
Bake in a preheated oven of 150 degrees C, for about 50 mins. Take the tin out and leave it to cool for about 30 minutes before attempting to release the cake.
Slice the cake using a bread knife for best results!
Warning: Do not open oven door in the middle of the cooking time. You will let in cold air and deflate the cake. As this involves the eggs to provide the volume, you may need to have a go for a couple of times before you get the knack of it. This was my second try. The first try, it turned out ok, except some parts at the bottom was dense/soggy.. so did not look so nice lah.