Good news! Friends who have never been to the South East Asia, this week - I'm introducing you guys one of my favorite ingredients commonly found here in Singapore (as well as other countries in SEA). It is called 'PANDAN!'
Pandan leaf also known as screwpine leaf (in the west), is a type of fragrant leaf that is commonly used to wrap meat or in desserts with its leaf extract. I'm sure you must have heard of Pandan Cake if you ever been to Singapore or Malaysia. Today's recipe is a variation off this famous Chiffon Cake. I wanted to achieve a even richer taste without compensating the texture at the same time.
Inspired from the Japanese Cotton Cheesecake known for it's super soft spongy texture, I decided to combine the traditional Pandan Chiffon Cake with this Japanese method, & surprisingly it turned out really well!
& in order to do that, there's a few key pointers to note:
- Use fresh Pandan juice/extract instead of store bought ones. Remember fresh extract always taste the best!
- Do not over whip the egg whites. The meringue should be close to stiff peak, smooth with a light shine.
- In order to account in the shrinkage after it's been baked, - so that you'll still get a substantial thickness to the cake, remember to adjust the recipe based on the size of the cake pan. I filled my cake mold over the depth by close to an inch. - use a baking sheet around the sides of the mold to prevent the batter from spilling.
- Bake the cotton cake using a water bath method. This helps the cake texture to become really soft & moist. - remember to wrap the bottom of the cake mold with heavy duty aluminium foil if you're using a removable bottom cake pan, This is to prevent the water from seeping in.
INGREDIENTS - D23cm x H8cm - 2 HOURS
- 100 ml of coconut milk
- 180 ml of pandan juice - blend pandan leaves w/ water, then sift it
- 200 g of cream cheese, room temperature
- 90 g of butter, room temperature
- 9 egg yolks
- 40 g of sugar/ palm sugar
- 90 g of cake flour, sifted
- 50 g of corn flour, sifted
- 12 egg whites
- 140 g of sugar/ palm sugar
Fresh Strawberries & icing sugar for garnishing.
In a sauce pot over low heat, pour in coconut milk, pandan juice, cream cheese & butter. Using a whisk, stir well to combine. Consistency should be close to double cream liked texture. You can also use the double boiling method to combine. Set aside while you prepare the yolk base.
In a mixing bowl, using a hand blender or stand mixer, prepare the yolk base by whisking 9 egg yolks & 40 grams of sugar till you get a pale yellow mixture. Then pour in the pandan coconut mixture, continue to whisk on low speed till well combine. Next add in the sifted corn flour & cake flour. Mix on low speed, scrape the flour on the sides to make sure there are no lumps in till it's well combined. Do not over mix though! Set aside.
After which, in a new mixing bowl, whisk 12 egg whites on medium to high speed till it gets foamy. Then add in 140 grams of sugar in 2 separate batches. Continue whisking till you get the consistency close to stiff peak. PS: Do not over whisk!
Next pour the egg white meringue to combine with Base A in batches - by using the folding method with a spatula or scraper. Until you get a uniform color. Do not over mix as it will cause the batter to lose the air within.
Pour the cake batter into the cake pan, with baking sheet on all sides. baking sheet around the side have to be at least 2 inch higher than the depth of the pan. - so that the batter will not over spill. After pouring in, give it a few light tap to remove any big air bubbles in the batter.
Transfer the cake pan onto a baking tray, then pour in hot water enough to cover at least 1 inch of the cake pan. Bake in preheated oven 150C/300F for at least 1 hour & 20 minutes depending on the accuracy of the oven & the size of the cake. Use a bamboo stick to test. It should come out clean when insert & remove through the center of the cake.
p/s: remember to wrap the cake pan properly using aluminium foil if you're using removable bottom cake pan
When the cake is done, leave it in the oven for 5 minutes with a slight opening on the oven door. Then invert it to remove the cake & baking sheet. Dust with a generous amount of icing sugar, garnish with fresh strawberries which goes really well with this recipe.
Slice & serve it with a cup of tea or coffee! Perfect tea time snack break or dessert! Enjoy~
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