Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pandan Chiffon Cake 班蘭雪紡蛋糕

Don't be mistaken by the color of this cake. It is not from artificial coloring. It is from the chlorophyll of pandan. Pandan leaves are very popular in South East Asia. They are widely used in making rice, main dishes and desserts. It is best to use fresh leaves but here in North America, we have to settle for frozen ones.

It takes a little bit of planning in making this pandan chiffon cake, unless you prefer to use artificial pandan flavoring or canned pandan juice because it takes a few days for the pandan juice to settle so that the bitter liquid will be separated from the flavorful juice. (If you have access to a centrifuge, it will take a few minutes rather than a few days.) See notes on how to make the juice.

The aroma of this cake is unbelievable. The scent of pandan is very unique. It has a nick name: "vanilla of the East". I didn't use any frosting or garnishes on this cake because I do not want anything to mask its aroma and flavor. It is very good by itself!




Ingredients for a 9 inch tube pan:
5 large eggs, separated 大雞蛋
30g+90g sugar 白糖
60g water 水
20g pandan juice concentrate (see notes) 班蘭葉汁
60g canola oil 芥花籽油
125g cake flour 低筋粉
1 tsp baking powder 泡打粉
1/2 tsp cream of tartar 他他粉

1)  Preheat oven to 350F.
2)  Carefully separate the egg whites from the yolks. Put the whites in a clean stainless steel or glass  bowl.
3)  Add 30g sugar to the yolks and beat until it turns pale, about 5 mins with a handheld mixer.
4)  Add water, pandan juice, and oil to the batter and mix until blended.
5)  Sift in the cake flour and baking powder. Mix until combined and do not over-mix.
6)  Beat egg whites with cream of tartar to soft peaks. Add 90g sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks formed.
7)  Fold the meringue into the egg batter in 3 additions, until no white is visible.
8)  Pour into an non-greased tube pan. Smooth out the top and bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
6)  Immediately invert the pan until the pan is cool to touch. Remove the cake by running a metal spatula or knife between the sides of the pan and the cake.

Cut about 25g of pandan leaves (about 7-8 leaves) into thin strips. (This yields about 1 cup) Blend the cut leaves with half a cup of water in a blender. Strain and squeeze out the juice into a glass. Cover and put in the refrigerator for a few days, undisturbed. Use the bottom layer for baking. Discard the top layer by pouring it off. (It will be a breeze if you can do it using a centrifuge.)

day 1

day 3



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