Sunday, March 03, 2013

Pandan & Coconut Chiffon Cake

This is a total childhood treat for me, I absolutely love this cake and I'm sure anyone with a SEA heritage will agree. Its light, fluffy, spongy, sweet but not overly and lets not forget that magnificent pandan flavour and scent. Apparently my grandmother absolutely loved this cake and she actually knew how to bake it properly, unfortunately she is no longer around to teach me the tricks of the trade and it seems like her children were never big on sweets making. Hence I had to rampage through the Internet for this recipe. As for the results, I'm happy with how it looks, I mean look at it, its perfect, it seems and taste nice however the texture is slightly wrong! The cake is not spongy enough, it doesn't spring back when you poke it, its a little too dense in my opinion. So I'm going to be challenging myself and I'm going to work on this recipe until I get it right, just like the cakes I had as a child.

Pandan & Coconut Chiffon Cake
(makes two 8inch cakes)

2/3 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoon pandan extract
3 cup plain flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 egg whites
10 egg yolks
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 160C degrees (about 5-10minutes before baking)
Ensure all ingredients are at room temperate and well sifted

  1. Combine the dry ingredients: Plain flour, salt and baking powder, and set aside
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale, gradually mix in the caster sugar until significantly paler and fluffy (ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved)
  3. Once creamed, mix in the coconut milk, vegetable oil, pandan extract and dry ingredients until well combined
  4. In a separate steel or glass bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks, gradually add in the caster sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time until stiff peaks
  5. Fold the egg whites into the flour mixture
  6. Bake the chiffon in a 8 - 9 inch cake pan (only grease the base of the cake pan, do NOT grease the sides) at 160C for ~40 minutes
  7. Remove the cake from the oven, flip the cake upside down and cool it over a cooling rack, allow it to cool completely before attempting to unmould it
  • The cake tin should only be oiled at the bottom, reason being chiffon cakes actually rely on being able to grasp the sides of the tin to rise and maintain their shape whilst baking. If you do oil the sides, your cake will collapse, deflate or not rise properly
  • Flipping the cake when cooling, again has to do with sustaining the cakes structure, cooling it normally unflipped will cause the cake to collapse on its own weigh. For the same reason, removing the cake from the mould whilst it is still hot or warm will also cause it to collapse
  • When beating the egg whites ensure that they do not come in contact with any fats, this will cause the egg whites to collapse and hence result in a less fluffy cake. Fats can include egg yolks, butter, oil and etc. This is why a glass or metal mixing bowl should be used over a plastic one as metal and glass do not hold onto fats as much as plastic does 
1. Uncooked pandan chiffon
2. Cooked chiffon upside down on wire rack (bottom view)
3. Cooked chiffon upside down on wire rack (top view)
4. Cooked pandan chiffon

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