Pandan Chiffon Cake

Lá dứa, pandan, the screwpine plant, ketaki, bai tooey

or whatever country you’re from, we can agree that the pandan plant is so wonderful because of it’s intense hazelnut-like aroma. The leaves of the plant are steeped in hot water where the flavors are extracted then, cooked down into a concentrate to use in desserts, puddings, cakes, and various steamed delicacies found all over Southeast Asia. The concentrate form can be found in a general southeast Asian market. It looks like a thick green syrup and since it’s so potent, all you need is a couple of drops. I added the extract into a chiffon cake and it reminded me of some of the birthday cakes my parents always bought when we were younger so there’s a little nostalgia flying around the kitchen as I’m baking this. I iced the cake with a French buttercream which turned out to be good, not too sweet, but I’m going to try out a whipped cream topping next time.

Recipe for 9 inch cake

  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 drops of pandan concentrate
  • 7 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into sifter. Sift into bowl. Make a well; add oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla, and pandan flavoring to the well in the order that is given. Set aside. Don’t beat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until very stiff. Set aside.
  4. Using same beaters, beat egg yolk batter until smooth and light. Pour gradually over egg whites, folding in with rubber spatula. Do not stir.
  5. Butter and flour a 9×3 inch cake pan and pour batter.
  6. Bake for 55 minutes. Increase heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake 10 to 15 minutes until done. Invert pan until cool.
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