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
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
- 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.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until very stiff. Set aside.
- Using same beaters, beat egg yolk batter until smooth and light. Pour gradually over egg whites, folding in with rubber spatula. Do not stir.
- Butter and flour a 9×3 inch cake pan and pour batter.
- 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.