Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Most Ideal Pandan Chiffon Cake

It was one of my sweetest moments being eighteen... A young man came to my house knocking on our house door with a freshly baked pandan cake wrapped in brown paper.

"I bake this for you and your family." He said as he passed on the cake to me. I was extremely touched receiving this gift. Everyone was impressed with the cake. Despite that my dad is never a pandan cake fan, he had a slice too. I'm guessing that this might his gesture of approving my future dates with this fine man... LOL!

In Singapore, pandan chiffon cake is cheap, mostly commercially produced and commonly sold almost everywhere. However, it is a special cake for me because it was one of "sweetest" cake that I had :)


Unlike living in Singapore, living in Melbourne now means that we can't buy a good pandan chiffon cake at anywhere or anytime that we want and the only way to enjoy a good pandan chiffon cake means that I will have to know how to bake one.


Fortunately, I know one recipe that can bake a really good and in fact the most ideal pandan chiffon cake! It originates from a popular Singapore food blogger, Leslie Tay at ieatishootipost.sg. In this post, Leslie has thoroughly defined the meaning of a good pandan chiffon cake and had made more than 30 attempts to archive THIS which is said to be his most ideal pandan chiffon cake recipe. Knowing these facts and being me, how would I miss out baking this?

In order to archive the full aroma of pandan in my chiffon cake, I have chosen to use the real pandan instead of using pandan paste or essence. Pandan is cheap and abundant in most southeast Asian countries. It is free if you grow it yourself and can even grow extremely well in pots. Sad to say that fresh pandan leaves are expensive and rare in Melbourne, Australia. Finding and growing a pandan plant in Melbourne backyards is almost impossible. Most Asian groceries sell frozen pandan and rarely some will sell 5-6 (or even less) leaves for about A$2. For my chiffon cake, I have used 25 fresh pandan leaves for my extraction using the method by Wendy from Table for 2. Wendy's method processes pandan and water to extract pandan juice and leave it overnight to concentrate it further. I think that this method has worked very well for me but my husband thinks that I wasn't making full use of the 25 pandan leaves. He reckons that I shouldn't discard the non-sinking but fragrant clear liquid and said the most effective way of extracting pandan is to use coconut milk to extract the pandan juice itself and this will minimise the water content in our future pandan cakes. Ok ok... I will try his method, maybe next time.

This pandan cake is truly as good what we expected. Very soft and smooth spongy texture and everyone love it! I'm very happy baking this beautiful cake. I was enjoying my great memories too as I was eating slices of this soft and aromatic cake. At this point, I'm guessing that you might be guessing right the identity of this fine young man...


best Pandan Chiffon Cake
Most ideal pandan chiffon cake? Truly as ideal as we are expecting...
Fresh pandan leaves in all different forms... LOL!
Concentrating pandan juice...
Making the pandan chiffon cake batter
The aroma of pandan baking is simply irresistible!
I'm very happy seeing this!
Even happier admiring this...
soft fluffy best pandan chiffon cake
Happiest when I'm enjoying this!

Update on 25 May 2016:

Here is a video of me baking this pandan chiffon cake recipe again. Instead of using 25 pandan leaves and water to extract the pandan juice, I have used 15 pandan leaves and coconut milk to extract the pandan juice and top the pandan-coconut-milk with more coconut milk to 165ml in total and it worked well too! Enjoy the video...


Here are the recipes that I have adapted:

Making concentrated pandan juice from Table for 2
  • Using a kitchen scissor, snip 10-13 fresh pandan leaves into small pieces.
  • Place them into a blender with 1/4-1/3 cup of water and process.
  • Place blitzed pandan over a cheesecloth or anything similar and squeeze out the pandan juice.
  • If you need to use more than 10-13 pandan leaves, repeat the blending and squeeze process again to get more batches of juice.
    Leave pandan juices in the fridge overnight.
  • The juice will separate into two distinct layers. Remove the top clear liquid layer and use the deep green colour sediment as concentrated pandan extract.
    Note: Do not freeze the extract as it will lose its fragrance after freezing and thawing

Pandan Chiffon Cake from ieatishootipost.sg
 
Ingredient group A
6 egg yolks
(from small 60g eggs)
100g caster sugar
115ml canola oil
200g cake flour
(with 8% protein)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
pandan juice concentrate from 25 pandan leaves plus coconut milk to a total volume for 165 ml
(I used the Ayam brand light coconut milk with 13% fat)
 
Ingredient group B
9 egg whites
 (from small 60g eggs)
100g caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 170°C or 150°C fan forced

Whisk egg yolks and sugar until light-coloured. Add oil, coconut milk and pandan concentrate and whisk to combine. Sift in flour, baking powder and salt over the mixture and mix well until smooth. Set aside.

Beat egg whites with wire whisk attachment at an initial low speed until foamy. Increase beating speed at this stage and beat while adding sugar tablespoon by tablespoon and beat until stiff peaks form.

Add in 1/4 of the egg whites mixture into the egg yolk mixture and mix gently to incorporate. Then, fold in the rest of the egg whites mixture into egg yolk mixture, gently and by batches. Mix well to incorporate but also do not over-mix.

Pour batter into 25cm un-greased chiffon tube pan. Smoothen the surface of the batter and tap the filled pan on your kitchen top to even the batter and also eliminate large bubbles.

Bake at 170°C or 150°C fan forced for 60 mins or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Remove cake from oven, invert it upside-down immediately to prevent the cake from sinking. When the cake is cooled completely, remove it from tube pan by sliding a knife along the sides, and bottom.

Cut with a serrated knife and serve.

Happy Baking
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65 comments:

  1. Thanks Zoe。

    I like pandan chiffon very much 。

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  2. Who was the young man that gave you the pandan chiffon cake? Eh, so "busy body" here, hahaha! The colour looks so beautiful, 25 leaves for one chiffon cake, it is the most expensive chiffon cake ever, how I wish that I can have one slice as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jessie,

      I laughed reading your comment and I'm not telling you!!! ...hee hee. Joyce is right! The identity of this man is mentioned in this post too :p

      Zoe

      Delete
  3. Pandan Chiffon Cake......a cake love by almost everyone! It is good to bake this once in a blue moon....Once the cake is baked and cooled, it will be gone in no time!!

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  4. Pandan chiffon is so quintessentially Singaporean. Your pandan chiffon is beautiful with a natural shade of green. Must be deliciously fragrant,

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  5. Zoe, loved the story, so is he your hubby? :p I have been wanting to bake a pandan chiffon, will do so soon!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mich,

      Keep guessing!!! - LOL! The funny thing is this man can bake this cake about 20 years ago but cannot bake or cook anything now!!!

      Zoe

      Delete
  6. 这香兰戚风蛋糕很经典吧!
    都百吃不厌耶♥

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  7. It's been a long time since i bake pandan chiffon, since this month is a LTU Pandan theme, i think i must quickly bake one!

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  8. I've got pandan paste here , sadly it's not homemade :P Never thought of making homemade *sigh* I bet your kitchen smells like heaven lol That is one beautiful pandan chiffon cake , Zoe !

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  9. Zoe, Pandan is very expensive over here...but I have bought some and freeze it already...hahaha! can share a piece of your pandan chiffon? :D

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tze,

      It seems like everyone here know food and cakes that are cooked or baked with pandan leaves are delicacies and this cake is gone extremely quickly. Let me see I have hide a piece under my skirt??? Hope that I can share that piece with you... LOL! Glad that I bake this in this massive size!

      Zoe

      Delete
  10. I'd never heard of this cake! It must be a very regional/national thing.

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  11. This is something many of us grew up with, lovely pandan chiffon, can never get tired of them. So, did the fine young man had a hand in this particular one too or was he on the receiving end this time around ;-)

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  12. A guy baked a cake for you?!?!wow how sweet. I have often wondered how you get the green colour in pandan cakes , now I know, so thanks for the recipe :) , have a nice day

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  13. Hi Zoe,
    The most exciting part, you never did tell who the "nice young man" is! I assume he must be your hubby! That was why he was able to tell you about the pandan juice with the coconut milk? He baked that cake! Haha!
    Your cake looks so soft and spongy. I used to make one using coconut milk, it was really popular decades ago, made it dozens of time and one day just got tired of it! LOL! Now I got to dig out that recipe, time to make it again with fond memories a-calling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joyce,

      You are very clever! *wink*

      Zoe

      Delete
  14. Zoe, Thanks for your lovely recipe, Your pandan chiffon looks so soft and pretty. I was thinking to bake a pandan cake too, will bake this cake after the Mooncake Festival.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love this so much Zoe, look delicious!

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  16. Hi Zoe , 2 words for your cake ... yummy , yummy. Zoe lets have the name of the young man , Jessie and I wants to know (giggling).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nee,

      I laughed even more reading yours and Jessie's comments... The clue is Joyce is right!

      Zoe

      Delete
  17. Super light,airy and elegant pandan chiffon cake..Lovely bake.

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  18. Such a perfect lightness in this delicious cake :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Hi Zoe,
    Oh! Wow!! This PANDAN chiffon comes with a romantic L story eh!!
    I love the colour, I love the texture, i love the taste and i definitely love to guess who the nice handsome young man it.. ;D
    mui

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Zoe,

    Thank you for following me. Such a beautiful blog and words. You photos are great as well. Will come and visit your blog again when I've free time. Do keep in touch!

    Honey.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Zoe
    I am comming :)
    Your pandan chiffon looks so tasty!!
    You may try to use cold egg whites to bake a chiffon,
    the texture come out nicely too ^^

    ReplyDelete
  22. wow,what a gorgeously spongy cake....looks adorable in green,we love pandan for making almost all sweets and desserts if given a choice and this cake looks like just the right thing to make for our dessert today,terrific food clicks :-)

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  23. Uhmm..buonissimo e che bel colore..
    Fantastico..
    da assaggiare subito.
    Un abbraccio.
    Inco

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  24. Pandan chiffon cake- my favourite

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  25. Beautiful pale green color!! Never tried Pandan before but we are so curious now!

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  26. Hi Zoe,
    This is really good, I'm like drooling looking at this.. I should make some sometime.:) Super love chiffon cake!:)

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  27. i read the email this morning ..so i know the young guy and old guy...LOL! that sure brings great lovely memories baking and eating this pandan cake! eh, must teach your son how to bake a pandan cake too!

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  28. Amazing cake, have never heard of Pandan leaves

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  29. Gorgeous cake! And what a sweet man your hubby was (and is!). Good stuff - thanks.

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  30. Ah...Zoe! That nice young man must be your hubby! Does he still bake for you? I love your pandan chiffon cake!

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  31. Thanks for sharing.
    I will try it this weekends.

    ReplyDelete
  32. What a lovely 'love' story to this beautiful airy cake that I too have fond memories of. I bet this is where they say 'in order to enter a man's heart, you need to enter through his stomach'. Ahem, I guess this has given much sweetness in the heart for your dad too isn't it? Seriously, I believe many of us here would have known pandan chiffon cakes to be our childhood memory cake. Each time I see one, I cannot resist but pinch it and have a big bite. I love how pretty the little air pockets look in your chiffon, Zoe. :)

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  33. Wow! Another pandan cake I must bake!

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  34. Hi. I want to make this cake for my pastor's son's birthday this Saturday cause its his favorite cake and they are from Singapore. But I can't find fresh pandan leaves here in Canada so I want to use pandan extract/paste. How much extract (I've seen it come in a small bottle) should I use? Please help. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Frankie,

      The recipe in Lesile's blog, http://ieatishootipost.sg/2010/05/how-to-make-pandan-chiffon-cake-almost.html uses 1 tsp pandan essence plus 2 tbsp pandan juice. If you are using pandan paste and depending on its brand, it can be quite strong with its green colouring and artificial flavouring, I would suggest using 1/3 tsp first, then add more if you like to have more pandan flavouring.

      Zoe

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your reply. I believe the brand I've see is Koepoe-koepoe brand. The bottle reads Pandan essence/ Screwpine Flavored Pandan. Here's a link to a site that shows what the bottle looks like.

      http://importfood.com/spco1105.html

      Is this ok? If this is Pandan essence and I need also pandan juice but can't find pandan juice what substitute can I use then?

      Delete
    3. Hi Frankie,

      I have seen and tried using the koepoe-koepoe brand of pandan paste before but I didn't like it at all if I have the choice to use the real pandan juice.

      However, if you can't find any pandan leaves in the place that you live, pandan paste or essence is of course the next best option. I would suggest using koepoe-koepoe brand of pandan paste in your case because it is so much stronger than the colourless pandan essence. Personally, I find that adding too much of koepoe-koepoe pandan paste can make the cake look and taste really artificial and like to suggest adding just 1/4 tsp first and add a little more to fine-tune to the colour and frangrance of the cake according to what you desire.

      Best of luck for your pandan cake baking.

      Cheers!

      Zoe

      Delete
  35. What a lovely story! Ive been looking for a recipe for a cake competition and will use this one...you never know what could happen!! Could do with a good husband...sounds like you have a thoughtful one even if he doesent bake now...precious xx

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  36. hi! would it be okay if i used a savarin mould instead of a proper tube pan? - syesha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Syesha,

      Yes that you can use a savarin mould with NO non-stick surfaces but given a choice, I still prefer to use an angel cake tin as a typical savarin mould might be too shallow to bake a nice tall fluffy chiffon cake.

      Zoe

      Delete
  37. Hi! I tried this recipe a few days back and it turned out fine, but it seemed like it had condensed and became a bit soggy while it was cooling. And I realised there's no vanilla in your recipe but there is in ieatishootipost's recipe. What is the difference between vanilla and no vanilla? And how do I get rid of the sogginess? I love your recipes and thanks for the help!

    - Syesha Omar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Syesha,

      I'm guessing that the sogginess of your cake can be caused by these reasons:

      1) Not inverting the cake immediately after bake.
      2) The cake is under-baked.
      3) With reference to your previous question, did you use a savarin mould to bake your cake? Is the mould coated with non-stick surfaces. Chiffon cake prefers un-greased NO non-stick surfaces.

      If your cake is not baked fully to its maximal fluffiness and height, it will be dense and soggy due to its high egg content.

      To me, the addition of vanilla is based on personal preference. I have chose not to add vanilla in my cake because I like my pandan cake to be only pandan tasting with no interference from other flavours. However, you can add vanilla if you like. Cheers!

      Zoe

      Delete
  38. Excellent recipe, thanks so much for it! Turned out beautifully for me first bake.

    I noticed a bit of wetness at the bottom of my chiffon too, and think the condensation occurs when the cake is inverted to cool, as the steam that rose during the baking has not fully dissipated after the bake. Perhaps leaving the cake in the oven to cool another 5-10 min might help.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Excellent recipe thank you very much and try it today but it didn't rise :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yang,

      Sorry to hear that this recipe didn't work for you. There is a few possibilities that your cake didn't rise. The oven setting, the beating of meringue, weighing the ingredients and variation of ingredients that you used can be the possible reasons. Hope that you will succeed baking this cake in the future :D

      Cheers!

      Zoe

      Delete
  40. Hi Zoe, thanks for this recipe. I tried it out yesterday and it's indeed the most ideal pandan chiffon. I didn't know that we have to wait for the pandan juice to separate into two layers overnight. I had always used the pandan juice directly after blending and straining so my cake was never green and didn't have much pandan fragrance. I posted it on my blog, please take a look when you have time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Luyi,

      Just hopped over to say hello at your chiffon cake post :D

      Nice to see that you like this pandan chiffon cake recipe. We love it very much!!! It is so soft that it taste like cotton :D I couldn't work out the proportion to bake a smaller cake and since it is nice, I might as well bake the big one :p

      Your pandan cake looks very green leh even though your extract didn't settle in the fridge overnight. Beautiful colour and texture!

      Zoe

      Delete
  41. Hi Zoe, thanks for the recipe! The bottom of my cake was soggy too and it didn't seem to have risen very much. It was less soggy after leaving it to cool on a rack. It tastes great though! I am going to give it a go again!
    May I know what's the height of the tube pan you used? My 25cm tube pan might be too shallow - it's only about 8cm tall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sally,

      I have tried baking this recipe with my auntie in Singapore, with freshly squeezed coconut milk and used a smaller oven with no fan forced and the result is different. I reckon the inconsistency of freshly squeezed coconut milk has a different fat and water composite and also give the cake a different texture.

      I'm sorry that I don't have the measurement of my pan right now... I'm in my work place now and have to dig out the pan from my cupboard and will tell you the measurement when I find it :p

      Zoe

      Delete
  42. Hi Zoe,

    I would like to know what do you normally do when you first bought an aluminium chiffon cake pan? I tried coating a thin layer of oil on the pan but found grey residue on the paper towel. Is it normal? Will it be transferred to the cake? Thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynn,

      Yeah... I noticed that some brand new aluminium pans can leave grey residue when they have not been thoroughly washed and cleaned. No worries! After washing and using them more than once, the grey residue will be removed.

      Cheers!

      Zoe

      Delete
    2. Hi Zoe,

      I'm so relieved after reading your reply! Haha! And this pandan chiffon cake recipe is really goooood! I've lost count of how many times I have made this as it's my family's favourite! Heehee! ^^

      Thank you Zoe&happy new year to you in advance! <3

      Delete
  43. Hi, Any different if i use 6 egss + cream of tartar - 1 tsp?

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Fang,

      Sorry that I can't commit to answer your question because I have not tried using just 6 eggs plus cream of tartar before.

      Cheers!

      Zoe

      Delete