Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Pandan Layer Cake 香兰层蛋糕


UPDATE: 5/9/2015
Did another cake today for own consumption. This time I am able to show you the full shape of the cake. As this cake is done to satisfy my cravings, I just coat the cake with desiccated coconut for added flavour, no artsy farty decoration.


Do you have that feeling of bliss when you tried out a recipe and it came out beyond your expectations? This is one of it. This recipe is truly good.

Initially what was supposed to be an ordinary baking day soon evolved into a Mother's Day surprise. A perfect idea really. The only thing is I did not get to surprise her. The aroma of the baking pandan chiffon that engulfed the whole kitchen was so tempting that she actually pulled off bits of the cake top to nibble right after it was baked...without my knowledge. So, what was supposed to be her surprise became mine! Since this cake was for my mother, I have taylor-made it to her requirements. No creams because she finds it yucky. Less oil because she is trying to control her weight. She likes her cakes plain like the normal chiffon. This cake fits it all.






 As it was my first attempt, I was expecting a mediocre result at best. But it was not so. Everything seemed to come out perfect - the cake, the jelly mixture, the taste, the smell, the colour, and the texture. The only little grouse I have was my layering and coating. The cake layers appear crooked on certain parts and there were some areas at the side which were thinly coated. Otherwise, it was a success and I consider my mission accomplished. Everybody was singing praises to this humble cake.

I have to add that I never got to decorate this cake as it was cut and consumed in a jiffy. Therefore, I do not have the whole decorated cake to show but just a portion decorated simply with some desiccated coconut. However, I am showing you the actual shape of the cake pan (below). Yes, it was actually round but I like this square much better. My personal preference. Hope you like it as much as we do.


Pandan Layer Cake 香兰层蛋糕

Makes 1  8" cake

Ingredients

The Cake
(A)
4 egg yolks
30 g castor sugar
50 g corn oil
60 g milk
3 tsp pandan paste from (C)
90 g superfine flour

(B)
4 egg whites
50 g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Pandan Jelly
(C)
200 ml coconut milk
200 ml pandan water (blend 15 pieces young pandan leaves with 200 ml water)
100 ml water
70 g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 g agar-agar powder

(D)
60 g Hoen Kwe flour (green)
200 ml water

Cooking Instruction

1. Prepare pandan water/paste. Cut pandan leaves into small pieces. Put half of the cut leaves into the blender and blend with 200 ml water. Add the other half of the pandan leaves and continue to blend until the leaves are thoroughly blended. Sieve and and set aside 3 tsp pandan water for the cake. Combine remaining 100 ml water and set aside for pandan jelly use.

2. Prepare cake batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until blended. Gradually add in oil. Whisk until combined. Add in milk, pandan paste and mix. Lastly, sift in flour and mix well until everything is combined and batter is smooth.

3. Prepare egg white. Whisk egg whites with hand mixer until foamy. Add in cream of tartar and continue to whisk. Then gradually add in sugar while whisking. Continue to whisk until it reaches stiff peak stage (there is a pointed tip from the egg white when you take the whisk out).

4. Combine egg whites and cake batter. Add in 1/3 of the egg whites to the cake mixture. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, fold in whipped egg white from bottom to top until all are well combined. Repeat with another 1/3 until all whites are folded in.

5. Bake cake. Pour batter into a 8" round cake pan. Drop the pan a couple of times to remove air bubbles and level cake. Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 35 minutes. Test with a skewer. There should not be any residue stuck to the skewer. Once done, remove from oven. Drop the cake on the table top to minimise the shrinkage. Turn the cake over to the cooling rack. Leave to cool. Once cooled, remove the brown layers on top and bottom (if any). Slice into 4 equal layers. . If you find 4 layers a bit too thin for your liking, divide into 3 equal layers instead.

7. Prepare jelly mixture. Put all the ingredients in (C) into a pot on low fire. Combine ingredients in (D). Slowly pour mixture (D) into the pot. Continue to stir until jelly thickens into paste. When jelly turns smooth and thick, remove from fire.

8. Assemble cake. Pour 1 full ladle of jelly mixture into the same cake pan (alternatively, you could divide mixture into 4 equal parts and pour in one by one). Coat evenly. Then put a layer of cake on top. Repeat with another ladle of pandan paste. Make sure you coat the sides of the pan as well. Repeat until finish. Put some weight on top of the cake while it sets. I used a pot with a diameter that covers the whole cake surface as weight. Let cake cool and then store in the refrigerator until set. Invert cake and decorate as required. Serve chill.


Notes:
1. Pandan leaf = screwpine leaf
2. The Hoen Kwe flour was available in white, green and yellow colour. I chose the green colour.






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