Homemade Pandan Cake
Lately, I have been baking quite a bit and am very determined to bake the pandan cake well. After six attempts, I finally baked a decent cake. This tasted so much better than the first, or second, or third, or fourth or fifth. I’ve tried various recipes, tweaked and changed a little here and a little there and finally gotten THIS.
- 7 egg yolks
- 75g fresh coconut milk
- 3 tbsp fresh pandan extract (see here for instructions)
- 1/2 tbsp pandan paste (optional, if you prefer heavier pandan taste)
- 150g cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 105g sugar
- 83g sunflower oil
- 7 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp cream of tar tar (optional)
- 105g caster sugar
- Preheat over at 160 degree Celsius
- Combine egg yolks, coconut milk, pandan extract and pandan paste in a mixing bowl. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture and sugar into the bowl. Add oil and whisk everything to combine.
- In a separate clean bowl (must be VERY clean, oil free), beat egg whites, cream of tar tar and sugar together till forms soft peaks.
- Slowly fold 1/4 of the egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture. After which, pour the entire egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Pour in tube pan.
- Bake for 48 minutes (do not open oven).
- Flip the pan upside down against a bottle on kitchen counter and let it cool for an hour.
- Loosen side of cake with knife.
- Ready to serve!
LESSONS I’VE LEARNT
- Do not use non-stick pan. The cake will sink and not expand as it should. Use only traditional aluminum tube tins.
- Make your own pandan extract from fresh pandan leaves. Pandan essence doesn’t taste half as good.
- I used 55g eggs. Tried using 65g eggs and failed. Yes, egg size matters. If you only have 65g eggs, you may want to use 6 eggs instead of 7.
- Use a CLEAN bowl when beating egg whites. Oil on the surface of an improperly cleaned bowl will corrupt an egg white foam, coating the proteins and inhibiting their ability to link up with each other to firm the flexible web needed to trap air bubbles.
- Throw the entire bowl of egg whites if you accidentally spill a little bit of yolk into your whites before whipping. Egg yolks contain fat. Even a speck of yolk can prevent a bowl of egg whites from whipping properly, so if some yolk winds up in your whites, you should discard the contents of the bowl, wash it scrupulously, and start again. To prevent waste and bother, separate your eggs one at a time in a small bowl, transferring each successfully separated whites to a larger mixing bowl as you go. This way, you won’t waste the entire bowl of eggs.
- Use room-temperature eggs. They whip up better than cold ones. The coiled proteins in egg whites will relax slightly as they warm up, so that whipping them will take lesser time.
- Whip the whites by themselves at least until they reach a foamy, almost soft peak stage before adding sugar. (Reason being the sugar will slow down the incorporation of air into the mixture.)
- Use cake flour, not all-purpose-flour. Different types of flour have different amounts of protein. Protein provides strength and structure to baked goods. In general, cake flour has between 7.5% and 9% protein, and all-purpose-flour has a protein content of about 12%. Low-protein cake flour will give the cake a soft and tender crumb. All-purpose-flour will result in a tougher cake. It’s good for baking cookies though, since it gives them a nice shape.
Baking is science.
I wish you success in baking your pandan cake! Good luck!