Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pandan chiffon cake (or why you should use a ring pan)

I think you will not be surprised if I tell you that when the boy and I started dating one of our favorite activities was showing each other our favorite sweet treats. Here in Holland a strong influence of the ex-colonies, at least in cuisine matters, is still felt. So one of the first things the boy made me taste was Pandan cake, a crazy-green fluffy delight, common in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. And he'd been asking me to give it a try, even if I know it is not so easy to make. Anyway, the other day, as we passed the Asian supermarket, we got the ingredients. To be completely honest, we made it from a box. If you would like to make it from scratch, here is a recipe, but you'd need to get your hands on some Pandan leaves (Pandanus amaryllifolius), a tropical plant common in Southeast Asia to make an extract. In the original version chlorophyll is of course responsible of giving color to the cake, but I'm afraid our box cake was full of food coloring. Never mind, the color was still amazing.
 And at least we used fresh eggs and coconut milk. Healthy enough, for a dessert. So, true to myself I made my research on chiffon cakes and did not follow the instructions on the box (which simply instructed to beat whole eggs, then add the coconut milk, then the prepared flour, and to the oven). Instead, since I wanted this cake to be really fluffy I decided to beat the egg whites separately, then mix the rest of the ingredients and finally, before baking, fold the egg whites into the batter trying to keep all the air bubbles, doing my best to prevent the dough from deflating.
Fluffy pretty clouds
What I didn't take into account, was that I should have used a tube or ring pan, instead of a normal cake pan. You see, almost all the photos of pandan cake that you can find, and all the pandan cakes I've ever seen are in ring form. It didn't occur to me that there was a reason for that (silly me). I thought it would work, but alas, I learnt from my mistake and will soon be testing my hypothesis. As you can see on the first picture, a very thin layer in the bottom-center of the cake* did not cook or rise as it should have, it just stayed kind of pasty. And I think, I am actually quite convinced, that this type of cake needs heat also in the center in order to rise properly. Anyhow, it was still quite fluffy and it was good... it is amazing how fast we make the baked goods disappear, but it's also true that we gave some of it away.
*which looks like the top since the cake is upside down...

Oh and I spend my life explaining and blabbering nonsense to anyone who will hear me... so while I was giving little silly explanations to the boy he was actually making a video, so here it goes.
video

10 comments:

  1. Ja, ja, ja... "uorales" con video y todo. Qué divertido. Haber sabido para traerme una cajita de ese "Cake" ya será. Se ve rico.

    Abrazos

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  2. How fun! A video!!! =D

    Also, the cake looks delicious!

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    Replies
    1. ;) Yeah I totally didn't expect it... completely spontaneous. What I love about this cake is the smell and that it has coconut milk.

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  3. Ahhh!! you are so cute I can't handle it!!! Do you speak english at home always?

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    1. :) Thanks...
      Most of the time we speak English... we are trying to speak Dutch or Spanish more and more, the thing is whenever we have to say something long or complicated we go back to English.

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  4. :)
    Consejito: la primera vez que haces una receta segui las instrucciones paso a paso y sin cambiar nada, asi vas a poder ver cómo se supone que tenga que ser el resultado final. La segunda vez, comenzá a introducir variantes y a experimentar. Ese es mi método, al menos! ;)

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    1. Si....esta vez me anime porque lei que los "chiffon cake" se podian hacer ya sea batiendo huevos enteros (como ponia la caja) o batiendo las claras por separado e incorporandolas a la masa, pero tienes razón.

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  5. That cake is ... GREEN! What's the story behind the color? It matches your blog nicely though ... :)

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    Replies
    1. Well... in the original version this cake uses Pandan leaves (a tropical plant) and the color is supposed to come from chlorophyll ! In this case though, since the cake came in a box I think it is food coloring! I also thought it went well with the color scheme hehe.

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