Pandan (Screwpine) chiffon cake must be the most well-loved chiffon cakes. I have read in the newspapers that artistes from Taiwan and Hong Kong raved about this 绿色蛋糕 (green cake) like it is some kind of ambrosia and would bring back boxes of them as gifts for their friends and relatives. To me, it is kinda strange phenomenon. Yes, I love it too but I will not go all out to buy it, let alone buy them as gifts (people might call me a cheapo behind my back). Perhaps we have taken things that are always available for granted. Pandan chiffon cakes can be easily available at neighbourhood bakeries. Correct me if I am wrong but I think it might have been made popular by Bengawan Solo. I think they are selling it at S$7 to S$8. Even BreadTalk came up with Strawberry chiffon cake (with frosting), costing S$18 for one. *Ahem~ which I will not buy. Just work out the sums and you will know why.
If I recall correctly, the Straits Times papers featured chiffon cakes recently. Most of us growing up eating it. I do not know anyone who doesn't like chiffon cake (let me know if you do). I think the combination of the pandan leaves and coconut milk is a match made in heaven, making it irresistable. On top of that, who could resist a soft and fluffy cake? To me, it is one of the comfort food. I am very fortunate to have a mom who cooks and bakes well. Chiffon cakes is one of her specialty. Her most popular flavours are Orange chiffon cakes and Pandan chiffon cakes. I remembered her baking 6 chiffon cakes in a row, one after another. Every one of them were perfect!
I didn't bake much when I was still single. When I picked up baking again, my first chiffon cake flopped. I followed some online recipes and failed miserably. I went back to my mom for help and she dug up her recipe and gave it to me. She told me what to look out for, tips and tricks to make a good chiffon cake. The 'shifu' (master) is right in front of me but I didn't see it. I must be blind. My chiffon cake recipes are modified based on her Pandan cake recipe. Strange how I make all those previous flavours but did not attempt the Pandan version. So here is my modified version of her chiffon cake, which yields the same soft and fluffy cake but with reduced sugar and fat.
Pandan Chiffon Cake
4 Egg Yolks
30g Fine Sugar
1/4 Tsp Salt
40g Corn Oil (*edited*)
140g Coconut Milk + Pandan Juice
*Take 130g~140g of coconut milk and blend 8~10 pieces of pandan leaves to get the above
120g Cake flour
1/2 tbsp Baking powder
5 egg whites
50g castor sugar
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1) In a bowl, using hand whisk, whisk yolks and sugar till sugar dissolves.
2) Add oil and salt, whisk and add coconut milk and pandan juice. Stir well.
3) Fold in sifted flour and mix well.
4) In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat till the whites are frothy. Add in sugar gradually and beat till soft peaks.
5) Add in Cream of Tartar and beat till stiff peaks.
6) Fold in 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula till incorporated.
7) Pour the mixture to the remaining egg whites and fold in gently till incorporated.
8) Pour the batter into a 21cm chiffon tube pan. Bang the pan on the table to get rid of bubbles.
9) Oil a piece of aluminium foil and cover the pan loosely. Bake at 170 deg.C for 10mins.
10) Turn down the temperature to 160 deg.C and bake for 20mins.
11) Reduce the temperature to 150 deg.C and bake for 10mins. Insert a skewer to check if the cake is done. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 to 10mins to brown the surface.
12) Remove from the oven and invert the pan. Run a sharp knife along the edges to remove the cake from pan when it's completely cooled.
*Note : As I usually bake at night during weekdays, the wet market is closed. Moreover, fresh coconut cannot last till I get home. I used chilled coconut milk instead. Those that are in sterilised pack, which water needs to be added before usage. I am not impressed with its taste. If possible, try to get fresh coconut milk.
**Note : I prefer not to use artificial flavouring such as pandan paste and colouring.
One thing to take note of my modified recipe is that it cannot keep well. For cakes to keep better, more sugar and fat is needed. I reduced just enough sugar to keep my parents and the egg whites happy. Thus should you use my recipe, I would suggest to finish it within 3 days, if it can last that long. Ahahah~ Else, please refrigerate what is left. Be sure to keep them in an airtight container as chiffon cakes will absorb other smells in the fridge.
Happy baking~ それじゃ～～
*Update 07/19 : A fellow blogger, Katherine spotted my typo. The corn oil used is supposed to be 40g instead of 20g. Apologies.