This is my happy cake. Nothing gives me more joy than to see the cake rise beautifully in the oven. The first time I made this, I ran to the oven every 5 minutes, all anxious to see if the cake would rise. I was overwhelmed with joy when it did.
My Auntie taught me how to bake this lovely chiffon cake. My first hurdle was to tell the difference between soft peaks and stiff peaks when beating the egg white. Then the next anxiety inducing step was the folding of the egg white and egg yolk mixture. I initially used a spatula and chanted my Auntie's mantra - "Up, Down, Up, Down". In the course of making this cake, I developed my own technique and noted a few pointers (and made a few mistakes along the way) to share with you.
My Mum has declared this the best pandan chiffon cake she has eaten. Well, well, bring out the clarions and buccina and trumpet away...............(I tell you, there's no praise like self praise).
But as any novice baker will attest, before you get to the first of your drum rolls, mistakes do happen. One common mistake is incorrect folding of the two batters. When this happens, you will get spots of dense green batter dotting the sponge. Or if the egg whites are not beaten to the correct stiffness, the cake will not rise as high as it should.
My Auntie gave me this recipe but she could not remember where she got it from.
Mixture A :
1. 5 egg yolks
2. 115 ml coconut milk (Santan)
3. 85ml vegetable oil (I use virgin coconut oil)
4. 70g sugar (I reduced to 60g)
5. 150g flour (I used superfine flour)
6. 1 tsp baking powder (see note below*)
7. 1/8 tsp salt (I omitted this)
8. 1 tsp pandan essence and a few drops of green coloring (my Auntie's recipe uses natural pandan extract, this shortcut is my doing)
Mixture B :
1. 5 egg whites
2. 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3. 70g sugar (I reduced to 60g)
1. Preheat oven to 160C
For Mixture A :
1. Whisk egg yolks with sugar to mix well.
2. Add coconut milk, vegetable oil, pandan essence and coloring.
3. Sift flour and baking powder into the mixture and mix until a smooth batter forms.
For Mixture B :
1. Add cream of tartar into the egg whites and beat until foamy.
2. Add sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks.
Pour Mixture A into Mixture B and fold the two batters to ensure that they are evenly mixed. Pour into chiffon pan and bake for 45 minutes. When done, remove from oven and invert pan. Cool completely before removing from pan.
*Note about baking powder. I discovered that baking powder is not essential. This discovery came about when I forgot to add baking powder. It was one of those days when a certain sector of my brain shut down. I was hyperventilating all over the kitchen, but all that drama was totally unnecessary. The cake still rose because the egg whites were properly beaten and properly folded into the batter. The baking powder would have added maybe about an extra 1 inch to the cake's height. If that extra inch matters to you, by all means add baking powder (even if you are using self raising flour, I've done that).
|I have had no professional training and I depend on this gadget to separate the eggs. Depending on the size of the egg, there are occasions when the yolk slips through the slits and tries to make a getaway. Naughty....naughty......|
|Santan and virgin coconut oil. Use of coconut oil in place of vegetable oil will give the cake a fabulous aroma.|
|Egg yolks, sugar, santan and coconut oil all mixed. Pandan essence and coloring awaits.|
|If mixture A is too thick and lumpy after addition of flour, feel free to add a little bit more santan to smooth it out. This mixture must not be lumpy or too thick, or else it may not fold properly into the egg white mixture.|
|Pour Mixture A into Mixture B.|
|Fold the two mixtures. You can use a spatula but I use my hand to do the folding. I find it very effective, our hands are the best tools.|
|Pour batter into chiffon pan. Bake for 45 minutes.|
I wish I could take pictures of my cake rising in the oven but my oven door has turned opaque over the last 10 years due to fossilized grease and whatever. All this a result of the "I'll clean it later" syndrome.
|Invert pan after taking out of the oven. Cool completely before removing cake from pan.|
|To remove the cake, run a spatula around the edge of the pan to release the cake.|