Pandan chiffon cake is a popular Malaysian cake, loved for its light, fluffy texture and delicious pandan flavour. The pandan leaf is very widely used in South-east Asian cuisine and imparts a beautiful delicate fragrant in both sweet and savoury dishes. I had a small jar of pandan flavouring that I'd bought awhile back during one of our trips to Malaysia, and I was saving it for the next time I was inspired to bake a chiffon cake. There wasn't any detail on the little jar as to how much to use (there wasn't even a list of ingredients beyond "permitted food flavouring and colouring" and "without alcohol", in Malay), and I should have done the smart thing and googled about it because I probably used too much of it. Both hubby and sister said the cake was good, but I personally thought it tasted a little bitter, which I think may be due to the excess green stuff I used. I didn't give Zak any of the cake because of the additional (artificial?) green colouring in the pandan paste. Anyway, how can I learn if I don't make mistakes? And I was pleased enough that the cake didn't flop and sink.
To make this chiffon cake, I basically duplicated my Orange Chiffon Cake recipe with the following modifications:
- substituted orange juice with a pandan solution (adding water to the flavouring to make up equal fluid volume)
- used extra-virgin olive oil because I didn't have any other oil in the house (it was raining, and I was on my own with Zak so it wasn't practical to head out to grab suitable oil)
- used yolks and whites from 3 large eggs (as opposed to 3 egg yolks and 4 egg whites)
- used only flour, because in my haste to measure and assemble everything, I forgot that I'd intended to use cornstarch too
The resulting pandan chiffon cake had a coarser texture than the orange chiffon cake (didn't use cornstarch), and it wasn't quite as tall (used less egg whites). The EVOO wasn't as overwhelming as I thought it would be, but then again, it would be hard to overwhelm that pandan flavour with the amount I used. Next time I make Pandan Chiffon Cake, I'll use only 3/4 teaspoon of the pandan paste (though I doubt I'll ever find that same bottle again outside of Malaysia), or better still, use the real stuff made from the juice of pandan leaf.