pandan chiffon cake, home run

I hope you weren’t hoping for strike two and three after strike one, because I am pleased to share with you the first chiffon cake I have ever made. I still maintain that the previous failure had more to do with unfamiliarity with the pan, although there definitely are some people who have had success with baking chiffon cakes using the happy call pan.

as you can see from the photos, I stuck to my traditional (and reliable) oven, and got out a couple of pretty mini chiffon bundts, and one larger circular cake. the round cake turned out a little denser, and you can see from it’s adorable mushroom shape that it sunk. this was because I was trying to determine the difference between cooling the cakes upside down or right side up – I cooled the bundts upside down, which resulted in very fluffy fragrant cakes, but the round cake which cooled the right side up was denser and didn’t taste nearly as nice.

I’ll be sharing more notes below with you!

if you recognise the first photo, that’s because I used it last when I showed you how you could make your own pandan juice. here’s the very recipe to use it in!

pandan chiffon cake (adapted from Christine’s Recipes)

5 egg yolks
20g castor sugar
100g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
100ml coconut milk
2 tbsp pandan juice (use the recipe I just posted a while ago!)
3 tbsp flavourless vegetable oil
5 egg whites
60g castor sugar
0.5 tsp cream of tartar

    1. I don’t usually do this, but with a chiffon cake you are looking for maximum volume, which means no letting ingredients sit around and having the opportunity to deflate – therefore, prepare and weigh out your ingredients as well as separate your eggs before hand. speaking of separating eggs, here’s a really neat trick!
    2. preheat your oven to 170C. get out your baking pans, but no need to do anything with them. from what I’ve read, chiffon cakes do best in bundt pans for even heating. also, do not use non-stick pans so that the batter can ‘climb’ the sides and rise high.
      I used 5.5″ mini-bundt pans, and a 6″ round cake pan.
    3. beat the yolks and then gradually mix in 20g of sugar. add the coconut milk, pandan juice and combine well. I used a balloon whisk here.
    4. sift the cake flour and baking powder into this mixture in three batches. I whisked as gently, but thoroughly, as I could to mix in the flour and remove lumps. don’t bother trying to fold it in as lumps are likely to form, and that won’t help the structure or taste of your cake. after the floor has been added, fold in the oil thoroughly and set aside.
    5. in a large clean bowl without water or oil, use squeaky clean beaters in your handheld electric mixer to beat the egg whites until foamy. add the cream tartar and continue beating until mixed. gradually add the sugar while the beaters are still mixing, and beat well until stiff peaks form. what I do is beat the mixture at high speed until soft peaks, and slowly reduce the speed to medium, beating until the whites reach stiff peaks. I find that this stabilises the egg whites. don’t overbeat the whites – a liquid will start to appear at the bottom of your whites if you do overbeat it.
    6. take 2 tbsp of egg whites and beat it into the batter to loosen it, before gently folding in the egg whites in three batches. be very gentle as this will make your cakes rise high! if you notice while scooping out the egg whites that there remains some unbeaten egg whites at the bottom of the bowl, just get your whisk and beat until the remaining whites stiffen up before folding it in.
    7. pour this into your cake pans. bake at 170C for 15 minutes before reducing the temperature to 150C and bake until golden brown and a tester comes out clean. do not open your oven door before 20 minutes has passed as the discrepancy in temperature will cause the cake to sink – check only when it has a decent (but light) coloration!
    8. remove your pans from the oven and invert immediately over a cooling rack to cool. make sure it rests evenly, that is, it does not lean to any side. balance your pan edge on same-height cups if you need to! let it cool completely in this manner and try not to bang it around while you are inverting it – any sort of sudden impact could reduce the air that the cake retains!

5 thoughts on “pandan chiffon cake, home run

    • hi esther! my apologies for not noting it there (I’ve corrected it now) – I used mini chiffon pans of about 5.5-6″, and a small cake pan of about 6″. if you’re using a standard chiffon pan, you will find that after the first 15 minutes at 170C, you will need about 30 minutes at 150C (i.e. longer than my smaller cakes took).

      just remember not to open the oven door and give it time to rise, and only start checking when you see decent coloration – perhaps about the 35 minute mark. my apologies for not being more specific – I tend to go by intuition!

      p.s. let me know how it goes!

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