Pandan leaves (screwpine leaves) are widely used in Asian cooking and baking. It has a subtle frangrance which does not overwhelm and is commonly used in desserts such as sweet potato soup, biscuits such as Kueh Bangkit and not forgetting kaya and cakes. But somehow I find that the pandan leaves nowadays are as fragrant as before. That is why I usually double the number of leaves used.
The colour of the pandan chiffon below is achieved by a combination of natural and man-made products. By using only pandan leaves blended with evaporated milk, I found that the colour is a dull green, which makes the cake not really appetizing. By adding a few drops of pandan paste, both the colur and frangrance are enhanced. As a result, I cannot call cake an 'all-natural' cake, but at least it's free from emulsifiers and preservatives.
60g Top Flour
1 tsp plus 1/8 tsp baking powder
40g sugar (A)
4 egg yolks
40g oil (I use canola)
70g pandan milk(I blend 10 blades pandan leaves with 100g evaporated milk and sieve)
1 1/2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp pandan paste
4 egg whites
1/3 tsp cream of tartar
40 g sugar (B)
1)Pre-heat oven to 180 C. Have a 8-inch ungreased tube pan ready.
2)Sift flour and baking powder 3 times, add in salt and sugar (A). Whisk to mix well and make a well in the centre.
3)Into the well, add in oil first, followed by egg yolks, pandan milk, water and lastly pandan paste. Using the whisk, combine until smooth.
4)Sift the mixture into another bowl using a fine sieve to remove any flour lumps.
5)In another clean bowl, beat egg whites until frothy, add in cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks. Add sugar (B) in 3 batches and beat until stiff peaks.
6)Add about ¼ of the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and gently stir with the whisk to lighten the mixture.
7)Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
8)Pour mixture into the pan and bake for 30 to 40 mins or until cooked.
9)Immediately invert the pan and let cool completely before unmolding.