Pandan Chiffon Cake (I)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

I'm in the mood for a local cake, and no cake is more local than Pandan Chiffon. I start by comparing recipes from Epicurative, The Best of Singapore Cooking, The Raffles Hotel Cookbook, and the four featured by ieat. I put everything in Excel with the amount of flour in every recipe standardized to 100 g, and all the other ingredients adjusted proportionately. (Yup, I'm a geek, and proud of it.) Here's the spreadsheet (strictly for geeks like me):

Once I'm comparing apples and apples, it's obvious The Best of Singapore Cooking has heap loads of everything, from coconut milk to oil, egg whites, egg yolks, and especially sugar and baking powder. Every . . . single . . . thing! Hmm, doesn't seem right. BSC – out!

Epicurative and Raffles Hotel share practically the same oil-less ingredients, but the mixing methods are different. The "Grande Dame of Singapore" – or rather her servant, Ah Teng – whisks only the egg whites, and all of the sugar bar 10 g is added to unwhisked yolks. I don't like the method because whisked egg whites with only 10 g of sugar may be unstable, and unwhisked yolks doesn't have much volume. Ah Teng – out!

I decide to try Epicurative's recipe, splitting the sugar between the whites and yolks, then whisking each lot separately. I bake the cake for 40 minutes, which is plenty for a 21-cm chiffon. The crust is brown, but the inside is still wet whilst the cooked part is dry. As the cake cools down, it shrinks badly since it isn't cooked through. There's probably too much coconut milk in the recipe. Epicurative – out!

So, I'm left with ieat's four recipes. Hmm, Asianbakes seriously stinches stinges on yolks, whites, sugar and oil. Out!

Anna Chan's is an oil-less recipe, and my experience with Epicurative's oil-less chiffon hasn't been good. Out!

Of the remaining two, ieat recommends the one "with more egg whites" from Kiamniangwong. Actually, the recipe has less whites than Prima's, per 100 g of flour. But it has more in absolute number because it's for a bigger cake. (See? A spreadsheet helps!)

I take the doctor's order since he has clinically tested his prescription. My verdict? I'm very impressed by the cake's texture which is as soft as Bengawan Solo's. But the taste, using pandan essence/paste, leaves much to be desired, not to mention the hideous colour.

In case you don't know, squeezing juice out of pandan leaves is like squeezing blood out of stone. That's why most people use pandan essence, artificial green food colouring and, maybe to appease their conscience, a token amount of real pandan juice.

To make a pandan cake without fake food colouring, I have to figure out something: how to squeeze blood out of stone! Epicurative soaks finely ground stones leaves in water overnight, strains, then lets the mixture settle, and finally skims off the excess water floating above the juice. After trying her method, my verdict is: there're far too many steps, it takes way too long, and it's difficult getting rid of the excess water, so the juice is too diluted.

Epicurative's juice extraction method isn't good, but the principle behind it is. Why don't I mix the pandan with coconut milk instead of water? Bingo! The coconut milk turns from virginal white to Martian green, and all I have to do is get rid of the fibrous pulp with a strainer. Two hours later, I'm chomping on pandan cake that's full of the aroma of real pandan. It's light as air, soft as cotton, and green as a Martian – as good as Bengawan Solo's but baked by yours truly!

7 May 2012 Update:
Click here for more tips in baking the perfect pandan chiffon cake, and here's my step-by-step video:




PANDAN CHIFFON CAKE
Source: Adapted from Kiamnianwong's recipe
(Recipe for one 21 cm cake)

100 g pandan leaves, use only soft and moist young leaves
buy 250 g and use only 100 g of the innermost, light green leaves
70 g freshly squeezed coconut milk, undiluted

180 g egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar
50 g sugar

60 g egg yolks
50 g sugar
60 g vegetable oil
¼ tsp salt
100 g cake flour, sifted with baking powder
1 tsp baking powder

Image Don't use old, dark green pandan leaves. Not only do these not have any juice, they actually absorb liquid because they're very dry. If you blend old and young leaves together, the juice of the young ones would be absorbed by the old leaves.

7 May 2012 Update: Click here for my step-by-step video and more tips on baking the perfect pandan chiffon cake.

Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F).

Wash and roughly chop pandan leaves. Blend with coconut milk and 1 tbsp water. Strain, pressing leaves hard. Discard pulp. Set aside green liquid, which should weigh 95 g. 

Whisk egg whites with sugar and cream of tartar till just reaching stiff peaks. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar till pale, thick and creamy (ribbon stage). Add green coconut milk, then vegetable oil, whisking till evenly mixed. Gradually add flour mixture, along with salt, again whisking till just evenly mixed. Add egg whites in 3 batches, whisking gently by hand in electric whisk's direction. Scrape down with spatula before mixing last batch of egg whites.

Bang mixing bowl against worktop 2-3 times to remove air bubbles. Pour batter into 21 cm 2-piece chiffon tin that's not non-stick, slowly so that air bubbles still trapped in the batter are released. Run a chopstick round side of tin to remove more air bubbles. Level and smooth top.

Bake cake in bottom of oven till risen and almost level with top of tin, about 15 minutes. Cake should now be very slightly brown and not cracked. Place baking tray in top of oven to block top heat. Continue baking till inserted skewer comes out clean, 20 minutes or so. Cake should now be slightly cracked. Remove tray from top of oven. Continue baking till top of cake is dry and medium-brown, another 5-10 minutes (7½ minutes for my oven).

Remove cake from oven. Invert onto a bottle. Leave till cool, an hour or so. Cut cake out of tin.

135 comments:

Blur Ting said...

Sounds like a lot of work. I love pandan cake (Bengawan Solo's only) but am too lazy to bake.

I can get pandan leaves for free from my vegetable seller. I usually decline because I grow them in my garden. I can't imagine paying $15 for a bunch. I could buy 2 pandan cake from Bengawan Solo for $15!

KT said...

Maybe you can sell fresh pandan leaves online? US$15.95 is about S$20. How much is it to air freight 18 leaves to the US?

Blur Ting said...

Hehe, good idea. The other day, a friend suggested I sell rocket. I can become veggie seller!

Anonymous said...

"stinged", not "stinched", actually

KT said...

Yes, ma'am/sir. Of course it's 'stinged'. Thanks, whoever you might be.

Anonymous said...

Hi KT,

I tried the blending method twice last week. The texture was great but my coconut milk (which was bought from the supermarket) seems to turn bad after blending. Have I over blend it? It did took me a while to blend it nicely.
Hope u can advise.

Jo

KT said...

Hi Jo

When egg yolk is mixed with too much oil, it curdles, i.e. form lumps because it can't combine/emulsify with the oil. That's what's making your coconut milk look like it's gone bad. Did you add oil before coconut milk? Please note you should add milk first, then add oil, then mix. If that's what you're doing already, then try this: add coconut milk, stir through, then add oil and stir through. You don't have to 'blend'. You just have to stir a few rounds to mix evenly, like you're stirring your coffee or tea after adding milk.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi KT,
I added the coconut milk and the oil together into the egg yolk mixture and whisk.
I thought the coconut milk went bad and gave my cake a 臭油 after-taste becoz of long duration of blending that cause the milk to heat up and turn bad...That's why, I was thinking I shouldnt blend the coconut milk with the pandan leaves in future.
If that is the case, I will give it a try again. May I ask if it takes long for u to blend? Thanks again!

Jo

KT said...

Oh, I see. Stupid me. You were talking about blending coconut milk with pandan leaves. Ok, please ignore my previous reply.

I use a stick blender, and I take maybe 30 seconds. But the time really isn't an issue at all. It would vary depending on the type of blender you use, and how small the leaves are cut. So long as the leaves are minced/blended finely, like grated coconut, you're good.

Stick blenders don't heat up the coconut milk much because the 'stick' is between the milk and motor. If you use a jar blender, the coconut milk may get a bit warm since the jar sits on the motor, which gets quite hot when it's running. Nevertheless, the coconut milk wouldn't be anywhere near boiling point even if you blend till the cows come home. Or anywhere near the temperature it heats up to in the oven. Besides, coconut milk doesn't give off a rancid odour when it's heated. Hot bubur cha cha doesn't taste rancid, right? To get the smell of coconut oil, the milk has to boil till the oil separates, and then the oil has to heat up further. Even then, it's not a rancid smell, or no one would use coconut oil for deep-frying.

I suggest you taste the coconut milk before blending to see if it's rancid. If it isn't, bring a small amount to a gentle simmer and have another taste. Simmer some more till the oil separates, then taste again. If there's rancidity at any point, you should change to a different brand or, better still, use fresh milk.

If, despite what I say, you think blending is the problem, you can mince the pandan leaves finely in a food processor, without coconut milk. So long as you use only the lower half of the leaves, and you squeeze hard, you should be able to get 2 tbsp (or almost).

Anonymous said...

Hi KT,
Haha.. I feel so silly... :p. You were so candid in your reply!
I will do a test by blending the coconut by itself to see if it turns rancid.
If it fails again....I will use the other method to squeeze the pandan juice.
Really appreciate your explanation & suggestion! Thanks!

Jo

OCaty said...

Dear KT,
Thank you very much! Indeed your recipe is very good. I made my first successful pandan chiffon last night! Actually i refered to the recipe at ieatishootipost which was for a 25cm pan; and i couldnt quite figure out how you proportion out the recipe to fit a 21cm tube pan. Kudos!
The cake rose beautifully and is so soft and fluffy. Do you think I can reduce the sugar slightly by say 20g? and if so, should i reduce it at the yolk batter section?

Thanks!

KT said...

Hi OCaty

Yes to both questions. You should start checking on your cake a few minutes earlier because it cooks/dries out faster with less sugar. I don't think it would be but if the cake is dry despite cutting the baking time, try adding 1 tbsp vegetable oil.

Glad you like the recipe. Thanks for your kind comment.

Pandan Cake lover said...

Hello! I plan to try out your recipe this weekend! :) May I know how '180g' and '60g' refers to approx how many egg whites and egg yolks? Thanks!

KT said...

Hi Pandan Cake lover

Smaller eggs: 60 g = 4; 180 g = 5
Bigger eggs: 60 g = 3; 180 g = 4

Cheers.

Pandan Cake lover said...

Thank you so much! Can't wait to start baking! ;)

Dawn said...

Hi, I got really tempted at your recipe which is concise & easy to follow. I'm looking at purchasing a chiffon cake tin & was wondering if there is a difference betw one with removeable base & one without. Any thoughts?

KT said...

Hi Dawn

I think one-piece tube pans are meant for sturdier cakes that don't have to be inverted after they're baked.

Chiffon cakes have to be inverted after they're baked, to stop them from collapsing as they cool. If the cake doesn't fall out when it's inverted, that means it's stuck to the tin, right? If it's stuck, you can't unmould it unless the bottom of the tin is removeable.

Cheers.

creamdeluxec said...

haha. i love your spreadsheet. I thought I was the only geek that did that!

Creamdeluxec said...

Oh, and this may seem like a stupid question but I am new to baking. Does the chiffon tin pan need to be lined and greased before the batter is poured in? Also, do you think it is possible to make these in a muffin pan, and as such have muffin size chiffon cakes?

KT said...

Hi fellow geek

No, don't line or grease the pan. It should stick to the cake . . . till knife wielding baker do them part.

As for muffin-sized chiffon cakes, yes, it's possible. Don't know if that requires recipes to be adjusted though (other than baking time).

Creamdeluxec said...

Hi KT!

Thanks for the advice. I'll let you know if I had any success making these in a muffin pan! :)

creamdeluxec said...

Hi KT!

I did it! Tried out your recipe using a muffin pan instead today and halved the baking time.  The texture was great, spongy the way it should be but it was a lil dry. Think i may need to play around with the baking time a lil.

Only other thing was as I used a non stick muffin pan, I was paranoid that I was scratching my pan so was stressing over removing it. Maybe I will try lining the muffin holes with paper the next time...but that may mean sacrificing on the brown look! sigh...

Thanks for the recipe again and the pandan extract trick. It was brilliant! 

KT said...

Hi hi

Did you have to turn the muffins upside down after they were baked? If you didn't, you should be able to oil the muffin tin?

guest said...

I followed strictly the Dr's recipe but added two tbsp of condensed milk (malaysian made, palm oil laden formula), but less 30 g sugar at egg yolk part,  as suggested by you.  The result, excellent, I brought that for Qing Ming. But my husband's Gen Y nephew said pasar malam also got!..........

KT said...

Hi hi


Did you have to turn the muffins upside down after they were baked? If you didn't, you should be able to oil the muffin tin?

KT said...

Maybe the emulsifiers in the condensed milk help make the cake more moist?

Qing Ming . . . ? At least no one said 'down here' also got!

Jiemeiyi said...

Hi. I just tried your recipe. During the first 15 min, the cake seem to be rose, then I put the baking tray on top as instructed. At the end of another 20 min, when I removed the tray, the cake seemed to have sunk. What could I be doing wrong? 

KT said...

Hi

1. Not enough flour.
2. Not enough egg yolks.
3. Oven is too hot.
4. Egg whites are underbeaten.
6. Oven is open for too long when you put in the tray.
7. Too much baking powder.

Extra Virgin Chef said...

Tried out this recipe today. The taste is significantly better than a previous recipe I had tried. Thank you so much.

Terence said...

Question from Terence





Hi KT, like your step by step recipe on making pandan cake. I followed
your tips and still, for the 2nd time, my pandan cake collapsed. What
possibly went wrong? My 1st cake didn't rise when I took out from my
oven, 2nd one rose but it collapse after I inverted it for cooling. :(

KT said...

Please note that it's perfectly normal for the cake to shrink by up to
maybe 1 cm as it cools down. The dome of the cake flattening as it cools
is also normal. In fact, if there's no change in the cake's height and
shape after it's removed from the oven, that means it's not soft and
fluffy.

 

If the cake really 'collapses', these are the possible explanations (that I can think of):





1. The cake is underbaked. It needs to be baked longer, or at a higher
temperature, or both. Is the inside quite moist? If not, this option is
out.





2. The egg whites are underbeaten. The bottom of the egg whites may be
soft whilst the top part is at stiff peak stage because what's stiff
is lighter and rises to the top. Hence, you need to lift the whites at
the bottom of the bowl and check. Please refer
to 2:46 (stiff peaks) in the video vs 2:49-2:50 (no peaks at all, not
even soft ones).





Underbeaten egg whites result in the cake rising too much. Please refer to point 3.



3. The oven is too hot, which leads to the cake rising too much. The
amount of flour in the cake can support only a certain height. If the
cake rises above that, it will just collapse as it cools down. Some
small cracks in the cake (say, up to 1 cm deep) are ok and normal but
'explosive splits' would suggest that the cake has risen to an
unsustainable height.



4. Ingredients aren't measured correctly.





Cheers.

Terence said...

I guess your 1st & 2nd assumption are right. (OMG! My 7 year old girl consumed nearly half of my uncooked cake!) The inside of the cake was moist and I do notice the bottom of the beaten egg whites left a spoonful of yellowish liquid. Btw, roughly how long does it take to achieve stiff peak stage using electric beater? Thanks for your advise & I'll try again this weekend :)

KT said...

A few minutes depending on your whisk's RPM but your eyes should be watching the egg whites, not the clock.

When the egg whites are underbeaten, the cake would cook slower. Hence, you may not (or may) need to bake the cake longer than your last one.

Extravirginchef said...

My favourite go-to blog page whenever I want to bake chiffon. Thanks.

KT said...

 Thanks, EVC.

Karen said...

Silly question here but is there anywhere you can get fresh coconut milk in Singapore still? They used to be everywhere in wet markets!

KT said...

Fresh coconut milk and grated coconut are still available at bigger, well-patronized wet markets.

CW said...

Glad that u share this recipe.
It is very soft and wet. 
I love this texture so much.  Starting loving Chiffon due to this pandan cake!

KT said...

Oooh, the cake looks good! Thanks for posting the photo.

ahyi81 said...

Hi KT,

Thank you for the great recipe!
You mentioned the addition of condensed milk in Bengawan Solo's recipe.
Unfortunately, the clip is no longer available for viewing.
Can I clarify that is is condensed milk and not evaporated milk?
I might want to give it a try one day. :)

KT said...

Hi hi

It was condensed milk, 炼奶, in both the subtitles and narration. Unfortunately, there wasn't any information on how, how much or when.

Cheers.

M1ra said...

Hi there, 
Thanks for your recipe and video! I followed your video step by step but my cake was a flop (literally). It rose nicely, but after I took it out of the oven and tried to i. nvert it, it fell out of the pan (I only have a non-stick Angel/ring pan) and when I put it back in, it collapsed in on itself and shrunk in size. There were 3 things I think may have caused this...1. I didnt have cake flour so used self-raising flour2. I didnt have a tray that could completely cover the heat in the oven, there were slight gaps on the sides.3. The pan was non-stick and I greased it.Do you think these could be the reasons, or you think it's just my technique eg. overbeating etc.?Would love to know your thoughts! Thanks!

KT said...

When you invert a greased non-stick pan, the cake falls out. That's because of something called gravity. It's not rocket science, is it? (Just to be clear, both rockets and chiffon cakes have to overcome gravity but they use totally different methods.)

After the cake falls out of the pan, it collapses and shrinks because there is no support for the sides and top. However, even if the cake had stayed in the pan, my guess is it would have collapsed anyway.

I don't know what you mean by "step by step" but by my definition, you did not follow the recipe. If and when you do exactly what the recipe says and your cakes fails, then we'll talk.

Simonne said...

Thanks for posting this recipe.. I just made it this morning and it is very very very success!!! moist , fluffy, light yeah


KT said...

You are welcome, Simonne.

Anonymous said...

Can use plain flour?

KT said...

A reader emailed a photo of the pandan chiffon cake she'd baked.

I was like, "Wow!"

KT said...

Yes, if you want a nice cake.

No, if you want a nice chiffon cake.

Liling said...

Thanks KT!! After 8 attempt I finally successed

KT said...

Congratulations!

Mrs O said...

Hi, KT, I have tried your pandan recipe, but I replaced it with orange, my cake texture turnout smooth and moist and fragrant, but, there is a dent or kink at the side. Anyway, I m very happy with the result. To tell the truth, chiffon cake baking, to me, is very challenging, sometimes jadi, sometimes falure. I will try your pandan cake later (waiting for my serani pandan to grow and multiply before I pluck it again.

Rolaine said...

Hi KT! Im unsure with my conversion measurements when it come to the liquids. Could you kindly correct me if my conversions are wrong? 70g coconut milk = ~1/3 cup, 180g egg whites = 3/4 cup, 60g egg yolks = 1/4 cup, 60g vegetable oil = 1/4 cup. Thanks a bunch!

KT said...

Yes, Rolaine. Good luck.

KT said...

The dent or kink was probably a big bubble. Running a chopstick between the cake tin and batter helps smoothen the sides.

Mrs O said...

Hi, KT, if I double the recipe, the egg whites will be 360g, but 9 biji egg whites should be 9 x 30g, 270g egg whites, (if using B Grade Egg), I have baked 9 eggs, result no good la, dent and kink, but I suspect it is the high ratio flour, I will use superfine flour again.

Mrs O said...

I did that already (I follow exactly your video demo), I suspect it is the high ratio flour as I was running short of superfine flour, thus, I added some high ratio flour, as with orange, only little dent, but with pandan (two attempts), it is pan cakes! my serani pandan already botak, looks like have to go pasar to buy, not nice to ask from neighbour, if jadi, don't mind to share,if tak jadi... how? 雪芳呀,雪芳,NOT easy to bake, but since I got it right thrice this year, (one for qing ming), hope I can get it right again! Malaysia Day coming (16th Sept), I will try one more time!

Mrs O said...

hahaha, KT, you so funny! I have never thought of it, to take it with a pinch of salt! Must learn more from you, to view life differently!

Rolaine said...

Wonderful! Thank you for the speedy reply! Perfect timing too!

Mrs O said...

yes, I found out my problems with PCCs, No. I must weight the egg yolks and egg whites, No.2, I mix using my hands, so that not bubbles is deflated easily.

fiondsy said...

I followed yr recipe but double up - 25cm. Failed. The outer part a bit burn but inside partially uncook, I had a oven thermometer the actual temperature was slightly lower ard 165 Celsius n yet it burnt! I covered top part with tray as directed too. It didn't rise much too.

Pls can u give me some advise? It is some tempting seeing yr video clip
Fion

fiondsy said...

I tried again this round seems much better but the inner side of the cake which is near the fan sunk a little abt 20 mins before finish time. So I don't get the perfect dome sharp out from oven. What could be the problem? Followed all ingredient measurement, on oven on bottom with fan @ 160 (as previous attempt burnt so I lower temp a little). What was the problem in yr opinion?

KT said...

Probably uneven mixing.

Nurnea said...

Hi! I'm from Malaysia.This is my 1st. time bake chiffon cake from your recipe.I like chiffon pandan went i'm still young. Thanks for this recipe it's really satisfying. TQ :>

KT said...

Hi there, neighbour

Thanks for your feedback.

Jancy Tan said...

Hi kitchentigress,
my chiffon cake turn out to be perfect, but after eating it leaves a weird feelig on the teeth, like sometime when you eat spinach. how is this so?
Bonchichi

KT said...

The pandan leaves you used were way too old.

Madam khoo said...

Dear kt, my ciffon cake is soft, nice and nt wet. Ur recipe is perfect. My ciffon cake is shorter in height becoz it leaked at the base. Thank you very much.

kat said...

why my cake always middle part not fully baked????

KT said...

There are two possible explanations. One, the recipe is crap. Two, your ability to follow instructions is crap.


You are most welcome. Please don't mention it.

KT said...

You are welcome, Madam khoo.

Chang Mei Yen said...

why middle part always uncook???

kat said...

ya,i also same wit u!!!

kat said...

i follow u recipe....than u say ur recipe is crap lo....

Wooncheng said...

Hi hi,

Very interested to try out your recipe:)

May I know do you use fan assisted mode in your oven when you bake the cake? Thanks.

KT said...

No, I don't. Cheers.

mrs jack said...

hi. i wanna try this recipe as my mother in law loves pandan cake but can i replace the oil in the recipe to melted butter bcos i like it abit denser than too spongy...

kt said...

I don't think the sponginess is due to the oil since muffins and other types of cakes (like carrot cake) made with oil aren't spongy.

If you use plain flour instead of cake flour, the cake will be very light and very fluffy but not spongy. See if you like that. If it's not dense enough, try using less egg whites.

Anonymous said...

Hi

Thanks do much for sharing your recipe... Was glancing through your blog and there are so many recipes that I want to try out...

My hubby is a pandan cake fan so I decided to try this recipe first. Do I try to adjust the proportion of ingredients or baking temperature or baking duration as I am using a 23cm baking pan?

kt said...

Assuming 23 cm refers to the top of the pan, you should scale up by 50%.

Kevin said...

Hi Kitchen Tigress,


Firstly Thank you for putting this wonderful site together and going to the trouble of making this available to all- much appreciated.


Secondly- i am a mad fan of Pandan Kaya cake and haven't been able to find a good Kaya filling recipe which turns out like the ones at Bengawan Solo's. Have you a good recipe i can use to ice the pandan cake?

Step said...

Hi KT,


Thanks for your video and the instruction is clear and easy following.
But I have only a 7 inch (like around 18 cm) pan, how should i adjust the amount of the ingredients to get the right cake? Would you pls give me some suggestion on that?


Thanks a lot.

kt said...

I don't have any recipe in hand but I have been, coincidentally, looking at several online over the past few days. Hope to start experimenting soon. If I find a good one, I'll write about it. Have you tried any recipe? What was wrong with it?

kt said...

The volume of a 21 cm tube pan is 2.1 liters. Find the volume of your pan and adjust accordingly.

Sarahyll said...

Hi KT, I love your blog and recipes and wanted to say thanks. It has really inspired me to try new recipes usually with great success. I attempted to make the pandan chiffon cake today and it bombed. It cracked a little after 15 mins in the oven (I have a fan oven and turned down the temperature to 170C) other than that, everything looked fine until I removed it from the oven and it started deflating. The bottom part of the cakes looks compact (i.e. not fluffy) and a darker shade of green than the fluffier top part when I sliced a cross section. Any idea what I may have done wrong? Oh i also greased my cake tin since its a non stick bundt cake tin with curvy surfaces and didnt want to ruin it by scraping the sides since it has no flat surfaces. Any adivse will be much appreciated. I can send u a pic if that would help.

kt said...

Hi Saraphyll, what did you do that was, or might have been, different from the recipe?

JA said...

Hi KT,
Can I double this recipe to bake for one pandanus chiffon cake? Due to we have a big family.

kt said...

Yes, JA. Cheers.

Sarahyll said...

I measured the ingredients exactly to the gram, followed instructions and timings.
I was troubleshooting online last night, I think I figured out where I went wrong. I shouldn't have greased my non stick cake tin. To remove my cake, all I needed to do was tip my tin sideways and the cake slid out without any resistance (which is necessary because of its curvy shaped surfaces). Apparently for chiffon cakes it needs to stick/adhere to the side of the tin to support its fragile structure, that's why it shrunk so rapidly when it was removed from the oven. Thanks again KT. Also, i love that you use excel modelling to compare your recipes.

kt said...

The recipe above says: "Pour batter into 21 cm 2-piece chiffon tin that's not non-stick." There's no mention of greasing but you greased your pan. It says the pan should not be non-stick but you used a non-stick pan.

The recipe also says: "Remove cake from oven. Invert onto a bottle. Leave till cool, an hour or so. Cut cake out of the tin." Did you let the cake cool down inverted?



When your cake fails, there are only two possible explanations. Either the recipe is crap, or you did not follow instructions.

Sarahyll said...

Haha! I see a glimpse of the "tigress" in your reply. Got to love a lady with gusto. I totally agree with your reply, that's why you blog the recipes and we attempt to recreate. What I also love about blogs as opposed to recipe books are the comments left behind from readers coz there's so much to learn from others mistakes. I was upfront about where I didn't follow the recipe and was attempting to make do with the equipment I already had in my kitchen, hopefully future readers learn from my mistakes too.

Chai Ling Ong said...

I have tried making pandan cake 3 times... but the 3rd time my cake falls out a while after i inverted it to cool.. What happen...??

sally said...

Thank You!! Spend my weekend trying your Butter Cake & Sambal Ikan Bilis! 99.9% successful!

kt said...

There is room for improvement! ; - )

M said...

Just passing by. I dont think she meant that the recipe is crap. She is just trying to solve her problem. Her problem. And I think she found and posted it to share

Sana said...

KT, l've become an avid fan of your blog because you really know why your recipes work! I've made your pandan chiffon a few times, and I love it. But pandan is incredibly hard to find in my little corner of the world, and I'm sure you'd slap me hard if you saw how old the pandan I had to use was - the teeny bit of fragrance they had was lost after baking. So I'd like to adapt your recipe to include fresher, more fragrant ingredients like tea or citrus. So my question: Could you recommend a replacement for coconut milk? Is the fat content of the liquid important? Thanks for any advice!

kt said...

Do you want to replace pandan leaves or coconut milk? Or both?

Sana said...

Both. But I'd appreciate your advice about substituting coconut milk.

kt said...

Pandan juice is just a flavouring agent. You can replace it with anything you like, such as vanilla extract, real vanilla, almond extract, rosemary, dark rum, coffee, rose water, etc. I wouldn't recommend pandan essence. I think it's vile but lots of people use it happily.

If you replace the coconut milk, you have to revamp the whole recipe. The good news is, my next post is about how to do just that. You couldn't have asked your question at a more opportune time!

Sana said...

hurrah \ o/ I'll look forward to that then XD

Serene Chua said...

My pandan cake does not rise alot and its not soft n fluffy. What may I not did correctly.

Nicky said...

Hi KT,
Just want to say thank you very much for sharing this recipe... Feel so grateful to you.. cos I've been trying a few other recipes on chiffon cake but it never reaches the texture that I was hoping for.. but I read your blog, and decided to try as accurate as I could as per your instruction, the 1st trial was good but the 2nd trial was even better... haha.. so happy to finally able to get the right texture that I was longing for...
Have a great day ahead... :)
Cheers...

Karen said...

Hello KT. Can I ask you if i to make chocolate and coffee chiiffon cake? Is It instead of the 70g coconut juice, I can replace with chocolate or coffee? Please kindly advise me . Thanks.

MJ said...

Hi...I have 10"(25.5cm) baking pan, how much more should I scale up pls? Thks.

Gria said...

Hallo....


Can I increase the amount of pandan from 100 gram to 200 gram?...I really want to have more vibrant green but I refuse to use coloring. Thanks

kt said...

I'm damn sure you can.

yvonne said...

TQ so much for sharing this recipe. I tried few days ago exactly following your recipe and instructions. It turned out to be super tasty. Never imagine I can make this as good as the store bought. :-)

Jaime said...

Sorry if this is a stupid question but how do you measure the weight of pandan leaves? Every time I put it on my electronic scale, it doesn't measure anything, as if measuring feathers. Do I chop it first then measure it?

Pamela Poh said...

I tried baking this cake today and it is one of the best tasting Pandan Chiffon cake i have ever baked. Even the Hubby who doesn't like cakes approved :)

However, after cooling the cake, it sank a little in the middle. Is there anyway to prevent this? I am also wondering if it is normal for crack lines to surface. I always hope to achieve one where its surface is smooth, even, and crack free/very minimal.

Cheers,

Pam

kt said...

Yes, there is.

PG13 said...

I love how you put things in perspective using an excel spreadsheet and did an indepth analysis of the different recipes. It really would have been perfect if you knew that for the pandan cake to rise, the batter need a surface they can cling on to and climb during the baking process. And it is for that same reason why one should not use a non stick pan nor grease the pan.

kt said...

Chiffon cake batter does NOT need to cling to anything to rise. The only two conditions it needs are sufficient heat and sufficient air bubbles, i.e. a source of energy and the right structure to counteract gravity. That's why soufflés baked in buttered ramekins have no problem rising (almost) sky high.


Chiffon cakes shouldn't be baked in non-stick or greased pans but it's not because of the reason you think. That's a myth, much like the Y2K bug and flat Earth that everyone believed in. If you want to know the real reason, I could tell you. Cheers.

Terry Lee said...

Can you please do the pandan cake recipe in measurement in cup and oz or ml?Im not good in grams of measuring the ingredients because I use pyrex cup measurement to do my baking. Im also the worse baker ever. Thank u.

Ling said...

It's very much worth it getting an electronic weighing scale (one that tares to zero) for exact measurements. Baking is pretty much a science, where variations in amounts of each ingredient will result in an end product that may be unsatisfactory. Each of the recipes and the relevant weights of ingredients are so that a consistent result (to the taste of the baker) is achieved more often than not. You need to think of it as a series of chemical reactions when you combine ingredients together. Cup measurements are an approximation of weight, and are unreliable. A cup of water does not have the same density, and therefore weight, as a cup of egg whites. The point of the videos are so people are able to learn technique. Improperly calibrated ingredients + bad technique = disaster. If you think that you are the worst baker ever, it might profit you to take a course in basic baking skills. Properly learnt and understood, these will last a lifetime, and you can only get better with practice.

markrenzo813 said...

oh I like that it looks so tasty this so lovely cake i ever see here on internet.
i love eating that's why im too fat now :)
but most of the time what i eat are any kind of chocolates
like milk chocolate ,French macarons, and macarons london and so on.
well anyway that cake recipe above is interesting i wanna try that.

Kiara said...

Hi kt,
I made the cake using your recipe and method, except that my oven is small so after 15 minutes of baking, to block top heat, I placed a baking tray on the tube pan. After 10 minutes the batter was so high it touched the baking tray so I quickly removed the baking tray and turned the top heat off and continued baking for another 10 minutes, then I saw the cake sank about 1cm below the rim, I quickly turned the top heat on again and baked for a further 5 minutes, did the skewer test and it was done.

After cooled, the cake turned out quite nice! Soft, spongy and fragrant - better structure that Bengawan Solo's I should say. However, the top part of the cake was a bit denser than the bottom.

I will definitely make a second attempt. What should I do if the cake rises high and touches the baking tray again?

Thanks for the recipe!

Coco Chan said...

Hi, KT.
I made this cake today, it makes the kitchen smell incredible, and it tastes good too. but the texture is just not right. The to of the cake seems fine, but the bottom is kinda dense. and it did rise in the oven, but at the end it collapsed.
I'm wondering which part went wrong. Since I couldn't find cream of tartar, I just substituted with white vinegar. Would you tell me why it didn't work out? Thanks so much!

kt said...

Because you didn't follow the recipe.

Ida Lau said...

Hi KT, I live in Australia and I cannot find cake flour. What does cake flour packaging look like? Is there a way to make cake flour?

kt said...

http://shop.coles.com.au/online/national/anchor-lighthouse-flour-plain-cake-biscuit-pastry

Cindyl said...

I tried ur method n my cake turned out salty. Is there a diff btw fine n corse salt.

Marilynn said...

Hi KT, can I use corn oil instead of vegetable oil?

Hui Qing said...

Hi KT, I tried baking this with my mum yesterday and it turned out to be one of the best pandan cakes I've eaten! Even my husband who isn't a fan of pandan cakes liked it! Thanks! I didn't use any cream of tar tar since I didn't have it but it turned out alright still. Killed 1/3 of my pandan plant but totally worth it :)

Thanks for sharing this great recipe! :)

j.z said...

hi kt, tried baking this last night, but my batter was very watery tht it leak out frm underneath the pan when i poured the batter.. had tried your pandan cupcakes and orange chiffon and both turned out great. both had tht consistency the batter shld hav. i followed the recipe exactly and up by 1/3 like hw i did for my like my orange chiffon cos im using 23cm pan. but this time its very watery with lots of bubbles.

can you advice wht might hav gone wrong ? thks lot.

Zepha said...

hi, tried your recipe the other day and the family loved it!
Thanks a million! I am a newbie baker and in first try was lucky to have managed to get good reviews from the family with a relatively good looking pandan cake! Thanks again to your instructions and video!

Ponn said...

Hi would it be 180 celcius on a fan forced or conventional oven?
TIA

Nicolevian said...

Hi Kt, undiluted coconut milk is made of adding some water and squeeze together with the coconut sliced flesh?

pandan cake addict said...

Hi, will be baking this soon.. If i can only find those imported pandan leaves from the Asian shops which looks very dark green, do i increase the liquid as you mentioned that the greener leaves are older and drier.
Thank you.

joy said...

Hi! How many egg whites for this recipe? I mean like how many eggs do I need for egg whites?

ainna said...

hi..i tried this pandan cake n it turned out so good..very spongy n fluffy..i love it..thanks for the recipe..

Kitty cat said...

Hi I would like to try and make this cake soon. I'm just wondering if the coconut juice is alright with the one from the can?

Summer said...

Hi KT, where do you get fresh coconut milk in Singapore?

David said...

if you are using grade 'b' size eggs i.e. about 60g per egg, use 4 egg yolks and 5 egg whites. it will be very close to the weight in grammes listed in the recipe. i find it a pain to weigh the eggs too. tried 3 cakes and the cakes turned out fine.

David said...

Sorry typo... i meant 55g per egg but i have used 60g per egg at my friend's home and it was fine too.

RC said...

Pls advise y my pandan chiffon cake crack?

Doreen Teo said...

I got mine in a local market. It's packaged in a tube formed stored in the fridge. You can try asking your local market dry food supply stores.

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