Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pandan Chiffon Cake - In Pursuit of the Perfect One

Some recipes call for 200g in a chiffon.
This one has less than 100g of sugar in this chiffon cake and psst! the kids didn't notice.
See, it's possible to have your cake and eat it too.

Today is my 15th attempt at a pandan chiffon cake. I looked back at the early attempts - the pictures look hideous and I had proudly blogged about them being my first ones! The most hideous and bragful one is here! Naive and ignorant as a little birdling boasting to eagles already soaring majestically in the skies! Too cute. And too embarrassing. I'm not deleting those posts, no matter how tempting.

There are a zillion different recipes on the internet on pandan chiffon and I was such a confused kid for the past months trying to make sense of them all. I finally settled on the recipe from Kitchen Tigress where she also produced a video on her method. It amused me to see her spreadsheet comparing all the different recipes from well known bakeries. Her site is now my go-to for pandan chiffon cakes. Thank you, KT.

The various liquids used: (L-R) Egg whites, egg yolk, canola oil, fresh coconut milk and fresh pandan juice. Coconut milk and pandan juice extraction are most laborious. For pandan, blend the leaves to get pulp that you then squeeze by hand to get the juice. Leave it for an hour and discard water that's split from the juice and use only the darker green. There are easier alternatives like buying the packet coconut milk and using just a drop of pandan extract or artificial colouring but they're not for me.

Here's a summary of the various tips I gleaned from different sources:

1. Separate eggs when they are fresh from the fridge, but beat them only at room temperature. (Joy of Baking)

2. Instead of folding, use a spatula to make rapid vertical lines from top to bottom of bowl when mixing egg white mixture to egg yolk mixture. (Very old aunty from the neighbourhood)

3. Use a chopstick to go round the edges of the mixed batter just before it goes into the oven to remove airpockets (KT)

4. Cover top with a tray 15 minutes into baking to prevent a burnt top. (KT)

5. Bake another 6 minutes or so even after a skewer comes out clean. (KT)

6. When cooling cake, elevate the inverted tube pan instead of just inverting it on a table top. Prop it up on a bottle for better air circulation. (Joy of Baking)

Meanwhile, my kids are loving all my chiffon, thankfully. Psst, did I tell you I reduced the sugar and they did not notice?


  1. That's a beauty, Luan! Lovely pics too. Congrats!

  2. Replies
    1. It's decent enough for a photoshoot after 15 tries!

  3. pandan flavour is the classic flavour for us!Never get sick of eating them!

    1. Yes! I tried orange chiffon too and it's lovely!

  4. Don't the cake collapse if to open the oven door to cover cake with tray after 15 mins into baking?

    1. No, Christine. I've done it a few times now and it doesn't affect the cake. Just get the tray ready before opening the door and shut it as soon as tray is in place.


Tell me what you think. I want to know.