The title threw you off a little? For those of you who are not familiar with pandan its a plant available in South Asia. Otherwise known as screwpine, I have found this plant growing in my grandmother’s backyard in Kerala where it is known as “Rambaella”. I am not aware if there is any other term for it.
So the very first use I remember having of it is when my mom used this as a flavouring agent in her biryani, and believe me when I say that I could whiff her biryani from the end of the street. Her biryani is by far my most favourite biryani in the world * floats into nostalgic mood*. [Mental note to self: I need to make biryani asap *droooool* ]
Back to reality, so as I was saying, another prominent reminder of pandan flavour would be the cendol dessert I had in Malaysia, which has green rice noodles in a pandan palm sugar coconut milk base. Maybe I need to stop talking about all this food because it is making me hungry. Anyway, I just wanted to give you all an idea of the yummy stuff made with pandan. It can be also used to make chicken dishes, coconut rice, custard and the very soft pandan bread which I had in the 7/11 supermarket in Thailand.
Pandan is well paired with coconut, so when I had this pandan and tender coconut sandwich in Thailand I was inspired to bake something along those lines at home. But I couldn’t find pandan extract or the real deal anywhere ( my grandmother’s plant had long gone too). In comes my aunt to the rescue, she sent me pandan paste and essence too 🙂
So first thing I try is baking a pandan bread and it came out quite well though I would have loved more pandan flavour in it. Now next I kept looking for more pandan recipes, something more related to baking. So when I hit upon “Anncoo Journal”‘s marbled pandan chiffon cake I knew I had to try it.
Now the original recipe uses the juice extracted from pandan leaves but I have used pandan paste as a substitute. I loved the taste all the same. It has a subtle hint of pandan and coconut and couldn’t be more delish!
Source: Anncoo Journal
Plain flour/ Maida – 70g
Corn flour – 2 tbsp
Egg yolks – 3
Sugar – 30g
Coconut milk – 80ml
Rice bran oil – 50g
Pandan paste – 1.5 tbsp
For the meringue
Egg whites – 4
Sugar – 45g
White vinegar – a splash
1. Preheat oven to 165C. Sift flour and corn flour and set aside.
2. In another bowl mix egg yolks and sugar. Add coconut milk, mix well, add the oil and blend well. Sift the flour into the egg mixture and mix well.
3. Divide the batter into 2 portions. Add the pandan paste into one of the portions and mix well. Mine turned a real bright green because of the paste but will become lighter when baked.
4. To make the meringue, beat the egg whites. Add a splash of white vinegar. Beat the egg whites till its nice and foamy. Add the sugar in 3 batches and beat till you get nice glossy white meringue with stiff peaks.
5. Fold the meringue evenly into the plain and pandan mixture. Spoon the plain and pandan mixture alternatively into the prepared cake pan or tube pan if you have one.
6. Drop the pan gently on the counter top to remove any air bubbles. Add the pan to the second row from the bottom in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
7. Remove the cake once it is done and let it cool before removing from the tin.