Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Pandan chiffon cake

Lately there has been a dearth of sweet things to take into work. I didn’t think anyone had noticed, although the biscuit jar with nothing but crumbs of biscotti left in it was found with a card taped inside. (That card’s been doing the rounds from coffee machine to fridge shelves, gathering penned additions as it goes, so maybe I’m reading too much into it.)

Anyway, I had anything but a dearth of eggs,  due to a shopping double-up between me and The Guitar Teacher, so an eight-egg Pandan Chiffon Cake seemed called for. In my continuing quest for a chiffon cake that stands tall and strong instead of puffy and sagging, I turned online to Life Is Great, which indeed looked to be the goods, even if the name of the blog is more optimistic than I am wont to be.

I love the smell of pandan, and add frozen strips of it to rice wherever possible. Minh Phat had bright green fresh stuff, so I followed the instruction to blend it with 4 tablespoons of water and push it through a sieve to make half a cup. It didn’t quite make it, for me, so I topped it up with water – I baulked at opening a can of coconut milk for a teaspoon or two. It smelled like wondrous wheatgrass.

Otherwise, my only tweak was to use olive oil in place of corn oil, and to add just a tiny bit of green food-colouring gel.

Like Life Is Great, I don’t keep self-raising flour around the house, but I was bemused by the recipe to make it up with 2 tablespoons of baking powder for 180g flour, plus the half teaspoon of bicarb in the main recipe. She seemed to know what she was talking about, though, so I went ahead with that. The batter turned out frothy and heaving, and perilously close to the top of the chiffon-cake pan, but still I went stolidly ahead. 

And surprise surprise, it kept rising. That it didn’t overflow all over the oven I considered a win, but the centre hole was compromised and the top was very uneven.

Turned out, it quickly attempted to find its level and succumbed to gravity. It puffed out around the bottom, had nothing in common with Life Is Goods elegant green cake, and seemed to have a sticky layer that wasn’t quite cooked – and oddly salty. 

But the flavour was deemed 'WEIRD BUT GOOD!!!!!!!! by Misslice, the texture was chiffon-cake fantastique, and the aroma of pandan pervaded the work kitchen – a good thing, I thought

Despite all that, it was not polished off with the usual enthusiasm – was it the green?

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