Pandan Chiffon Cake

I absolutely adore chiffon cake. It's really like eating soft, moist and fluffy clouds of cake. For me, pandan chiffon cake smells of home and warm and comfort. I love days sitting around with a cup of bittersweet dark coffee, a good book or the newspapers, and a huge slice of pandan chiffon cake, just tearing away at the soft fluffiness or just sinking my teeth into a pillow of gorgeous green.

You can get plenty of pandan chiffon cakes out there- they're quite cheap, and easy to please, (I mean who doesn't like the fragrance of pandan and coconut?) but there's nothing quite like the homemade stuff. My version is probably healthier than all those storebought versions- I make my own pandan juice and instead of using coconut milk (which is always a hassle for me because I have open one whole carton of coconut milk for just a few tablespoons in this cake) I use coconut oil, which I always seem to have on hand. 

Homemade pandan chiffon cake tastes better too. Feel free to reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe- it suits my taste perfectly, but try it out for yourself. Reduce the amount of sugar only on the yolks though, because you do need some sugar to whip up with the egg whites to achieve a stable meringue for your cake. If you prefer not to make your own pandan juice (I don't blame you, it's quite a hassle), you can use pandan paste/ extract and mix it up with some water. What I usually do, though. Is to make a huge batch of pandan juice and freeze it up in small bottles so that I've got pandan juice whenever I need it. 

Pandan Chiffon Cake 

7 egg yolks* 
40g sugar 
1/4 tsp salt 
4 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp pandan juice**
110g self raising flour OR 1 1/4 tsp baking powder + 105g cake flour 
7 egg whites 
130g sugar 

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. 
In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 40g sugar. Add in the salt, coconut oil and pandan juice, combine till smooth. 
Sift in the self raising flour, fold gently. 
In another large, clean bowl, whisk together the egg whites, adding in the 130g sugar gradually in 3 additions, till the egg whites form firm medium peaks. 
Fold the egg whites into the pandan batter one third a time, till no more white streaks remain. 
Pour batter into a large chiffon cake pan (not greased, not lined). Jiggle and tap on the counter to smoothen the top and remove large air bubbles. 
Bake for 50-60 minutes till evenly golden brown on top, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 
Invert immediately onto a wire rack to cool. Remove from tin once completely cool. 

* I usually have spare egg whites in the freezer from making custards and pie dough. I like using them in chiffon cakes, so I can use less whole eggs. For the 7 whole eggs, replace up to half the whole eggs with egg whites. For example, I'll use up to 3 egg whites and 4 whole eggs (4 egg whites + 4 egg yolks), which is a total of 7 egg whites and 4 egg yolks. The egg yolks do not change the texture of the cake too much, but do not change the number of egg whites used in this recipe! 

** To make your own pandan juice, you can put it through your juicer, or you can blend it with a splash of water and then strain to remove pulp. Try to make it as concentrated as possible so you get maximum pandan flavour in your cake! If you prefer not to make homemade pandan juice, you can replace it with 1 tsp or so of pandan paste and then 3 tbsp + 2 tsp of coconut milk/ milk/ water.

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