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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pandan layered cake

I have new respect for those bakers who cut their cakes evenly !
From India to the Philippines, the coconut tree, is said to be the tree that provides all that is needed for living. Every single part is useful for basic sustenance ; from shelter to food to fuel.

As a  denizen living in the tropics, coconut is undoubtedly one of my favorite ingredient in local cuisine, be it in curry or snacks. The layered pandan cake , pumped with cream of coconut , comes out tops in my list of favorite traditional cakes ( kuih ) . The richness of coconut and intoxicating fragrance of pandan smacks of decadence in an otherwise ordinary snack.

No other western ingredient smells quite like it. The pandan-coconut partnership is uniquely tropical and never fails to remind me of home in Singapore and the happy treats of childhood.

Makes one skinny pandan layered cake for 4.
Removing the cake out of its mould is the most difficult part of the baking process !

Ingredients A :
2 egg whites
1/4 t cream of tartar
30g fine sugar

Ingredients B :
2 egg yolks
25g fine sugar
62 ml oil
40 ml coconut milk
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pandan paste

Ingredients C :
60g cake flour

Method :
Butter and flour a cake pan 10x3x3 inches.

Whisk ingredients A until it forms  stiff peaks.
Whisk ingredients B in this order : yolks, sugar , salt ,oil, paste, coconut cream.
Add 1/3 meringue into yolk mix. Add 1/3 of cake flour. Stir manually with a balloon whisk.
Repeat until all the meringue and cake flour is combined with the yolk mix.

Pour batter into 10x 3x3 inch pan.
Bake 180C for 15-18 min. I baked mine for 16 minutes.

Cool cake.
Remove cake from mould and cool further. and slice into 3 layers ( Here is where my amateur skill shows, with wobbly and evenly layers. Poof ! )

Pandan sauce :
275g coconut cream
225g water
1/4t pandan paste
35g fine sugar
50g green hoon kuay powder
1/4 t salt
1 t agar powder

Combine cream,paste,sugar,hoon kuay powder, agar. Cook over low heat until sauce thickens, stirring continuously.

Divide sauce to 4 equal portions. Mine works out to be about 140g, not including losses.

In a mould slightly bigger than the cake, mist spray mould with water.

Pour 1st portion of sauce.
Place the 1st layer of cake in the mould.
Pour 2nd portion of sauce.
Place 2nd layer of cake.
Pour 3rd portion of sauce.
Place 3rd layer of cake.
Pour the last layer of sauce to cover the  cake. Level off the surface with a spatula.

Chill for 3 hours. Remove cake and cut to serve.

Verdict : For a maiden effort, the cake turned out better than expected, not too sweet and very rich. The  custard is brittle and soft and I managed to damage quite  a bit of the cake just by removing it from the mould.


  1. I totally agree with your statement that no western ingredients tastes or smells like pandan, maybe perhaps vanilla will be a close runner up :) anyway the cake does look really good - it doesn't look damaged at all and it sure does remind me of my childhood :)

  2. Janine, Pandan and coconut are my weak points, but I happily concede ;-)