Pandan Chiffon Cake Recipe

By , February 24, 2010 5:54 pm

This is officially my first successful pandan cake and I’m OVER THE MOON!!! I mean, baking anything successfully usually makes me happy. But after 2 days of baked failures, a success is something to yell about y’know? If you don’t really understand that, then imagine the frustration of separating 8 eggs and then add to that a whole lot of carefully measured out flour, sugar, oil, coconut milk, vanilla essence, pandan paste, cocoa powder, and baking powder, AND THEN throwing it all away. 

BUT, let’s not dwell on the tragedies of baking 🙂 Only happy thoughts from here, so pictures first!

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These taste really soft, fluffy and moist! I guess they could be a tad more fragrant and look more pretty if I’m really objective. I was happy with it anyway but you know how I’m bias with things that are mine and made by me people are bias with things that are theirs or made by them.

This is where the original recipe is – the author took it from the Prima website. There are two recipes on this blog, both seemingly yummy, so I very bravely ‘mixed’ the two. Here’s what went into mine :

100g PrimaFlour Top Flour (*)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp pandan paste (**)
100 ml Coconut Milk
4 Egg Yolks
2 tbsp Corn Oil
5 Egg Whites (***) 
¼ tsp Cream of Tartar
100 g Castor Sugar
Pinch of Salt

(*)I used a different brand of top flour. I hear cake flour or even plain flour works too!
(**) Bought the pandan paste from the supermarket – it says ‘Pandan paste’ on the white label and is in a little glass bottle, much like the usual essences. I think this paste which is a combination of green coloring and pandan oil beats buying artificial pandan extract and green colouring separately. Am not brave enough to get REAL pandan leaves. Yet.
(***) Not a typo – this recipe calls for more egg whites than yolks.

1. Preheat oven to 170C
2. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and pinch of salt until foamy.
3. Add half of the sugar into (2) and beat until stiff.
4. In separate bowl, beat egg yolks with remaining sugar until creamy.
5. Add oil, pandan paste, coconut milk and oil into (4) and mix well.
6. Fold sifted flour and baking powder into (5).
7. The tricky bit now : take 1/3 of egg whites and quickly fold into the green mixture. Take care to not deflate the air in the mixture.
8. Once you have a uniform green coloured mix, quickly fold in remaining egg whites. Do Not overfold or the whites will deflate.
9. Pour into 18cm ungreased chiffon tin and bake for about 45mins – Do the skewer test if in doubt
10. The cake will collapse a little after it is out of the oven. Leave it in the tin to cool, but upside down so that the cake doesn’t deflate totally.

I”m now torn between eating more chiffon cake, leaving some for my sis and nephew who’s coming tomorrow, OR going to get fresh ingredients so I can make a new one. Maybe I should try it with coconut cream so it’s more fragrant? Hm……

Luck to you if you decide to try this!

Easiest EVER Banana Cake recipe

By , February 16, 2010 6:16 pm

Trying a new recipe is a little scary. I wonder if it’ll work or if I’ll have to throw the whole thing away – I have done that before. And if it’s for something I’ve made before, I wonder whether the new recipe will taste better than my previous tried and tested recipe so maybe I’m better off just using the old recipe.

My neurosis aside, a new recipe so simple it defies all baking “laws” I know makes me even more anxious. Eg: No need to cream the butter and sugar/ beat the eggs/ fold in the flour,  to introduce more air into the batter?? I mean, it doesn’t even require an egg beater and everything can be accomplished in one bowl! Wouldn’t have tried it if not for the 53 good reviews on the site.

To cut a long story short(er) I took the plunge and tried it. Twice. (in case the first one was a fluke).  Here’s the recipe (the link is to credit the site and for you to check out the reviews. I’ve copied the entire recipe here in italics)

125 g butter
¾ cup sugar
(185gm)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
2 ripe bananas mashed (
I used 3)
1½ cups self-raising flour (185gms)
¼ cup milk (I used lowfat milk cos that’s all I had at home)

1. Melt the butter, sugar and vanilla in a medium sized saucepan.
(I microwaved sugar and butter in a glass bowl til the butter melted(20s), and stirred it to a gooey mix. THEN I added the vanilla essence )
2.  Add mashed bananas and stir through until just blended.
3.  Add egg and mix in well. 
(I didn’t even beat the egg in a separate bowl. It’s literally break egg in and mix well.)
4.  Stir in flour (I sifted in the flour, half cup at a time.)
5.  Add milk and mix lightly. (I stopped mixing the moment I couldn’t see the milk. And mixed in a cup of chocolate chips my second attempt too)
6.  Bake at 170°C for approximately 40 minutes.
(Mine took almost 50mins – do the skewer test!) 

This recipe is officially the easiest recipe I’ve tried with successful results!! It’s really soft, moist and tastes fabulous. If you’ve never baked before, this should be your first recipe cos it’s so forgiving and encouraging 🙂 Be adventurous with it – add nuts / chocolate chips / whatever you think goes with bananas.

bananacake

PS: A public apology to Miss S for not uploading this sooner – I know I told you the recipe will be on my blog but Miss Procrastinator and Miss DoItRightNow must decide on a deadline in future ok?

Pineapple Tart Talk II

By , February 12, 2010 10:43 am

The verdict : I’ve tried the revised pastry, replacing cornflour with plain flour. Plain flour in my case, is actually top flour because I still have an open packet of it and didn’t want to waste it.

Very subtle difference, meaning that the pastry still melts in my mouth but is only slightly less crumbly than if I had used cornflour. My question now is, if the difference is so slight, why have cornflour to begin with? (I’m so lazy such an advocate of easy baking you see…) Anyhow, recipe minus cornflour will be used from this year on!

Hope you guys have a fantabulous Chinese New Year and remember to drink lots of water because I know I can’t you know you can’t resist all those mandatory cny ‘heaty’ foods.  

恭喜發財!!

Pineapple Tart Talk

By , February 10, 2010 12:03 pm

Seeing how it’s close to the CNY, I figure I can’t be alone in eating CNY goodies for breakfast. Or hastily making pineapple tarts to replace those that have disappeared into my tummy 🙂 See? The benefits of having an oven at home! It’s apt to declare this to my new oven in our new home for the new year (just for the record) : “Oven, I have missed having you around the last 7 mths!

Ok, now that I’m done with gushing over the oven, I’d like to re-evaluate my tried and tested pineapple tart recipe. There has been questions on why the pastry is so crumbly and I’ve been reluctant to modify it because I like the melt in mouth texture.

However yesterday’s attempt  was more crumbly than yesteryears. It may have to do with the fact that Prime Supermarket was out of plain flour yesterday(how dare they?!) and so I substituted it with Top Flour (finer flour). Or it could be that my electronic weighing scale has gone faulty due to its extended stay in the storeroom with its batteries in; Or that my baking skills have deteriorated due to lack of practice… Very likely the first reason…. and the last….

In any event, practise will make perfect so I’ll practise more plus include this change in the recipe – replace cornflour with plainflour. I’m quite sure the pastry wont be as crumbly afterwards. But whether it’ll still melt in my mouth is an answer I’ll have tomorrow.

One other thing – this year’s pineapple tart filling is a real winner because my helper grated one fresh (orange colored) pineapple, boiled it til it’s soft, and then added a packet of pineapple paste from the stores. Then it was stir and stir over low fire til the mixture became dry. We were happy with it without adding more sugar but you may want to if you have a saccharine tooth. The result is a homemade tasting and super yummy pineapple paste!

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ps: I made open faced ones cos they are the simplest to make 😛 Roll the dough into a sheet of 0.5cm thickness before stamping them out with a cookie cutter.

The CaffeBar

By , February 2, 2010 4:51 pm

Random keywords come to mind when I think Parkway Parade – crowded carpark, crowds, steamboat and mee rebus. Impressions from when I used to frequent the place many years ago.

Didn’t check out the steamboat or mee rebus, but found the place still busy (for a Tues afternn), and the carpark still very crowded. There’re so many inviting new stores and eateries that the crowd really isn’t much of a surprise. We wanted something quick and uncrowded, and so  took our seats at The CaffeBar on Level 1. It’s one of those cafes that look like an out of place island plonked right in the middle of shopfronts just cos there’s space for it and rental can be made.

Places that boast a menu with many items usually have me on my guard, especially so when there’s no kitchen in sight. But the well taken pictures on the menu had me deliberating if I should have a pasta, or a sandwich or a main course type meal. After alot of the deliberating…. let’s have Dan’s order first :

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The Carpaccio of Smoked Salmon (14.20)  found favor with Dan – he liked the capers that came with it, the generous serving of salmon and the dressing with the salad.

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Crispy Chicken Wings (6.80) that are halved before they’re fried. Dan loves chicken wing served this way and altho Bangkok Jam does a better version, these crispy and chewy wings tasted alright once it was dipped in the Thai chilli sauce. On a separate note, I returned to Bangkok Jam last week and fell in love again with their Tom Yam soup and chicken wings 🙂

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Tenderloin Steak (22.80) is a recurring main course almost everywhere we go. I thought this was really value for money seeing how it was cooked just the right kinda medium, was tender, and flavorful!

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Finally to my (boring) choice after all the deliberating : Ham, Cheese and Egg (9.50), which was served on a fluffy and chewy ciabatta bread with crispy sides.  I was very pleased with it because altho simple, this open face sandwich was really tasty and I didn’t feel like I couldn’t breathe afterwards. That happens quite abit now cos there’s lesser space for my stomach to expand what with baby taking up more space… But it’s so hard to eat just a little bit!

On the whole, I thought the foods were simple but very satisfying and that, is really what’s important. Even my hazelnut latte(5.80) had just the right tad of sweetness – that’s more difficult to achieve than it sounds you know?

If I can get past the parking phobia at Parkway, it really is a great place for shopping and eating!

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