Last month I said I wanted to blog more often and so far it has proven to be a fail.
But guess what (attempt to divert) ? I FINALLY got myself a blender ! (did that work ? :P)
The blender that makes smooth smoothies and soupy soups. I don’t have to chew my fruits and vegetables anymore. Life goal achieved !
It was like when I learned to flambe food. I wanted to flambe literally everything then, like a child that found the box of matches. He told me to chill. I needed to chill, that could have ended up by calling the firemen.
I have been contemplating the acquisition a blender for a long time now, but I’ve also been procrastinating a lot (surprise !). There are so many of them out there and I went through the specs and reviews of some to finally trust Cooks Illustrated that the best heavy-duty was one from Vitamix. When it comes to kitchen utensils of appliances, I usually go for the best. Except that the best was priced one of my kidneys. Things can be ridiculously overpriced in Hong Kong. I ended up settling for a no-brand-name blender that my long-time bartender friend recommended me. I could get 4 of those for the price of the Vitamix, so I decided to give it a try. I thought that if he was happy with his extensive use of it (crushing ice galore !) it couldn’t go that wrong. So we’ll see…
Speaking of green, I love pandan cake. I had my first taste of it back in 2009 when a friend traveled to Singapore and brought some from Bengawan Solo at the airport.
Making this cake was quite intimidating to me, because I didn’t want miss the whole point of the recipe which resides in the cake texture – very light and delicate. But at the end of the day, just like for any good recipe, it takes time and practice to get to the expected result and I can’t say I’m completely there yet, but I am very happy with my first take and I will continue practicing. If you are willing to go down this route, keep reading.
Besides the use of pandan extract that gives this cake its signature green color, it uses coconut milk, so there couldn’t be a better way to substitute coconut oil for the regular vegetable oil called to make this cake. I love coconut so I used the Wild kind from my friend Diane. If you find it overwhelming, you can opt for fragrance-free kinds. Since this cake uses initially oil and not butter, using coconut oil does not alter the texture of the cake.
There are three main key success factors to this cake :
- Give it some air ! Be patient when beating your egg yolk, give them the time to turn pale, light and fluffy. Then be gentle when you fold the beaten eggs whites into the cake mixture. Be patient, do not rush. You’ll see that making this cake is easier to make than it looks 🙂
- Do not grease your cake pan! This helps the cake stick to the sides of the pan and rise high.
- Turn it upside down and let it cool down completely before you remove it from the pan (about 3 hours), to avoid condensation and spoiling the surface of the cake.
I adapted the recipe from Singaporean blogger Leslie Tay and it turned out very nice for a first trial, although not as light as the commercial one. More practice and experiment will help make it a great cake. I shall keep you posted on my progress and findings and I will update the recipe accordingly. There are many other similar recipes online that you can also try out. Internet is beautiful.
Meanwhile I’m also going to put this new blender to the test with my hummus recipe and hopefully I will no longer have to peel the chickpeas. Give me something to blend !
- Yellow Team
- Egg yolks 6
- Castor sugar 100g
- Virgin Coconut Oil 115ml
- Coconut milk 140ml
- Cake flour 200g
- Baking Powder 2 tsp
- Salt ¼ tsp
- Pandan juice 2 Tbsp
- Vanilla essence 2 tsp
- Pandan essence (optional) 1 tsp
- White Team
- Egg whites 9
- Castor sugar 100g
- Cream of tartar 1 tsp
- 25cm tube cake pan
- I used my Kitchenaid mixer but your can use a hand mixer too.
- Before you do anything, turn on your oven and preheat it to 170 degrees celcius!
- Cream the egg yolk with sugar first for 5 minutes on level 6 on the mixer (medium-high), using the wire whisk. The volume of the batter will triple you have a nice and light batter.
- Mix the corn oil, coconut milk, pandan paste, vanilla together and add it slowly to the mixture while whisking
- After that sift the flour into the batter and use the same wire whisk at speed 4 (medium) to combine the flour into the batter. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites, 1 minute at speed 4 (medium), add Cream of Tartar, 1 minute at speed 8 (high) and gradually add the sugar while whisking at speed 8 for another minute. Do not overbeat them. It happens when the mixture forms lumps.
- Add one third of the meringue to the green mixture and mix it with a spatula so that you get a light green batter which is easy to fold. Then add the rest of the meringue to the batter and gently fold the mixture in.
- Before you pour the mixture into the tin, give your batter bowl a few sharp blows by banging it on the table. This will get the big bubbles to rise to the top and burst.
- After you get rid of as many bubbles as you can, pour the mixture into the cake tin slowly making sure that as many of the big bubbles burst while the batter flows over the rim of the cake tin
- After all the batter is transferred into the tin, give it a few sharp blows on the table and use a chopstick to go round the tin a few times to release any bubbles still trapped at the bottom or side of the tin
- Bake for 20-25 minutes at 170C while checking every 10 minutes or so. When the cake has risen and starts to crack, cover the cake with tin foil to reduce the heat from the top and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Once baking is done, overturn the cake and let it cool for about 3 hours. Use either a bottle or a funnel to elevate the cake. This is important because if the cake is too close to your tabletop, condensation takes place and you will spoil the surface of the cake.
- Use a sharp knife and with one movement separate the sides of the cake from the tin, pressing your blade as firm as possible on the cake tin