Updated: Jul 21, 2020
This recipe is adapted from my Matcha Chiffon Cake recipe which you can find here. The difference, in this case, is only the flavoring. Chiffon cakes are quite easy to make once you've done them before but if you've never made them before then it might be a bit challenging. Keep practicing though as even failed chiffons are still delicious, I would know because I've failed a few! 😂
The Pandan plant is a tropical plant and is basically the Asian baker's version of vanilla. It's so fragrant and when you add it to baking, it gives off the nicest green colour ever! If you can't find pandan leaves, you can usually get pandan extract which they sell in little bottles in Asian stores. Good luck and I hope this cake works out for you. It's so fluffy, airy and sooooo enjoyable with a cup of tea ☕️ I topped it with coconut glaze and desiccated coconut but you can add your own glaze such as melted dark / milk / white choc.
Serves: 10 or 12 people
Difficulty: Level 3
Wow factor: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
IMPORTANT: Before you move onto the recipe, you have to remember that the only way this cake will work out is if you have a cake pan which is not non-stick. The non-stick coating on a cake tin will mean that the cake mixture will not be able to cling on to the sides and stay there. When you leave this cake to cool you also need to turn this cake upside down, so a non-stick will mean the cake will just collapse when the sides are giving way. I would recommend a cake tin like this. I've always used my trusty 10cm cake tin which is quite deep, has a loose base and I've used it for years so the non-stick coating has worn off.
For the Chiffon Cake
6x egg yolks
50g caster sugar for the egg yolk mixture
104ml flavourless oil (vegetable, corn, groundnut or sunflower, I used sunflower)
128 ml milk (you can also use coconut milk to make it smell more authentic)
1.5tsp vanilla extract
144g plain flour
1 or 2 drops of pandan paste or you can also use pandan leaves / pandan extract (if using leaves or extract please see below for hot tip)
2g baking powder
2g baking soda
6x egg whites
100g caster sugar for the meringue
For the Coconut Glaze
70gr of cooking chocolate (dark, milk, or white I used white choc), roughly chopped
50ml of light coconut milk
Tiny drop of pandan paste if you want the green flavour and colour
Phase 1 (Instructions):
Using a handheld whisk or stand mixer, add the egg yolks, sugar and salt to the bowl and mix well. Pour in the oil and milk whilst mixing. Add vanilla extract and pandan paste, and set aside.
Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees celsius (fan).
In another bowl, sift flour, baking soda & baking powder.
Now take the dry ingredients and mix it with the wet ingredients. Use a handheld whisk and mix gently until well incorporated. Set aside your yolk mixture whilst you deal with your meringue.
Now for the meringue. Take your big baking bowl making sure that it is free from any liquids or oils. Wipe it down real good. You can also be super sure by wiping it down with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice. This will ensure any bits of oil is stripped off the bowl.
Make sure your egg whites have ZERO egg yolks in them. Any hint of yolks will ruin this. Now tip egg whites into the bowl and beat your egg whites using an electric mixer until they start foaming and frothing. They should triple in size after 3 to 5 minutes.
When the egg whites are starting to show some structure, gradually add in your sugar a few tablespoons each time. If your egg whites are not increasing in size then most likely there are egg yolks in your whites. Please see tip on how to fix this here.
If it is starting to look like shiny meringue then you have succeeded! Stop before you overbeat. One way to check is to turn the bowl upside down over your head, if it doesn't flop over then it's ready.
Using your trusted whisk or spatula, mix in 1/4 of the meringue to the yolk mixture. Repeat this step until all the meringue is incorporated into the yolk mixture. Be careful not to overmix as you don't want the meringue to fully lose its fluffiness. If you want your chiffon fluffy and soft, heed this warning. When mixed, set aside.
Take your cake tin, and sprinkle water all over. If you have a spray bottle, you can also use it to spray the tin with water.
Pour your cake mix into the tin.
Take some chopsticks and run it through your cake mixture to even out the batter and eliminate unwanted bubbles.
Put it in the centre of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes.
Keep an eye out on the progress, but do not open the oven door as the cake will stop rising if the oven is opened prematurely. If the top is starting to get dark, turn down the heat by 10 degrees or so. Do not be alarmed if the top of the cake seems to be rising quite a lot, this is what we want.
Take a long toothpick/cake tester/satay stick and poke the cake. If it comes out clean, then your chiffon is ready to come out of the oven.
On a cooling rack, cool the cake upside down. This is how we can make sure the cake doesn't plop back down. Let it cool for an hour or 2 before taking this out of the tin.
To take it out of the cake tin, take a palette knife or spatula and run it through the sides. You should now be able to remove the cake from the tin smoothly. Scrape the bottom as well before trying to force the base off of the cake.
For the Coconut Glaze: Add coconut milk and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt the choc in 2-minute intervals. Keep going until the chocolate has all melted away. Add pandan paste or colouring and mix well. Wait for this to cool down for about 5-10 minutes. Pour the coconut-chocolate glaze alllll over the cake. Push it over the edge for the drizzle effects. Take the desiccated coconut and sprinkle all over. Place this cake in the fridge if you are not going to eat it straight away.
Hot tip: If using pandan leaves, what you want to do is juice 15 pandan leaves with 2tbsp water and 2tbsp coconut milk. Sieve the blended pandan leaves to obtain the extract. You can pour this into the cake batter in place of the pandan paste in step 1.
Other flavours: You can also sub the pandan extract for other flavours such as 14gr of matcha powder or 14gr of cocoa powder. I've made a few versions of this cake and it's always a crowd-pleaser.