Pandan chiffon cake is like a dream cake due to its fluffiness, softness and moistness. The fragrance of the cake comes from the extract of pandan leaves which is also known as screw pine leaves. It is known as the Asian's vanilla because of its fragrance. This recipe offers a step by step guide with all the tips needed to come up with the perfect pandan chiffon cake.
How does pandan leaves taste like?
Although pandan leaves is known to be the vanilla of Asia, it does not actually taste or smell like vanilla. It is quite neutral in taste and has a grassy note because it is after all, a type of perennial grass. It is mainly used for its colour and aroma.
Can pandan leaves be substituted?
Unfortunately, pandan leaves cannot be replaced as it provides a very special aroma.
Where to buy pandan leaves or pandan extract?
Frozen or fresh pandan leaves are sold at Asian grocers. Otherwise, bottled pandan extract can also be found in Asian grocers. They are normally displayed along with the colouring and other extracts for baking/cooking. Alternately, of course, you may replace it with orange juice, lemon juice, vanilla, coffee or any flavour of your preference.
Is baking powder needed?
No. If you do not want to use baking powder when making chiffon cake, you may omit it. However, making a perfect chiffon cake is very tricky because it solely depends on the egg whites. They need to be beaten till really stiff. Therefore, each step needs to be adhered to closely. Take time to watch the video to understand the steps. If the egg whites are not fully beaten or if they are over worked, the cake might not rise. This will result in a flat and hard cake. Hence, baking powder is added to ensure that the cake will rise beautifully.
What is the difference between a sponge cake and a chiffon cake?
Chiffon cake is generally more airy compared to sponge cake. It is also more moist because of the oil used in the recipe.
Does the pan require greasing?
No, the cake pan does not need to be greased because the batter needs to cling onto the pan to rise.
How to store chiffon cake?
Once the cake has cooled, store it in an air-tight container. It should keep well for three days. However, I bet that it would be finished within a day or at the very most, two!