Not many cake recipes get to stay in its original version in my home kitchen. Sometimes, I tweak with lesser quantity of an item, mostly likely sugar. Other times, I substitute an ingredient with a different, preferably a healthier one, and call it an improved version. I have been using olive oil to bake my pandan chiffon cakes for years. This time, I substitute with cold pressed coconut oil, and I wonder what took me so long to make this switch! Coconut oil stays liquid here at our room temperature of 30C, so I don’t even need to melt it.
I mix the yolk batter with a hand whisk since it doesn’t require flexing that much arm muscles, compared to making the meringue, which I totally rely on my Kitchen Aid. This is partly because I have only one mixing bowl that fits the electric mixer and also mostly due to the fact that I hate the need to wash it in the middle of cake preparation. I love cooking, but I really really detest the tidying/washing up bit, especially when cooking from scratch requires the use of a lot more utensils than making something out of a box of premix. The upside: you get to boast about it being homemade from scratch … so make sure you flaunt it big time by serving it with a personalized cake topper that says it is so!
~ Happy Baking!
COCONUT OIL PANDAN CHIFFON CAKE RECIPE
largely adapted from an earlier bake here for yolk batter: 6 egg yolks 20g sugar 50g extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil 100g coconut milk 1 teaspoon condensed milk 2 teaspoons pandan leaf juice 100g top flour, sifted for meringue: 6 egg whites 80g sugar 12g corn flour
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar till well combined. Add coconut oil, coconut milk, condensed milk, and pandan leaf juice, whisk to mix again. Finally, fold in sifted top flour and stop stirring when no traces of flour is seen in the batter. Let this batter mixture stand aside while we prepare the meringue.
Whisk egg whites till frothy, and add sugar, continue whisking on high speed till soft peaks form, note: not stiff peaks.
Add corn flour, whisk for 10 to 15 seconds and check if stiff peaks have formed, if not, whisk again for another 10 seconds before checking on the stage of peaks again. The meringue should be whisked only to its early stage of stiff peaks, stop when the peaks no longer droop; over-whisked-too-stiff meringue bears the risk of an uneven final cake batter as it is more difficult to be folded uniformly into the yolk batter. The corn flour is said to add gloss and stability to make a better meringue. Try not to omit this, unless you have absolutely no other uses for corn flour and do not want to stock it just for chiffon cake recipes. Cream of tartar does the same thing, but I have more uses for corn flour than tartar, so I use corn flour.
Fold the meringue gently into the yolk batter in 3 separate additions. Once the batter is well mixed, tap/bang the mixing bowl on the counter top to remove any large air bubbles inside the batter. This will make the cross section of the sliced chiffon cake looks nicer with uniform sized holes during serving. Pour the batter into a 23cm tube pan** (do not grease it, you want the cake to really stick to the pan as it will be inverted after baking) really slowly, this will prevent further air bubbles being trapped while transferring. When done, tap/bang the cake pan on the counter top again, a few more times, just to make sure that the large air pockets are gotten rid off. Alternatively, you can run a butter knife across the cake batter, but I hate washing another item, so … I just bang.
Bake for 40 minutes in a preheat oven at 170C. If the top appears too dark during the mid of baking, cover with aluminum foil. When done, check with a skewer to make sure that it comes out clean, if not, extend the baking time by another 5-10 minutes. So far, I never bake this 6-eggs cake beyond 40 minutes, however every oven temperature is different, so it is best to check. Once the cake has been baked thoroughly, remove it from the oven, and invert the cake pan immediately on a rack to cool to prevent the chiffon from collapsing on its own weight.
Once the cake is cooled, separate the cake from the tube pan, first from the side, then the bottom. Serve immediately, and yes, the cake should be served with the prettier bottom side up. If not consume immediately, store in air tight containers and finish as soon as possible. If storing overnight, keep chilled in fridge.
** I only have a large 25cm tube pan, that’s why my photos show a considerably flatter cake that most other recipes that are baked with 6 eggs and 21/23cm pans instead. The original recipe I adapted from used an even smaller 16cm one! I have since checked that I should be using a recipe that uses 8 eggs so that the cake rises all the way to the top of my 25cm pan.