Hello Stranger | Login | Create Account
Mar 19, 2018
Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
Email | Text-size: A | A | A

Baked: Pandan-coconut cake

July 18th 03:07pm, 2011

071411_pandancakeWelcome to Baked, a new column in which Amrita Rawat shares her adventures in the kitchen as she explores our fair city. Born in India and a longtime resident of Atlanta, Rawat recently moved to St. Louis to attend graduate school at Washington University. After eating her way through places like Hong Kong, Paris, Budapest, Mumbai and Shangri-La, she discovered a love for baking and a knack for creating inventive and tasty recipes. You can follow her on her sweet journey every other Monday right here on SauceMagazine.com/blog.

Please do not be alarmed by the color of this cake.  If it weren’t this green, it would be a jaundiced yellow.

Pandan, also known as screw pine, is common in Asian cooking and desserts. While you can soak screw pine leaves directly and use them for baking or cooking, I’ve never been able to actually track them down and instead turn to a pandan extract for my baking ventures. Often characterized by its wonderful aroma and the vibrant color it lends to cakes, the extract comes with green coloring added in.

I had never heard of pandan until my friend, who is Taiwanese-American, kept searching for it in cakes at Asian bakeries. The flavor is similar to vanilla but a tad grassier and far more fragrant. The first time I tasted a pandan cake, I thought it was rather dry and very mild, but I’ve had it from other bakeries since – and even made it at home – and found that it can be quite moist and delicious.

Asians desserts are generally milder and not very sweet, and this is no exception. This is also why pandan cake functions so well as a coffee cake or light snack. It’s often made in chiffon form, and the egg whites are whipped separately to give the cake a fluffy consistency. Pandan is most commonly paired with coconut in both sweet and savory cooking, so I added a touch of coconut to my cake. My favorite part of this cake is the thin layer of “crust” that always forms on top – just heavenly.

This particular recipe yields more of a sponge cake, and it may be my favorite pandan recipe yet. The crumb is delicate and soft, and the cake is moist throughout. It may be served with whipped cream or sprinkled with powdered sugar, or it can be eaten as is, utterly unadorned.

If you get your hands on pandan extract (available at area Asian markets), this unique flavor is worth tasting, especially if you have an appreciation for a classic simple vanilla cake … and if you don’t mind the green coloring.

Pandan-Coconut Cake

Makes 1 8-inch cake

Courtesy of Amrita Rawat

1½ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup oil
2 tsp. pandan extract
1½ tsp. coconut extract

• Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch spring form pan with cooking spray.
• Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
• Separate the eggs into two bowls.
• Beat the egg whites on high for a minute. Add in half the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
• Beat egg yolks, the rest of the sugar, buttermilk, oil and both extracts for one minute.
• Add this mixture to the flour mixture and mix gently until blended.
• Fold in the egg white mixture.
• Pour into the pan and bake for 28 to 32 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
• Use a knife around the edge of the cake and flip over on a rack and let cool.

By Amrita Song

Tags: , , ,

One Response to “Baked: Pandan-coconut cake”

  1. Lainee Says:
    February 27th, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Where did you purchase the Pandan extract and what was the brand name? Thanks.

Leave a Reply


Keep up with one or all of your favorite Sauce Magazine columns
Conceived and created by Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC 1999-2018, Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Sauce Magazine 1820 Chouteau Ave. St. Louis, Missouri 63103.
PH: 314-772-8004 FAX: 314-241-8004