Friday, 2 August 2013

Pandan Chiffon Cake

I recently watched a Korean drama called Immortal Classic which is about kimchi. Although the main protagonist of this show is kimchi, there are many underlying themes such as importance of preserving and sharing culture, trust between loved ones, being thankful to those that have cared for us even if they are not related to us and so on. 

The one message that really stood out for me and will affect my cooking and baking is to always bear the person that you're cooking for in mind, while you are preparing food.If you do that, you will naturally put more love into the process and consequently your food will taste better. And each food has it's own life force, or in chinese we call it 'qi', energy. How the food is prepared, the feelings and energy of the cook/chef during the preparation of food will translate into the food itself. This is why food prepared by hand, with care and love of the cook will always be so much better for you. This is why when you're preparing food, you should always do so positively and happily. If food is prepared in anger or with negative thoughts and feelings, it will contain negative qi. This is also why I am very against mass produced food, made by machines rather than with the warmth of human hands.

Pandan chiffon cake is one my favourite cakes to make. It is always well received. It looks stunning. And it's easier to make than you expect. The texture of it is so incredibly light. If clouds in reality really are what they look like - fluffy and pillowy, rather than mass of water droplets, I would imagine them to taste like chiffon cake.  

You might be able to see from the dual green tone flesh of the cake that I haven't quite perfected the cake yet (but trust me, it still tastes delicious!), but this cake was made with love whipped into the eggs and lots of good qi incorporated in the emulsion. 

I think that is one of, if not the most important part of learning how to cook isn't it? Through preparing food, learning how to care about people too. 

[Pandan Chiffon Cake]
150g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

6 egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
100g raw sugar (finely ground)

6 egg yolks
50g raw sugar (finely ground)
75ml coconut milk
80ml oil
1 teaspoon pandan paste 
1 teaspoon vanilla essence 

1. Preheat oven to 160C. 
2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. 
3. In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites until it starts to foam up. Add cream of tartar. Continue whisking until it becomes more foamy. As small bubbles start to form, gradually add in sugar. Whisk until stiff peak forms. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until thick and colour has paled. Add in coconut milk, oil, pandan paste and vanilla. Whisk until well incorporated. 
5. In three batches, add in the flour and with a spatula, fold into egg yolk mixture until incorporated. 
6. Add in the egg whites and fold gently until well incorporated. 
7. Pour into the chiffon cake tin. Tap on counter 3 times to get rid of big bubbles. 
8. Bake for 45 minutes until golden on top. 
9. Take out from oven and flip upside down so the cake does not collapse. Leave for 30 minutes like this then flip back upright, run a knife around the sides of the cake tin and remove cake from tin. 
10. Serve. 

*Note. The cake tin is not greased or lined, as the cake should stick to the sides. 
The chiffon cake tin has 'legs' which the tin can stand on when flipped upside down. I have not made this cake in a normal cake tin or a Bundt pan, so I'm not sure if it will work. With the chiffon cake tin, when you flip the cake upside down, it shouldn't fall out. 

C for Chiffon! Hehe

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