Monday, October 23, 2006

Disaster after disaster

For the whole of last week I was craving Bengawan's pandan cake so much (they do have the BEST pandan cake IMO) that I decided to try baking it. Besdies, it's been quite a long time since I've baked anything and pandan cake sounds like a really good choice!

But as you can see, it didn't turn out so well and let me tell you why.

Firstly, everything was going fine until I added caster sugar instead of normal sugar to my egg white mixture! And I was beating at high speed for 40 minutes and the egg whites were still watery! Foamy but still watery, you get what I mean. If anyone wants to train their forearms, try holding an electric mixer on high speed for 40 minutes. I'm telling you, I felt like my arm was shot!

Any one knows what's going on?! Could it be the type of sugar used or any other factors? After 40 minutes, I gave up and just folded the egg whites into the pandan mixture and into the oven it went. I was afriad it wouldn't rise initially. However, it rose so high that a huge crack was formed and fell back when I took a out of the oven after 40 minutes. Once again, help please? Too much baking powder/soda or cream of tartar perhaps?

Next disaster, I left the coconut milk on the tabletop for an hour or two and when I poured it out, it was brownish! Taste test, still not spoilt so I used it. And when I added in my agar gar powder, guess what I saw!

There you go, a brown pandan cake. First time for everything aye?

After slicing off the top of the sponge cake and filling in the jam part, this is what it looked like. You can see that the sponge is a little dense because of the egg whites I think.

Suprisingly, it tasted really good! Not like a pandan cake but more like a kueh rather. The pandan was really fragrant but of course much more improvement is needed. I wonder what's wrong with me. When I bake a bread it becomes a cake and when I bake a cake it becomes a kueh.

Oh well, as long as it's edible and good :)

Recipe: (from Jodelibakery)


For Pandan Chiffon Cake:

100ml pandan juice (blend 6 pandan leaves with about 125ml water, strain)
4 egg yolks
90g castor sugar
160g all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder, sift with flour
1/2 tsp baking soda, sift with flour
1 tsp pandan essence
50g corn oil

4 egg whites
60g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

For Filling & Topping:

700g thick coconut milk
180g castor sugar
3 tsp agar-agar powder
1 tsp pandan essence
50ml pandan juice (prepare early together with pandan juice in A)
6 tbsp green bean (Hoen Kwe, green coloured) flour
Desiccated coconut (for topping)


To prepare pandan chiffon cake:
Add all ingredients in (A) and mix well until the mixture is smooth and consistent.

In a separate clean mixing bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar of Ingredients B at medium speed until the egg whites are bubbly. Add sugar and whip at high speed until stiff peaks form.

Fold 1/3 of whipped egg whites into mixture of Step 1. Then, pour this mixture to the remaining egg whites in the other mixing bowl. Fold lightly to combine both mixtures.

Pour this combined mixture into a 9-inch round cake pan. Bake at a preheated over at 170 deg C for 40-45 minutes.
As soon as the cake is removed from oven, quickly invert the pan and let it cool.

When the cake is completely cool, run a knife around the sides of pan to remove the cake. Slice cake into 3 layers.

To prepare filling & topping:

Dissolve green bean flour into the pandan juice. Make sure the flour is fully dissolved and not lumpy.

Add coconut milk, castor sugar, agar-agar powder and pandan essence into a pot. Heat with a low fire. Keep stirring with a whisk while heating.

When milk is just about to boil, turn off the fire. Pour in the green bean flour mixture. Stir well.

Allow this pandan kaya filling to cool down slightly and thicken. Stir (with a whisk) while cooling.

Spread some filling onto the first layer of cake. Top with the second layer of cake. Repeat until you have 3 layers of cake and two layers of filling. Coat the whole cake with the remaining pandan kaya filling.

Sprinkle/lightly press desiccated coconut on top and around sides of cake.


Gracio said...

YD, Yep I know wat u meant abt the egg whites as I encounted it b4. Egg whites are very sensitive,b4 u beat them, u gotta ensure the bowls & beaters are dry, nt a single drop of water. They must be super clean. 2ndly, when separating the whites, make sure no yolks are involved too..

Here's a gd website for u abt beating egg whites. :) Enjoy! :)

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

Ohh okay! I didn't know it has to be so meticulous. Thanks for the link! :)

Gracio said...

heyo yd! Dun be discouraged ya? if i can do it, so can u! haha... really for a sotong like me hor,can beat egg whites is like a small success liao. HAha! ;P

have fun baking! :)

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

Haha, ok ok. thanks! Me also sotong one la :)

Angie said...

YD, don't be discouraged okie, we all have our sotong moments in the kitchen *LOL*.

Just something to share, in addition to what Grace wrote, if you don't see your egg whites forming peaks after 10 mins using a handheld mixer, quite likely it wouldn't, could be due to grease or water. Further beating will then cause it to 'weep', where the mixture turns grainy and wet. So keep everything as clean and dry as possible.

The initial rise in the cake probably came from the effect of the baking powder and soda. Because egg whites provide the primary 'support' for the airy structure of chiffon cakes, in this case as the whites were not whipped properly, the cake will fall and form a dense kueh structure.

Paisei for my long story, hope it will help a bit.

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

Ohhh! ok ok. and there I was, whipping it for 40 minutes Lol. Thanks angie that helped a great lot! :)

Angie said...

No worries YD, I've had my fiar share of destroyed egg whites, under whipped, over whipped, you name it, I've probably have done it *LOL*

Gracio said...

YD,Angie's the shifu man! She's really good in making chiffons, all rises up nicely & tall, fluffy & yummy! Glad that we've her here! :)

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

Haha yup! Next time must try your chiffon recipe already. Always good to have you ard :)

evan said...

sorry i'm late :p hey brother, your cake looks good leh. don't be too hard on yourself ok, you'll do better nx time ya!

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

Haha okay. thanks guys for the encouragement. don't worry, try again next time!

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