Chiffon cake doesn’t sound particularly Malaysian does it? In fact, when I leafed through my Cake Bible, I discovered that the chiffon cake was created by a Californian named Harry Baker, in 1927.
But pandan (screwpine) flavoured chiffon cake is definitely a Malaysian bakery staple, and one of the earliest cakes I remember eating. The airy light texture probably goes down well in the tropical heat. It certainly feels tropical at the moment, we’re sweltering today! It looks like temperatures in the high 30’s will be here all week too (that’s about 90 degrees and climbing for you Fahrenheiters).
Enough about the weather, back to my attempt at chiffon cake. I say attempt because I’m quite undecided about the end result. I probably wouldn’t have posted this if I had something else up my sleeve, but it's the first day of school, and I got nothin’ I tell ya, nothin’.
Actually, the overall texture is ethereal, and when I opened the container the cake was stored in, a waft of gorgeous pandan aroma hit me, so no complaints there. But I think the recipe didn’t have enough flour or sugar in it. When I tasted a little bit of the cake as it first came out of the oven, I thought it was very bland, but like a lot of cakes, the flavour developed after standing (overnight in this case). To my tastebuds, it’s still not quite sweet enough. Also, it’s a little “eggy” which I don’t mind too much but it is noticeable.
Also, I didn’t have a “proper” chiffon cake pan, which is taller than the one I used, but this wasn’t really an issue.
Still, even though the cake isn’t as sweet as I would have liked, MC Junior and I are actually enjoying it a lot. “Like eating clouds,” she said. Plus I’m telling myself it’s relatively healthy too (one can dream right?). MC Senior however, ate some, but rejected a second helping saying it “tastes like omelette.”
The recipe came from one of mum's notebooks. While I was looking, I found this book that I'd made for her to copy recipes down in. Can't remember how old I was, but I used an exercise book and stuck on photos I'd cut out of the newspaper.
I’ll definitely try this one again and tweak the recipe to see if I can get it perfect. I probably should have looked at the Cake Bible before I made the cake rather than after!
Anyway, I’ll tell you my ingredient list just in case anyone can figure out exactly what needs changing.
3 tbsp sugar (I’d already increased this from the original 2 1/2)
3 tablespoons SR flour (I used leftover home made cake flour, from the Daring Bakers challenge, and added baking powder)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
4 tablespoons thick coconut milk (infused with chopped pandan leaves)
about 6 or 7 frozen pandan leaves (probably need less if they are fresh) - the leaves are meant to be pounded and the juice extracted, but I still haven’t gotten around to replacing my broken mortar and pestle, so I choppped the leaves finely and infused them in slightly warmed coconut milk)
6 eggs separated
(the recipe also calls for cream of tartar but I didn’t have any)
Thanks for visiting today’s Malaysian Monday installment. If you’d like to join me and Suresh from 3 Hungry Tummies, send your entries to its(dot)sharon(at)gmail(dot)com. I’ll be hosting the round-up next Monday. To find out more about the Muhibbah Malaysian Monday blog event, click here.
And before I go, I’d like to send a wish out to all my friends who will be celebrating the lunar new year. “Gong Xi Fa Cai!” , may you have a very happy and prosperous new year ahead.