Pandan Chiffon Cake

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Pandan Chiffon Cake
Emerald green, fluffy pandan chiffon cake, beloved from Indonesia to Singapore, is a curious manifestation of America's culinary influence on Southeast Asia. In 1948 Better Homes and Gardens published a General Mills recipe for chiffon cake. Years later the recipe made its way to Southeast Asia—most likely on boxes of imported cake flour—where home cooks made a version flavored with the juice from pandan, an aromatic grass with a floral, vanilla-like flavor. By the 1970s, viridian chiffon cake was all the rage, and it's just as popular today as it was 30 years ago. See the recipe for Pandan Chiffon Cake »James Oseland

Emerald green, fluffy pandan chiffon cake, beloved from Indonesia to Singapore, is a curious manifestation of America's culinary influence on Southeast Asia. In 1948 Better Homes and Gardens published a General Mills recipe for chiffon cake. Years later the recipe made its way to Southeast Asia—most likely on boxes of imported cake flour—where home cooks made a version flavored with the juice from pandan, an aromatic grass with a floral, vanilla-like flavor. By the 1970s, viridian chiffon cake was all the rage, and it's just as popular today as it was 30 years ago. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2014 issue with Christopher Tan's story "Blades of Glory."

Pandan Chiffon Cake
Emerald green, fluffy pandan chiffon cake, beloved from Indonesia to Singapore, is a curious manifestation of America's culinary influence on Southeast Asia. In 1948 Better Homes and Gardens published a General Mills recipe for chiffon cake. Years later the recipe made its way to Southeast Asia—most likely on boxes of imported cake flour—where home cooks made a version flavored with the juice from pandan, an aromatic grass with a floral, vanilla-like flavor. By the 1970s, viridian chiffon cake was all the rage, and it's just as popular today as it was 30 years ago. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2014 issue with Christopher Tan's story "Blades of Glory."
Yield: serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 14 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 12 tsp. baking powder
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • 34 cup coconut milk
  • 12 cup canola oil
  • 18 fresh pandan leaves, rinsed and dried, or 24 frozen, chopped
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325°. Whisk flour, 1 cup sugar, the baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Purée coconut milk, oil, pandan, and yolks in a blender; strain through a fine-mesh sieve set over dry ingredients and whisk to make a smooth batter. Using an electric hand mixer, beat whites and cream of tartar in another bowl until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining sugar until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Transfer to an ungreased 10" tube pan, and smooth top. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean, 50–55 minutes. Invert pan onto a wire rack; let cake cool completely upside down. Run a knife between cake and side of pan to release the cake.