Morning markets in Malaysia have abundance of these chiffon cakes to sell. I used to eat pandan chiffon cake for breakfast almost every morning when I was a kid. To the extend that I don’t fancy it anymore. Sure chiffon cakes are light, soft and fluffy but I begin to find it dry, bland and like eating a piece of sponge!
20 years down the line, I am craving for the cake I had for breakfast so often as a kid. The asian bakeries here sell chiffon cakes at ridiculous prices because it is “rare”!
So I consulted the 21st century oracle that is Google and found this recipe that is reasonably do-able and produces a soft, fluffy and fragrant pandan chiffon cake. And surprisingly moist too. Definitely better than those I ate as a kid.
You will need 1.5 cups of self-raising flour and 3 bowls/containers to organise the following ingredients:
165 ml (1 small can) coconut milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pandan essence
Half teaspoon vanilla essence
Green food colouring (until a light green colour is achieveed)
Bowl B (Mixing bowl)
6 egg whites
Half cup sugar
Bowl C (Large mixing bowl)
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
Heat up the oven to 160 degrees Celcius.
Start by preparing the ingredients of Bowl A in a container, stir to combine. Set aside.
Seperate 6 eggs – yolks into a large mixing bowl (Bowl C) and whites in another large bowl suitable for mixing (Bowl B), and add sugar accordingly to each bowl.
Bowl A: Using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form. Keep in the fridge.
Bowl B: Beat the yolks and sugar until pale and triple in size.
Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in flour into yolk mixture gradually until well combined.
Pour ingredients in Bowl A into Bowl B (yolk mixture) and stir to combine.
Slowly and gradually, gently fold in the egg whites (Bowl A) into Bowl B until well combined. Careful not to deflate the mixture too much.
Pour batter into a 12-in round cake tin and bake immediately at 160 degrees Celcius for 50 minutes on middle rack.
Cool the cake upside down for at least an hour.
Yes, you read the last step right. It is very important to cool the chiffon cake upside down to ensure it stays light and fluffy after cooled instead of squished due to gravity. Therefore, it is essential to have a special chiffon cake pan that is somewhat like a ring cake pan.
The chiffon cake can rise very high in the oven and if you cool it upside down, it stays at this height after its cooled
I don’t have a chiffon cake pan and I have used a regular spring-form round cake pan. Sometimes my chiffon cake held together as I invert it to cool upside down, but a few times it fell from the pan flat! So I didn’t take the risk to invert it this time and my chiffon cake is a little squished at the bottom. It turned out quite decent nevertheless.
Back in the day when the electric mixer was yet to be invented, I wonder how people discovered that you have to beat your butter and sugar really hard to make a successful butter cake. Then when it was established that you do have to beat it real hard, I can’t imagine doing it by hand every time you feel like homemade butter cake.
My granny is a self-taught cook and she usually succeed in whatever she attempts to cook after watching someone else do it. She remembers every detail of every recipe by memory, until today! Plus, she never depended on any kind of measurements for her recipes or the “stir in one direction” or “eggs and flour alternately”. She goes by the “look and feel” method and it works everytime. She is such a talented cook like that.
This is the butter cake recipe in which she used to make birthday cakes for my mom, aunties and uncles every year without fail when they were kids. Armed only with her bare hands and a large stove top um….”steamer”. As a result, my mom, aunties and uncles are all big fans of butter cakes ’til today. Real rich homemade butter cakes that is.
Luckily for me, I have an electric mixer to make things much simpler and my granny passed me her recipe for a very basic but delicious and fluffy butter cake. “It stays soft even overnight!” she used to tell me. And it does! This is what I usually make when I am craving for some good ‘ol butter cake. This post features the time I made it with chocolate marble, a little bit fancy 😉
250 grams butter (1 block) – soft at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 cups self-raising flour – sifted
4 medium eggs
Approximately half a cup of milk
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder (optional)
Preheat oven to 160 degree Celcius.
Put butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, beat on high-speed until pale and fluffy.
Crack in eggs, one at a time, beating in with the mixer after each addition.
Add in vanilla essence and mix through.
Using a spatula, fold in flour in 4-5 batches until fully incorporated.
Fold in milk, a little at a time until batter slides off the spatula easily when scooped up and tilted.
For plain butter cake, pour batter into cake pan and bake for an hour or until a skewer inserted at the center comes out dry.
For chocolate marble butter cake, mix 2-3 tablespoon batter with cocoa powder and swirl it into the rest of the batter in the cake pan before baking it.
When my friend Lyazzat first showed me how to make Tiramisu, I could hardly believe how easy it is to prepare this popular and expensive Italian desert. This recipe is originally from another friend, Fariza but I added an extra ingredient – brandy or white wine which is totally optional. The best part of making this is, there’s no cooking or baking needed! Unless you count making coffee as cooking! This is a sure crowd pleaser, a must try.
A packet of Unibic sponge fingers
A regular cup of strong black coffee (no sugar added)
A block of Philadelphia cream cheese (250g) – room temperature
A bottle of full dairy cream (500ml) – chilled
4 tablespoons sugar
Half cup brandy or white wine (optional)
Cocoa powder for garnishing
Beat or mix cream cheese, full dairy cream and sugar in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.
If using brandy or white wine, mix it into your cup of coffee, pour into a shallow bowl.
Quickly roll sponge fingers in the coffee mixture to coat it and line it on a baking tray or casserole one by one. I used the plastic tray that came with the sponge fingers package. Be careful not to soak the fingers too much or it will become soggy.
Spread a one-inch-thick layer of cream cheese mixture onto the sponge fingers.
Repeat with another layer of coffee coated fingers.
Finish with a slightly thinner layer of cream cheese mixture.
Chill inside the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours. For best results, chill overnight.
Sprinkle evenly and generously with cocoa powder on top when ready to cut and serve.
If you substitute the sponge fingers with coffee sponge cake, or any sponge cake wetted with black coffee, and use the same cream cheese mixture for layering and frosting, you’ll get a tiramisu cake 🙂