Friday 28 March 2014

Rainbow Themed Pandan Kaya Layer Cake

Susanne and I are really excited about our first big project together for Charissa's first month celebration! As Susanne really loves rainbows, we decided to make it rainbow themed. This is the first time we are making a cake for people we don't know too and we are very glad that it has been well received :). Presenting our 10x10" Rainbow Pandan Kaya Cake!

We used the recipe from my earlier post for Pandan Kaya chiffon cake but upsized it. This cake is made from two 10x10" pandan cakes using 2 egg yolks and 3 egg whites each, a separate black colored pandan cake using 1 egg yolk and 1.5 egg whites for the name "Charissa", and about 2 liters worth of pandan kaya fudge.

We baked the 2 uncolored pandan kaya cakes and 1 black cake 2 days before serving. Susanne has kindly offered to bake one plain and one colored cake despite still being in confinement. She used cookie cutters to cut out the letters for the name. We kept the cakes tightly cling wrapped and refrigerated until it is time to assemble the cakes and fudge.

I made the rainbow fudge using the following portion of ingredients:

143g coconut milk
75ml pandan water*
34g caster sugar
1/2 tsp agar powder

14g custard powder
75ml pandan water
A pinch of salt

Approximate weight of fudge for color portioning (I used gel food coloring)
Red: 70g
Orange: 60g
Yellow: 50g
Green: 40g
Blue: 35g
Purple: 30g

By the time I finished coloring the fudge, the consistency is about right for piping onto the cake tin. I had to keep stirring the fudge every few minutes to prevent it from setting as I worked on piping the rainbow. I drew a rainbow template on a baking sheet, cover it with another clean baking sheet and placed both sheets at the bottom of the 10 inch square tin. Here's how I piped, laid out the letters of the name, added in some heart shaped fudge decoration and layered the cake with alternate layers of fudge and cake.

Piping was done using a piping tip adapter without a tip because I realised the round opening of the adapter is just the right size (1cm) for piping the rainbow. I had to use a chopstick to pull the fudge a bit such that it fills the template nicely. The rainbow was refrigerated while I prepared the plain pandan kaya fudge using the following portion of ingredients:

955g coconut milk
500ml pandan water
225g sugar
1tbs + 3/4 tsp agar powder

94g custard powder
500ml pandan water
3/4 tsp green liquid food coloring
1/3 tsp yellow liquid food coloring
1/3 tsp salt

This portion of plain fudge was way too much and I had lots of leftover. I decided to err on the side of making too much than too little for this first attempt. In the future I would prepare 3/4 of the amount above. I placed the cake tin on top of reusable freezer packs to prevent the warm plain fudge from melting the rainbow as I layered the cake. Layering the cake was pretty tricky as the cakes were so soft and they were at risk of tearing. I was pretty relieved to have them in in more or less one piece :P. I poured the excess fudge into heart-shaped moulds and let them set for personal consumption.

After refrigerating for 2 hours, it was time to unmould the cake. *Nervous*

Eeks! Was my first response. Nice piping work and deco but it's WRINKLED! I was suspecting that that might happen as I lined the tin with baking sheets. Next time I should invest in some edible glue and glue the sheets down! I went ahead to add dessicated coconut for the clouds and the sides of the cake as I decided on how I should patch the cake. Doing up another batch of fudge to cover up the wrinkles was too time consuming so the first thought was, add dessicated coconut to the whole surface to cover up the wrinkles. Then I thought why not color the coconut flakes blue! As I was running out of time I just decided to go ahead and be gungho and experiment. I put some dessicated coconut in a ziplock bag and added about 1/4 tsp of blue liquid food coloring. I shook the bag until the flakes were more or less evenly colored and carefully covered the top surface of the cake with blue flakes.

*Phew* that doesn't look too bad although looks can be improved. I carefully packed this baby into a box with our very own sticker label....and keep my fingers crossed.

When I received the news that everyone loved the cake with it's right balance of flavours, I was really relieved (especially after the booboo with the wrinkles) and encouraged. Thank God that it turned out well! Susanne's hubby has kindly taken a photo of how the cake looks like inside:

And now I can enjoy the yummy leftover pandan kaya fudge, which I shared with my neighbors.

It's been a great learning experience for us and we are so glad to share our creation with others :).

We are submitting our post to Aspiring Bakers #40: Rainbow and Ombre Party! (March 2014) hosted by Cynthia of The Baking Biatch.

With love,
Phay Shing & Susanne

* I boiled 1.5L of water with 8 pandan leaves cut into 2cm strips for 5 minutes then set aside to cool.

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