Sunday 20 April 2014

"Hidden Eggs Garden Hunt" Pandan Chiffon Cakes

A dear friend of mine wanted to give her kids a nice school treat when she was going to do craft with them, so she asked me to bake something related. I decided to do a fun "hidden eggs in the garden" theme to delight the kids with hidden eggs in the chiffon cake. Flower designs in the pandan chiffon would be used to represent the garden.

These cakes took me about 2 days to finish. Using the vanilla layer cake recipe from my earlier post Hidden Rainbow Strawberry Chiffon for Baby Shower, I baked 4 trays of 10"x10" layer cakes with piped or layering designs of different colours. After that, I used egg-shaped and flower cookie cutters to cut out "eggs" and "flowers" for the cake (picture below).

Don't they make you smile? :)

These "eggs" and "flowers" were then baked into the pandan chiffon cake using the same method as my previous post Valentine's Day Hearts-in-all-directions Strawberry Chiffon Cake.

Before I baked my pandan chiffon, I did quite a bit of research into what makes a good pandan chiffon and finally decided on a recipe that incorporated ssb baker's (less cake flour - for moisture and softness), ellena guan's (more egg whites - for softness) and ieatishootipost's (salt and vanilla essence - for the extra flavour). I made sure to use fresh coconut milk and homemade pandan juice and paste from pandan leaves. I was pretty pleased with the soft. fragrant end result, so I thought I'll share the recipe :). Below is the recipe for plain pandan chiffon cake without patterns and hidden designs.

Pandan Chiffon Cake (for 17cm tin)
3 egg yolks
20g sugar
35g corn oil
13ml pandan juice
30ml coconut milk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) pandan paste
60g cake flour
A pinch of salt

4 egg whites
45g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Prepare fresh pandan juice by blending fresh pandan leaves (10 leaves cut into small pieces, omitting the tips) with 50 ml water. Strain with a sieve and press out all the liquid with a spoon.
2. Preheat oven at 160°C.
3. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil, coconut milk and pandan juice. Add pandan paste and vanilla extract. Mix well.
4. Add in sieved flour and salt and whisk till no trace of flour found.
5. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.
6. Fold in the meringue gently into the batter 1/3 at a time.
7. Pour the batter into the chiffon tin from a height.  
8. Gently tap the tin on table 3x to remove air bubbles
9. Bake the cake for 15 min at 160°C then 35 min at 150°C.
10. Invert immediately once out of the oven to cool
11. Unmould after the cake is cool.

I had fun dressing up the cakes in my new boxes!

I was a little nervous on how the cakes would be received but thank God my friend said that the kids were delighted! She was also really encouraging and generous. I was also really happy that I managed to pack enough "eggs" to appear in every slice of the cake. From this bake, I learnt something about the size/curvature of the hidden objects as there were some small bubbles above "eggs" in some slices, something I did not observe for the hidden hearts or rainbows. Probably next time for larger and more curved objects, I need to bang the tin more to release the bubbles. This was probably my most complex and challenging bake thus far. 

I had enough leftover batter for one small cake, shaped to look like a cross on a hill, to remind the family about God's love displayed through Jesus' death on the cross for our sins.

1 John 4:10. "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

Happy Easter to all!

With love,

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