This is one of those bakes where I decided to change design halfway so I will provide the recipe for how I would have done it. It is basically almost the same recipe as my previous longevity peach pandan kaya cake with a few modifications and the replacement of some sugar with gula melaka. I will highlight the changes here but will not replicate parts of the recipe that is exactly the same. My previous pandan kaya cake was endorsed by a pastry chef so of course I will use the same recipe again :p. Now that I have added gula melaka into the cake, it is even more delectable!
Sequence of making the cake:
1. Prepare pandan juice.
My kids helped to prepare this!
2. Bake two 9" round pandan chiffon layer cakes.
My original design was a 10" square cake. I decided to change it to a 9" round one like my previous bake. This can be baked ahead of time and kept in the freezer after wrapping it well.
Love the natural green!
3. Bake layer cake with "寿" design.
Due to the design change, I cut the patterned cake to reveal the "寿" without a black border. I changed the source of red colouring and portion to avoid too much cake wastage. See the change in recipe below*.
Works in progress!
I used the updated snowskin mooncake recipe which stays soft for a longer time. See below for the recipe**.
5. Make pandan kaya and gula melaka fudge.
My original recipe had no gula melaka added. This addition would enhance the flavour of the cake. See below for recipe***.
6. Assemble cake.
The assembly is almost the same as my previous cake, except that I added a sandwich layer of gula melaka fudge between the 2 pandan chiffon cakes. The gula melaka fudge (3rd picture) is topped with a layer of pandan kaya fudge before putting the second pandan cake on top (4th picture).
After unmoulding the cake, I outlined the word with charcoal powder dissolved in some water to make the word stand out more. Dessicated coconut is applied only to the sides of the cake this time.
*Recipe for patterned "寿" layer cake
Egg yolk batter
1 egg yolk
5g caster sugar
13g vegetable oil
6g clear pandan juice (clear layer of pandan juice after letting it settle for a day or 2)
11g coconut milk
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp pandan flavouring
19g cake flour
Pinch of salt
Meringue (make one portion for red pattern and one portion for base)
1 egg white
12g caster sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
1.5 tsp egg yolk batter
1/4 tsp beetroot powder
1/8 tsp red yeast powder
1/10 tsp red coloured powder
5 tbs meringue
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Position rack to second lowest position. Place inverted "寿" template under a greased silicone mat in a 6" square pan. You may use baking sheet instead of silicone mat but the pattern may wrinkle a bit.
2. Prepare the egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolk and sugar until pale and all the sugar has dissolved. Add oil and whisk until well combined. Add pandan juice, coconut milk, vanilla extract and pandan flavouring and whisk until combined. Gradually add sifted flour and salt and whisk until no trace of flour can be seen.
3. Scoop out 1.5 tsp of egg yolk batter and mix well with red colouring ingredients. Prepare one portion of meringue by beating an egg white until stiff peaks form with sugar and cream of tartar. Fold in 5 tbs of meringue into red batter in 3 additions. Transfer to piping bag with wilton #5 tip and pipe out the pattern. Try to pipe a thick layer to ensure good transfer of colored batter to base cake.
4. Bake for 1.5-2 minutes or until dry. Prepare another portion of meringue and fold into main batter together with any leftover meringue for the red batter. Pour over red pattern and bake for 13-15 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
5. Immediately remove from pan and cool with a fresh sheet of baking paper covering it. Cut out the word from the cake using a small knife. You may freeze the cake if baked in advance. Just make sure that it is lined with baking sheet, cling wrapped and stored in airtight container/ ziplock bag.
**Recipe for longevity peach snowskin mooncakes (makes 12 minis)
13g cooked glutinous rice flour or kou fen (糕粉)
13g icing sugar
52g snowskin premix (alternatively you may substitute with half icing sugar and half kou fen)
13g vegetable shortening
1/4 tsp pandan flavouring
83g lotus paste
Green liquid food colouring
Pink gel food coloring dissolved in 1 tbs water
Refer to my longevity peach snowskin mooncake post for making the snowskin and assembling the mooncakes using heart shaped ice cube tray. Use 9g of snowskin and 7g of lotus paste filling for each mooncake. Colour the remaining snowskin green for the leaves and stem. You may end up with a bit of extra snowskin. Remember to secure the peaches to the cake with toothpicks.
***Recipe for Pandan Kaya and Gula Melaka fudge
Begin by preparing pandan water. Boil a few pandan leaves cut up to small pieces in 1L of water. Remove the leaves. You may choose to replace all the sugar with gula melaka for a stronger flavour and retain the natural brown colour instead of using food colouring. I wanted the peaches to be resting on a green field (not on browned "grass") so I still used white sugar and some food colouring.
Pandan kaya fudge
478g coconut milk
250ml pandan water
70g caster sugar
45g gula melaka
1/2 tbs + 3/8 tsp agar powder
1/2 tsp liquid green food colouring
1/4 tsp liquid yellow food colouring
Pinches of salt
47g custard powder
250ml pandan water
Gula melaka fudge
100g coconut milk
52g pandan water
30g gula melaka
1/3 tsp agar powder
A pinch of salt
10g custard powder
52ml pandan water
1. For both types of fudge, mix (B) well and set aside. I find it helpful to prepare this in a jug that I can pour from.
2. Mix (A) in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Use medium low heat.
3. Stir (B) as the powder would have settled. Gradually pour (B) into (A) and keep stirring. Cook until mixture thickens.
I prepared the gula melaka fudge first then set aside, stirring it now and then as I worked on the pandan kaya fudge. If you find it too lumpy, reheat the fudge and stir until it is smoother.
Here's a peek at the insides....
The cake was light, refreshing and not too sweet. For those of you with a sweet tooth, you may want to increase the amount of sugar. But the older folk in my family prefer it this way, not too sweet :).
Happy birthday 婆婆!
Update: Checkout my updated recipe for Pandan kaya gula melaka cake over here! I made two logcakes of this flavour and both were very well received!