Monday, 18 May 2020

Rainbow Pandan Kaya Cake

I made a pastel rainbow sponge and pudding cake in the past and this time, I am making it in pandan kaya flavour! Even the rainbow on top is made of alternating soft chiffon sponge and fragrant and smooth pudding!

I hope this view brightens your day in these dark days! 

You may ask how do I achieve the pandan kaya flavour without making the whole thing green?? I used pandan water, which is simply water boiled with many pandan leaves. The colour of the water is very pale green and it doesn't show up on the sponge or pudding especially since strong colours were requested. The pandan fragrance may be slightly muted since I didn't use concentrated pandan juice like I normally would. Despite that, the cake is still wonderfully refreshing and fragrant.

Needless to say, making rainbow cakes are tedious because of the colours involved. I baked 3 sponges in 3 separate rounds of baking the main cake because I only have one baking tin that is 6" with removeable base. You may bake the different colours in one or 2 rounds of baking if you have more than 1 tin.

Recipe for pandan coconut chiffon sponge (for 6"rainbow cake) 

I used a reduced egg yolk version because of the rainbow colours. Regular pandan kaya cakes should have more egg yolks in there. I didn't want to add too much colouring to overcome the yellowness of the yolks. You may refer to this post for my default pandan kaya cake recipe (I use stevia for diabetic friendly version but regular castor sugar regular recipe).

Egg yolk batter
1 egg yolk
7g castor sugar
60g vegetable or coconut oil
30g coconut cream
30g pandan water
1 tsp coconut cream powder (optional but makes it more coconuty)
60g cake flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
Red, yellow and blue gel food colouring

1 x3 large egg whites
1/8 tsp x3 cream of tartar
18g x3 castor sugar

* the (x3) is because I needed to prepare the meringue separately for each colour because I bake them at separate times.

1. Preheat oven to 140°C. You may wish to put a tray of water at base of oven but it is optional. Set rack to middle position.

2. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk yolk and sugar until pale and thick. Add oil and whisk until combined. Add coconut cream, pandan water, coconut cream powder, vanilla and salt and whisk until combined. Gradually add in sifted flour and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.

3. Divide egg yolk batter into 3 equal portions and colour with respective gel food colouring. Keep 2 of the 3 portions covered with cling wrap to prevent batter from drying out if you can't bake all 3 colours at once.

4. Prepare meringue. If you are able to bake all 3 colours at once, prepare the meringue using 3 egg whites instead of 1. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding sugar once the egg whites are foamy.

5. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter. Pour the batter into the 6" pan and run a chopstick around to pop any air bubbles. Bake for 30 - 35min or until skewer comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 min before unmoulding by hand.

Store the baked cake in airtight condition if not assembling yet. The sponge for the rainbow on top can be made by baking thin layer cakes on a flat rectangle or square pan. Cut a strip out for red and yellow sponges. I also prepared extra sponge for anchoring the cake to the cakeboard as you can see later.

 Get ready acetate sheet and cakeboard before starting on the pudding. This is for the main cake. For the rainbow on top of the base cake, get ready round cookie cutters and line a baking tray with parchment or Teflon sheet.

Recipe for pandan coconut pudding
Ingredients (for each coloured layer) :
240g coconut milk
130g pandan water
70g castor sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp agar powder
Some food colouring **

28g cornflour
130g pandan water

** I added pandan paste for the green layer

1. Put ingredients in B) in a jug and stir to mix well. Set aside.

2. Put all ingredients in A) in a saucepan. We begin by making the green pudding first so start off by adding some pandan paste and a bit of yellow colouring. Heat on mediun heat while stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and continue boiling and stirring for a minute.

3. Stir contents in the jug before pouring in a thin stream into saucepan while stirring the mixture constantly. Continue heating and stirring until mixture comes to a boil again. Boil and stir for another minute. Remove from heat and assemble with cakes immediately.

1. We assemble the rainbow on top of the cake and the main cake at the same time as the pudding sets quite quickly when cooled. Before making the green pudding, place the blue sponge on a baking tray and wrap the acetate sheet around it. I mark my acetate sheet at 1cm intervals to help me to gauge the level of sponge and pudding layers when I assemble. Place a 6cm diameter metal cookie cutter on lined baking tray. Place the yellow sponge cake inside the ring. Cut the sponge to appropriate size.

2. Make the green pudding. Carefully spoon some pudding in the space encircled by the yellow sponge on the baking tray. Refrigerate the tray while carefully ladelling the green pudding to cover the blue sponge for main cake until the same height as the sponge.

3. Carefully place yellow sponge layer over green pudding for main cake. Gently press the cake down so there are no air gaps between sponge and pudding layers.

4. Prepare orange pudding layer ingredients but don't start cooking yet. Check to see if the green pudding for the rainbow on top has set. Carefully remove the 6cm cookie cutter, leaving the yellow sponge and green pudding on the tray. Place the 10cm cookie cutter over the yellow sponge and green pudding. Place red sponge against the insides of the 10cm cookie cutter. Cut the strip of red sponge if necessary such that it fits nicely into the cookie cutter. Make sure the yellow and green parts of the rainbow lie in the middle of the red circle.

5. Make the orange pudding. Carefully spoon the pudding in the gap between the red and yellow sponge rings for rainbow on top of cake. Chill the tray in the fridge.

Quickly wipe away any accidental drips of the pudding. 

6. Ladle orange pudding over yellow sponge layer for the main cake until same height as sponge. Carefully place red sponge over orange pudding and press it down gently to get rid of air gaps.

Assembling main cake

7. Prepare purple pudding.  I baked extra sponge and cut out a small circle of it as an anchor for the last pudding layer because pudding will slide on the cakeboard. The sponge in contact with the cakeboard is to help anchor the whole cake. Ladle some purple pudding over the red sponge. Place the small circle cutout of sponge on top of the purple pudding. Cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 h or overnight.

8. Remove the concentric rings of sponge and pudding from fridge. Use a 2 cm cookie cutter to cut out the middle of green sponge. Carefully cut the concentric rainbow ring into half. Use one of the halves for decorating the base cake.

9. Remove the main rainbow cake from fridge. Remove cling wrap. Place cakeboard over the purple layer. Quickly but carefully flip the cake over such that the blue layer is on top now. Remove the acetate sheet.

I baked some white sheet chiffon cake for cutting out the clouds and lettering. I used skewers as dowels to anchor the rainbow on top to the cake below. The clouds and lettering were stuck on using melted gelatin instead of our usual melted marshmellow.

The clouds and lettering are all made of chiffon cake too! 

Thank God I managed to pull off a yummy and refreshing rainbow cake without the use of buttercream or fondant!

With love,
Phay Shing