Tuesday 20 May 2014

Chocolate-Pandan Triple Magic Custard Cake

Yippee! My crazy experiment worked! Presenting to you the world's first "Triple Magic Custard Cake"! A magical cake with 3x the magic that separates on its own into 3 layers with 3 flavours, 3 colours and 3 textures! :) Yes, you heard me right! The top is a brown, pillowy chocolate chiffon, the middle a yellow, soft, chocolate-pandan custard, and the bottom our favourite green pandan kueh! :)

It all started the day my sister-in-law tried the delicious Pandan magic custard cake. For the un-inclined, the magic custard cake is a magical cake that separates into 3 layers of different textures: a chiffon layer, a middle custard layer, and a dense kueh-like bottom. It was originally a Romanian cake called prajitura desteapta, which allegedly means "intelligent cake"She loved the different textures and asked if I could make a magic cake with 3 colours! At that time, I just smiled and told her its really hard to control "magic". However, the idea of understanding and/or manipulating the magic (or really the science) behind the cake really appealed to my "scientist" bones :p So I began my journey.

To be honest, when I put the cake batter into the oven to bake, I felt pretty sure it was a failed bake, because the batter looked like it was all mixed up. I thought I would end up with a homogeneous cake with 3 textures. I was in a for wonderful surprise when I cut open the cake! The cake ended up with 3 distinct colours, brown, yellow and green. I was in for a greater surprise when I tasted the cake! The top was soft chocolate chiffon, the middle a melty custard with both chocolate and pandan taste, and the bottom, our familiar kueh rich in pandan flavour! Everyone who sampled the cake was impressed! Even my dad who does not usually give compliments, let loose a "wow! It's good!". Everyone loved the cake, especially the melty custard layer :).

The recipe below details my journey into the "Triple Magic Custard Cake" :). As I was experimenting, I scaled my previous recipe for Pandan magic custard cake by 1/4 to make a small cake. My small 6-inch tray was very shallow, so I used big baking paper cups. Following Baking Taitai's lovely post on Magic Custard Cupcake that the cupcake liners were too small and formed 2 layers, I made sure I used paper cups that were big and deep.

Ingredients (makes a 6-inch tray or four 2.5" paper cups)
28g unsalted butter
120g milk
4g water
1 egg yolks
28g plain flour
36g icing sugar
1.25 ml tsp pandan paste
Icing sugar or dessicated coconut

1 egg white
7g caster sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
10g cocoa

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
2. Prepare paper cups or, for a 6-inch tray grease and line the bottom with baking paper.
3. Melt the butter and set aside. Warm the milk to lukewarm and set aside.

4. Cocoa meringue: beat the egg white and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add in the castor sugar slowly in 2 additions and beat until peaks are stiff and glossy. Fold in the cocoa till well-incorporated (top, left). Set aside.
5. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and icing sugar (on medium-high) until light yellow and fluffy (top, centre). Add in the melted butter and water and beat (on medium-low) for about 2 min until well incorporated (top, right). Sift in the flour and mix well on medium-low (second row, left).
6. Add in the milk and pandan extract slowly and gently beat on low (to prevent splashing as the batter is runny) until everything is well mixed (middle row, centre). Batter will be runny.
7. Fold in the cocoa meringue, 1/3 at a time, until no big curds are found (middle row, right).
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 160ºC for 35-40 min until skewer comes clean. The centre of the cakes will be slightly jiggly.
9. Let the cake cool totally before unmoulding (bottom row, left). Cut the cake and dust with icing sugar or dessicated coconut (bottom row, centre and right).

I used a hearts cutter to cut out sweet hearts for my hubby :). You need to take note that its really tricky to cut out hearts with the soft custard and souffle layer, so the trick is to handle only the cutter and kueh layer and try not to touch the top 2 layers. My parents thought the dessicated coconut went very well with the pandan kueh and custard, and the chocolate just made the whole cake richer!

Hope you have been touched by the "Triple magic"! :)

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Bake For Happy Kids, and My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Tze of Awayofmind Bakery House.

With love,


  1. Love the scientist in you...what a great and successful experiment!!! Well done Susanne!

  2. Thank you Cheryl! Lots to learn from you.. thanks for inspiring me :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Aunty Young! I love all your bakes! Thanks for your encouragement!

  4. Wow! magic indeed! Impressive, maybe i'll give this cake another try; last one I made failed!

    1. Thanks Jeannie! Till now it's still one of my favourites! Do give it a try.. you won't regret it! :)