Pandan Custard Cake

80 gr egg yolks about 4 egg yolks (reserve whites)
125 gr butter unsalted, melted
250 ml pandan juice (see note)
250 ml coconut milk or whole milk
150 gr granulated sugar
115 gr cake flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp pandan essence optional

MERINGUE:
120 gr egg whites about 4 egg whites

FOR DUSTING:
icing sugar

Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C) . Spray your cake pan with non-stick spray or brush with some oil. Line a 8 x 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper, overhanging on the sides so you can easily grab the cake out of the pan later. I just use two parchment paper, overlapping each other, like a cross.

PREPARE THE CAKE BATTER:

Melt the butter over medium-low heat and let it cool completely. Combine pandan juice and coconut milk and set aside.

Separate the egg yolk from the whites when they are still cold, it’s easier that way. Let them come to a room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Cream the egg yolks and sugar until pale, creamy, and thick, about 2 minutes. Then add the melted butter, pandan essence (if using) and beat for another minute until combined. Add the pandan coconut milk mixture gradually, 1/4 at a time while beating at a low speed to prevent splashing all over, this take about 30 seconds or so.

Sift in the cake flour and salt and beat at low speed until just combined. Set aside.

PREPARE THE MERINGUE:

Make sure the bowl and the whisk attachments are grease-free. Beat the egg whites with a stand mixer or a hand mixer over medium speed (speed 6 or KA) until stiff. The meringue will not be glossy because there’s no sugar. It will hold its shape but has that “foamy” texture to it (due to the lack of sugar) and this is normal for this recipe.

FOLD MERINGUE INTO THE CAKE BATTER:

Fold the meringue into the cake batter, 1/3 at a time, using a balloon whisk. The meringue and the cake batter appear quite lumpy and you will see some egg white lumps. Totally normal in this case. This is how we want it (for the magic to happen). The batter is very thin (watery). Don’t be panic. Again, this is how the magic happens later during baking.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

BAKING:

Put the pan in the middle rack and bake for the next 60 minutes. I need about 70 minutes with my oven. You can start checking for doneness at around 45 minutes. If you gently shake the cake pan, it shouldn’t jiggle. If it is, then bake for another 5 minutes and then check again. If the cake gets too brown on top before it cooks through, you can loosely tent it with aluminum foil, shiny side facing up.

I use a conventional oven (bottom heat only). If you use a convection oven (top and bottom heat), you may not need to bake as long as I did, again, check at around 45 minutes.

COOLING:

Remove from the oven and let the cake cool down in the pan completely. It will deflate a bit during the cooling down process and that’s normal.

Once it has cooled down completely, cover with a cling wrap and chill in the fridge or 4 hours or overnight and serve the next day.

SERVING:

Pull the cake out from the pan by grabbing the parchment paper. Gently peel the parchment paper off the sides. You will not see the three layers on all the sides yet. Trim off about 1/2 inch of the edges and you will see the three layers. Dust the top with some icing sugar and cut into serving size.

NOTES:

If you don’t want to use pandan juice, simply replace all liquid with 250 ml coconut milk and 250 ml whole milk and use pandan essence instead.

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