This Pandan- Macapuno cake with a creamy coconut -pandan frosting is based on a basic sponge cake recipe. The original recipe suggests boiling some pandan leaves and using the water from it to flavor the sponge cake. I tried that and it gave us a delicate, tender flavor and aroma. Then I baked the same recipe again, this time using the bottled pandan flavoring essence. Both ways, the pandan cake remains a constant hit at home.*Notes on Pandan: Cookbook author, Ginny Roces de Guzman refers to pandan as the “vanilla” of the east for the fragrance and flavor its elongated blade-like leaves impart to both sweet and savory dishes. She further suggests wrapping, tying and lining pans with pandan leaves for an intense hue and unique flavor. Recipe adapted from the cookbook “Bake Me a Cake” by Ginny Roces de Guzman.
Course: Dessert, Merienda, Snacks
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Pandan Macapuno Sponge Cake
Author: Asian in America - Elizabeth Ann Quirino
Electric cake mixer
1½teaspoonsteaspoons baking powder
6wholeeggs, separate egg whites;separate 3 yolks for the batter;
Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch round tube cake pan or line with parchment paper.
Sift the cake flour, salt, baking powder together in a bowl. Set aside.
Separate the eggs into two mixing bowls. In a mixer, using the wire whisk attachment beat the 6 egg whites first. Add the cream of tartar at the start of beating. Beat at low speed first. When it starts to foam up, increase speed to medium. When bubbles are finer, slowly add the 1/3 cup sugar. Beat at high speed till shiny and soft peaks form. Remove this bowl and work on the egg yolks.
Using the same wire whisk attachment, beat the 3 yolks on medium speed until thick and light colored. Add the 3/4 cup granulated sugar in two parts. Lower the speed and pour the pandan extract with water.
Fold in the sifted dry ingredients by hand. Do not use the mixer for this step.
Once the yolk mixture is incorporated well, start folding slowly one fourth of the egg whites into the yolks. Gradually add the egg whites, folding slowly each time. I do the folding in three parts. Be careful not to deflate the mix when folding in. But take care in thoroughly mixing the whites or a heavy, gumy bottom layer can form.
Ladle the cake batter into the greased pan. Bake at 350 F for 55 minutes if using a tube pan.
Test cake for doneness. When done, remove the cake from the oven. Invert tube pan onto a cake rack. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
To prepare frosting : At high speed in a mixer, using a wire whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream till stiff. This should take 8 to 10 minutes. Then add the whipped cream and beat for 5 minutes more. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and the pandan extract.
Keep the frosting in the refrigerator first, while the pandan cake is cooling on the rack. Be patient. Do not frost the cake if it is still hot. Wait at least 2 hours or more for cake to cool completely.
Frost cake with the cream frosting. Top with the bottled macapuno strings. Chill cake till ready to serve. Keep cake in the refrigerator or freezer to store.
*To make Pandan water : If pandan leaves are available and you prefer to use them, wash 4 or 5 pandan leaves and tie into a loose knot at the end. The knot is made to make it easy to remove the leaves after boiling. Put the leaves in a small saucepan and cover with ¾ cup water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Leave in the water to cool. Measure out ¼ cup of the water for the pandan sponge cake.