Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Pandan Layer Cake

Servings: Makes One 9x13 inch cake (24 servings)
Pandan Cake

The many uses of the pandan leaf

Pandan Leaf is widely used in Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. The Screwpine tree is a perennial and needs to grow in warm, damp areas in partial sunlight. The soil must be kept moist. The tree grows to be twenty-six feet high. The leaves are used there like we use vanilla flavoring. This leaf also has medicinal properties. In ancient times, the leaves were used for making house thatching and women’s grass skirts. The fruit heads are approximately eight inches in diameter and looks like a green pineapple.

The Pandan Leaf comes from the Screwpine tree, which can be found in Madagascar, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the tropical areas of Australia.

The medicinal uses for this tree are as follows: The entire plant is used as a diuretic, the roots have anti-diabetic properties, and the leaves are used for treating diseases of the skin.

In cooking, the leaf is used in making grass green Pandan cake which is similar to the American sponge cake. The Pandan leaf has also been used in rice and making different type of curries.

Strips of the leaves are used in making woven baskets, which are used to serve rice or other food items.

Mid-eastern Indians use the flower of this plant in making perfume as well as desserts and sweets.

For festive holidays and ceremonies, Pandan is used with the essences of rose to flavor spicy rice dishes such as biryani.

In this recipe, pandan paste is used in place of the pandan leaves.

1 1/4 cups granulated (castor) sugar
20 egg yolks
4 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups unsalted butter
2 (10 ounce) cans coconut milk
2 tablespoons pandan paste
1/2 teaspoon green food coloring
1 tablespoon ovalette* (see note below)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan and line with parchment or waxed paper. Grease parchment or waxed paper also.

2. Beat eggs and sugar together until creamy. In a separate bowl, mix ovalette*, butter, and coconut milk. Add into the egg mixture and continue mixing until ingredients are blended well. Stir in the sifted flour and salt. Mix well.

3. Separate batter into 2 bowls. Mix one bowl with the pandan paste and the green food coloring, making sure that the color is stirred in well. Pour 1 to 2 soup-ladle scoops of green cake mixture onto pan. Even it out so that the mixture covers the base of the pan

4. Bake it in a 400 degrees F (200 C) oven until the top is brown. Take it out of the oven, prick the top gently with a fork and brush some butter over the top. Pour 1-2 scoops of the 'normal' colored cake mixture on top of the first layer. Spread evenly.

5. Change your oven setting so that you're using the upper heat only of your oven (broiler). Increase temperature to 450 degrees F (230 C). Bake the second layer until the top turns brown. Repeat the above procedure, alternating the colors each layer, until there is no cake mix left.

6. Let cake cool and cut and serve in finger-size portions. Refrigerate any uneaten portions.

Cake keeps well for 2 weeks if refrigerated. Cake can be frozen. Thaw cake for about 1/2 hour before eating.

*Note: Ovalette is a stabilizer used in baking sponge cakes. It helps the eggs to rise rapidly and stiffly. As it is acidic it also helps the beaten eggs to remain stable and not lose the airy and voluminous texture. It makes sponge cake softer and smoother.
Ovalette can possibly be purchased at Malaysian markets, or other Asian markets or grocery stores.

Makes 24 servings.

Date: January 2, 2003