How To Make Pandan Raspberry Cake
How To Prepare Pandan Cake Batter
- First, prepare the pandan coconut milk mix. Cut up the fresh pandan leaves into pieces using scissors and place them into a food processor together with coconut milk. Blend into a fine pulp, making sure you scrape the sides to get a mixture of smooth consistency. Once blended, filter the mixture using a muslin cloth over a sieve and set the strained juice aside.
- Second, make the white chocolate-butter mixture. Tie 2 pandan leaves into knots (we need them to infuse the mixture). Melt the white chocolate and butter in a double boiler and mix in the pandan leaf knots until chocolate and butter are melted and well-combined. Then turn off the heat and let it steep and absorb the pandan flavor.
- Meanwhile, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- When the chocolate-butter mixture is cool enough (we need it to be a bit warmer than room temperature), whisk in the eggs until well combined, and pour in the pandan coconut juice. Continue whisking until well combined and smooth.
- Last, slowly pour the liquid into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
How To Choose Fresh Pandan Leaves
Choose fresh pandan leaves of bright green color, make sure there are no spots or blemishes. If the bottom part of the leaf (where it was cut) looks dry or dehydrated, it means the pandan is no longer fresh.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- White Chocolate - the creamy vanilla flavor of white chocolate pairs well with the floral pandan and tanginess of raspberry.
- Unsalted Butter - just like with any of your favorite baked goodies, butter makes everything better! Aside from the extra moisture, it adds to our cake, butter makes every bite richer and gives that melt-in-your-mouth experience.
- Granulated Sugar - also known as regular sugar, granulated sugar helps give more structure to your cake. Since granulated sugar has larger granules compared to caster sugar, it can hold more moisture making your cake moist and soft.
- Eggs - you may find eggs in most if not all baked cakes. They help in the cake structure and height since it’s also a leavening agent.
- All-Purpose Flour - since our goal for this pandan raspberry cake is a dense type of cake, APF is the best option compared to cake flour where the end result would be fluffier and airier.
- Baking Powder - a baker’s pantry staple! Known as a leavening agent or the ingredient that adds volume to our cake.
- Raspberries - you can use either frozen or fresh raspberries for this recipe. Their tangy-sweet flavor goes very well with all the other components of this cake. You can find these delicious red berries in season from July to December.
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut - this form of coconut is most commonly used for baking. It is mostly dry, retaining only a little bit of moisture. If you don’t have shredded coconut available, you can replace it with coarsely ground or chopped nuts.
- Pandan Leaves - Pandan is an amazingly versatile flavor agent, it is a very common ingredient in South-Asian cuisine and is often added in soups, stews, and curries. You can usually find fresh pandan leaves or at least pandan extract in most Asian grocery stores. It is ok to switch fresh pandan for the bright green pandan extract, think of it as vanilla extract you’d add to your baked goods. If you use the extract, it will also give your cake a nice green hue on top of the amazing aroma.
- Coconut Milk - coconut milk is a perfect milk substitute for regular milk used in baking. It also acts as a light flavor agent, being a great pair for pandan in this cake recipe. If you want to switch it to regular milk, simply go with a 1:1 ratio. It won’t affect the texture of the cake much, but you will lose some of the flavors.
Tips & Suggestions
- Pandan leaves are rather meaty and can be easily stored in the freezer for several months. Just make sure to tightly wrap them in plastic.
- You can use pandan to infuse other liquids with pandan leaves using a similar technique we used for the cake batter. Simply tie the leaves into knots and add to the bottle of your favorite base alcohol. You will have a pandan-infused base for cocktails in 48 hours.
- Pandan is an amazing flavor agent not only for desserts. You can also add it to your curries, rice dishes, just wrap pieces of chicken and fish in pandan leaves before cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Pandan Extract or Pandan Paste Instead of Fresh Leaves?
- If you don’t have fresh pandan available, you can easily substitute it with pendant extract or paste.
- Use 2 tablespoons of pandan extract for the raspberry pandan cake batter.
- Pandan paste is more concentrated, so you will need about one tablespoon of it. If you use too much it might make your cake quite bitter, similar to using too much vanilla extract.
Can I Make This Cake Without Raspberries?
You can leave the berries out of this recipe if you don’t have them or simply want a more prominent pandan-coconut flavor. You can also switch raspberries for mango, or drained pineapple pieces and make this into a tropical pandan cake.
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