jeudi 1 avril 2010

a tropical, emerald cake...

"Entre le ciel et moi, rien, que le grand toit, élevé, frêle, en feuilles de pandanus, où nichent les lézards"
. (Très beau si l'on oublie les lézards....!)
(Sous les Pandanus "Raro de Oviri", par Paul Gauguin)

"Between me and the sky there was nothing
except the high frail roof of the pandanus leaves,
where the lizards have their nests."
wrote Paul Gauguin in the autobiographical account of his first visit to Tahiti, in search of his famed reprieve from western civilisation, Gauguin, Paul. Noa, Noa: Les chroniques Tahiti
The prickly pandanus (screw pine), whose symbolic abundance pervades the painting, is native to many archipelagoes, as in the South Pacific islands (Martinique, Tahiti, Polynesia, Marquesas), as in South East Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia among others), providing roof, sustenance, adornment, medicine, and ingredients to cuisine to generations of islanders. Filtering the sea breezes and moderating the tropical heat, the pandanus shelters the underbrush, which contains the complex ecosystem in the heart of the tropics.

Pandan Chiffon Cake
A cake, like tourmaline-charged, with sensuality and languidness of the tropics...
Recipe from "It's My Treat " by May Fung
For a 10-inch x 4 inch chiffon cake tin
12 pandan leaves into juice
170 ml coconut cream
1 tsp pandan extract (optional)
8 egg yolks
250 g caster sugar
170ml corn oil
1tsp vanilla essence
140 g "Softasilk" Flour
2 heaping tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
9 egg whites
1 rounded tsp cream of tartar (sifted)
Recipe from lesson
Pandan Essence
Pandan leaves 30g (approx 4 leaves) with 75g coconut milk
=> 60ml

Clean the pandan leaves with a cloth and chop them. Mix with coconut milk and blend to paste in the food processor.

Boil with medium heat and stir when boiling. Wrap and cover with cling film. Let it infuse for 15 mins, strain well.

For a 7-inch chiffon cake tin
Egg yolk x 3 48g
Caster sugar 27g
Salt 0.6g
Vegetable oil 60ml
Pandan essence 60ml
Bread flour (sifted, Golden Statue brand recommended) 33g
Plain flour (sifted) 33g
Baking powder (sifted) 2g
Malibu 1tsp/5ml
Egg white (approx x3) 120g
Caster sugar 42g
Cream of tartar (1tsp) 4g

Whisk egg white together with sugar and cream of tartar until well mixed. Place in the fridge for at least half an hour, put aside.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC
Warm the vegetable oil on hot water and salt until 55ºC-60ºC
Whisk the egg yolks, caster sugar and salt until lightly yellow
Add vegetable oil into egg yolk mixture little by little to mix well. Then add half of the pandan essence
Add sifted flours and baking powder and mix well
Add the remaining pandan essence to mix well. Then add the Malibu and mix well
Whip the egg white mixture in medium speed until frothy (not to the point of stiff for chiffons)
Add the whipped egg whites into the former mixture, fold to mix well
Pour the mixture into the tin, brush upward on top towards the sides
Bake for 40-45 mins.

Turn over on the wire rack to let cold.
Carefully unmould with a thin steel spatula or a chiffon knife (there was no need to oil the mould)
Turn it over...

Pandan roll with lemongrass flavoured cream

The pandanus adds exotic flavour to the chiffon cake. It suddenly becomes a trendy one here  probably because of the souvenir we bought from Singapore airport - the Pandan Chiffon Brand name, Bengawan Solo from Singapore (the childhood cake of many Malaysians and Singaporeans, I heard, and perhaps Indonesians, too...). The pandanus gives a very special flavour which is strongly aromatic and curiously buttery...
Lemongrass, however, has a gingerly, exotic flavour. It tasted too tangy and strange to me ! 

Pandan Roll

Egg yolk (x6) 120g
Caster sugar 30g
Egg white (x4-5) 160g
Caster sugar 65g
Cream of tartar 1/2tsp
Plain flour (sifted) 70g
Pandan essence 60ml
Unsallted butter (melted) 15g
Add caster sugar to egg whites with a little cream pf tartar. Whisk well and place in fridge at least half an hour. Put aside.
reheat the oven to 180ºC. Warm the butter over hot water. Put aside
Whisk egg yolks with caster sugar until pale yellow.
Use the egg beater in medium speed and whip the egg white mixture until frothy and stiff.
Add the egg whites into the egg yolks. Whisk well.
Add the sifted flour in 2 times. Mix well with spatula
Heat butter and pandan essence until almost boiled. Put in egg mixture and fold it. Then add the warmed butter to mix well.
Pour the mixture into the 9”x13” baked tray and bake for 18-20 mins
.Lemongrass cream cheese filling
Lemongrass 1pc
Whipping cream (boiled) 200g
Caster sugar 20g
Cheddar cheese 60g

Take off the lemongrass coats, wash, then cut into chunks and knock them loose
oil the whipping cream in medium heat with lemongrass
Remove from heat and wrap in cling film. Let cool and put in the fridge overnight
The next day strain to 200g
Add in sugar, whip over ice water in medium speed until 70% stiff
Turn over the pandan roll on a 14”x20” butter paper.
Pipe the whipped lemongrass crem into the piping bag with the nozzle. Spread on the egg roll.
Grate cheddar cheese and pave on top of the cream
Roll the cake to cylinder with wooden stick, then place in refrigerator for 2 hours

About Chiffon Cake...
The chiffon cake (a form of Genoise) is an original american recipe invented in 1927 by Harry Baker, a California insurance salesman turned caterer. Mr. Baker kept the recipe secret for 20 years until he sold it to General Mills. At this point the name was changed to "chiffon cake" and a set of 14 recipes and variations was released to the public in a Betty Crocker pamphlet published in 1948 (lemon chiffon, spice chiffon). The chiffon cake combines the lightness of an angel food cake and the richness of a butter cake. One trick was the use of salad or vegetable oil.

It is so light, soft and fluffy, and is not too easy to be successful... that depends very much on the beating up of the egg whites and folding them into the egg yolk mixture...  It can be considered as a form of "pâte à biscuit" (sponge cake mixture by beating egg yolks and white separately) with a higher egg white proportion that makes the chiffon cake as light as a feather.
The contemporary Chiffon cake is very popular and much evolved into myriad recipes in North Asia (Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan), the counterpart of the popularity of Angel Food cake in America.

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