Pandan Sponge Cupcakes (班兰海绵杯子蛋糕)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

I like my pandan sponge cupcakes very much. Made with pandan juice and coconut oil, the little cakes are very fragrant and the green colour is totally natural. The crumb is soft and fluffy, and it's still moist the next day.

If you're new to the whole egg method for making sponge cakes, please refer to my post on vanilla sponge cupcakes for tips on how to mix the batter without deflating it.

If, despite your best efforts, the batter loses a lot of air after you add flour and oil, switch to plan B. Which is? I suggest pancakes. I've never tried any before but I'd imagine pandan pancakes are quite nice.

The best tool for grinding pandan leaves to make pandan juice is a food processor. A mortar and pestle works well too, and it has the added bonus of helping you burn a few calories.

If you use a blender, the leaves must have some water added, which makes the juice too diluted. You have to let it settle for a few hours or overnight, then skim the excess water that floats on top.

If your pandan leaves are frozen instead of fresh, you must also let the juice settle even if it doesn't have water added, then use just the dark green part in the bottom.

Please don't use old, dark green leaves. Pick the ones that are soft and almost white or light green. If the leaves seem dry, soak them in water for about 30 minutes. Don't leave them in the water too long or the juice would be diluted.

A potato ricer is the most efficient tool for pressing the pulp. A small tea strainer that has a metal mesh works well too if it's the right size.

The colour of the eggs affects the colour of the cakes. Bright yellow yolks would mask the pandan juice's green colour. Use eggs with pale yellow yolks, e.g. Pasar brand, if you like your cakes as green as possible.

I use old-fashioned coconut oil for my pandan sponge cupcakes. That's the fragrant type made by simply heating coconut milk. On no account use deodourized oil, a newfangled thing that's supposed to be a health food. Virgin coconut oil, whatever that is, is fine if it's fragrant. If it isn't, you might as well use vegetable oil.

My pandan sponge cupcakes are quite fussy about what they're baked in. Hokkaido cupcake moulds give the best results. The cakes baked in these square cardboard moulds are perfectly fluffy and evenly browned. If you use other types of mould, your cupcakes may not rise or brown well.

Making good pandan sponge cupcakes is quite easy. Here's my video to show it really is a piece of cake:

(Recipe for 5 big cupcakes)

6 g glucose
100 g eggs
40 g castor sugar
40 g cake flour
30 g coconut oil
10 g pandan juice
1/16 tsp salt

1. Measure and prep ingredients as detailed above. Preheat oven to 190°C.

2. Whisk glucose, eggs and sugar till ribbon stage, i.e. when whisk is lifted, "ribbon" falls from whisk smoothly and sits on top of mixture without sinking.

3. Sift half of cake flour into egg mixture, moving sieve around bowl so that flour isn't clumped in one area. Gently stir just top part of eggs with whisk till you don't see any flour. Sift remaining half of flour as before. Repeat gentle mixing.

4. Stir pandan juice and coconut oil till well mixed. Gently drizzle mixture around bowl. Mix with whisk till you don't see any oil, again stirring just top part of batter. Fold, using spatula, till just evenly mixed.

5. Divide batter equally between 5 Hokkaido cupcake moulds, about 45 g each. Place cupcakes on baking tray spaced apart.

6. Bake cupcakes in bottom of oven till batter domes and doesn't move when baking tray is gently shaken, about 8 minutes. Gently move tray to upper-middle shelf. Bake till golden brown and slightly springy when pressed lightly, about 5 minutes. Rotate cupcakes as necessary during baking so that batter rises and browns evenly.

7. Remove cupcakes to wire rack. Leave to cool down completely, or serve warm.


Cupcake Liner/Mould Addict said...

Your cupcake moulds are so pretty! I love the polka dots.. Would you be able to let me know where you got them? Much thanks!
PS: the pandan cupcakes looks yummy.

kt said...

I bought the moulds at Ailin Bakery House. Cheers.

tasha said...

hi,,may i know what is the brand of
the hand mixer u r suing,,i find it so
ezee to handle,,hope u can share
thank u so much,,tasha--sg

joceline said...

You are well done. Will book mark this recipe and will try to do soon. Ha!ha! Look so great.

kt said...

I am not suing my mixer.

xinghui said...

thanks for sharing such delicious chiffon cake recipe.

Devonie W. said...

Looks absolutely amazing, I recently found some frozen pandan leaves at the Asian market in town. I know it won't be quite the same, but hopefully it won't be too different..
Just curious, With all the chiffon and sponge cakes you have posted recently, have you thought about trying a Japanese spongecake called 'castella'? I've found some other recipes for it online but I find myself to be trusting your techniques the most. They're awesome.

Thank you, and have a wonderful day!

Mrs O said...

like, like, like :)

nicolevian said...

Hi kt, can I know where u bought ur coconut oil?

Joanne Chua said...

Hi KT, I did this today. Not bad, just that I personally prefer Pandan Chiffon Cupcakes to this. Maybe it's because of the thick coconut milk compared to coconut oil. Which do you prefer?

kt said...

I made the coconut oil with fresh coconut milk. I guess places that sell Indian groceries would sell coconut oil.

kt said...

There's not much difference between the two for me. Both are soft and fluffy, and taste of pandan and coconut. My sponge cupcakes are more coconutty than the chiffon ones because I use homemade coconut oil. Store-bought coconut oil may be mixed with a cheaper oil, or the extraction process may have compromised the flavour.

Joanne Chua said...

Yes, I used home-made coconut oil. Perhaps I need more time to adjust my taste buds. And hv I forgotten to mention that I love your Pandan Chiffon Cupcakes. Have a great day, KT!

florence said...

hi, does the liquid glucose have the same effect as ovalette ?

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