My adaptation is to use some of the coconut milk to extract the Pandan. But you can also use pandan paste to simplify things. The inner cake can also be varied. I last paired it with Gula Melaka chiffon and the pairing was delicious.
Recipe (for 8″ round cake tin, both a 2-layer or 3-layer cake is possible)
Note: I baked the exact 7″ recipe in a 8″ round tin at 160 deg C for 45 min, so that there will be space later for the Pandan Kaya custard. Slice into 2 or 3 layers after it has cooled completely. Slice away the brown top layer if that bothers you.
Pandan Kaya Custard
- 350g of pandan coconut mixture (from 12 blades of leaves, blended with 80g of water, and 270g coconut milk. See steps below.)
- 80g – 90g of mung bean or Hun Kwee powder as shown (green coloured ones are also available)
- 660g water
- 1.5 tsp agar agar powder
- 55g butter
- 125g sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Some dessicated coconut and cream or chocolate ganache for deco
1. Blend 80g water and Pandan leaves into a paste. Mix in about half the coconut milk into paste and stir with whisk or fork till evenly mixed.
2. Squeeze pandan paste with hands over a sieve, placed over a bowl to extract the Pandan mixture. Finally add in rest of coconut and mix. Measure out a total of 350g pandan coconut mixture.
(Easy way for steps 1 & 2 using Pandan Extract/ Essence – Add 80g water to 270g of coconut milk. Add 1 tsp of green pandan extract/ paste and few drops of yellow colouring to achieve your desired look.)
3. To this pandan coconut mixture, add the mung bean powder and stir to dissolve. Set this bowl aside.
4. In a heavy pot, add water, sugar, butter, salt and agar agar and set aside for 20 min, so agar agar can dissolve better. Then, heat with gentle flames till agar agar has dissolved. Do not allow to boil for long.
5. This is a crucial step, the agar agar must dissolve completely. I use a spoon to scoop out the mixture to check many times with my fingers. There were often particles of agar agar still not dissolved that cannot be easily seen with the eye. If not fully dissolved, the custard witll not set and the whole cake will fail.
6. Take pot off the stove. Add in Pandan mixture. Stir to combine.
7. Return to stove on low heat, stir constantly with hand whisk till the mixture thickens which is just a few minutes. It should be able to coat the spatula and sides of the pot. Let it cool for a few minutes, but check that texture is still liquidy and able to flow.
8. Take a clean 8″ cake tin. Rinse with water and shake off excess.
9. Put cake tin on an ice pack. Pour in some of Pandan kaya, about 300+g for 3-layer or 400g for 2-layer. Follow by placing cake layer. Press gently with fingers to prevent cake from floating and wait about 30 sec.
10.Pour in another layer of Pandan kaya and repeat above step. Remember to press cake layer gently for 30 seconds to prevent floating. Pour in rest of Pandan kaya. Repeat one more time if you have a 3-layer cake. Always pour about 300g for 3 layer cake and 400g for 2 layer cake.
10. Allow the cake to cool, then fridge over night in chiller, or at least 5 hours.
11. The next morning, overturn the cake onto a cake board. I placed a metal plate of hot water on top of cake tin and the cake took some time to finally slide out. You can also wrap the sides with a hot towel. On another attempt, I roll the cake tin on its side and the cake readily detach due to gravity. It slid out on its own.
12. Decorate as you like.