PANDAN MACAPUNO DELIGHT
by Dorothy Ferreria
Pandan Chiffon Cake:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
½ cup granulated white sugar for egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons sifted baking powder
¼ cup corn oil
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup pandan water
1/8 teaspoon powdered apple green food color
½ teaspoon fine salt
½ cup egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup granulated white sugar for egg whites
1 cup butter
1 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar
Pinch of powdered green food color
¾ cup fresh milk
1 cup sweetened macapuno
2 stalks pandan leaves
1 cup water
Optional Garnishing: Finely chopped cashew nuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of an 8 inch round pan, 3 inches high with wax paper. Set aside.
Using your fingers, the cut the pandan leaves vertically into thin strips by tearing the tip of the leaf and guiding it carefully until the leaf has been stripped completely. Tie the stripped leaf into a single knot and place it in saucepan. Add 1 cup of water and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Allow the liquid to cool completely before using. You may want to refrigerate it briefly to speed up the cooling process. This is your homemade pandan water.
Combine in a bowl the cake flour, white sugar, baking powder, corn oil, egg yolks, pandan water, food color and fine salt. Use a wire whip or scraper to blend the ingredients. The use of an electric mixer at this point is not necessary. Adjust the color if desired. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl, using an electric mixer beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar until frothy. Add the white sugar gradually while continuing to beat at medium speed. Increase the speed of the mixer to the highest speed possible and beat the egg whites until stiff peak stage.
Fold the egg yolk mixture into the beaten egg whites. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool upside down in a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. Unmold the cake and allow to cool in a wire rack side up to cool completely.
To prepare the frosting, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until well incorporated. Add the food color to the cold milk and mix well. Add the cold milk to the creamed mixture a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition until no trace of milk is visible. Adjust the color of the frosting if desired.
Slice the cake horizontally into 2 equal layers. Place a cake layer in a serving plate. Secure the cake layer with a tablespoon of frosting. Top with half of the macapuno. Spread a generous amount of the frosting and level with spatula. Top with the second layer of cake. Spread more macapuno over the cake layer. This procedure may seem odd, but it is better for the cake to absorb the syrup of the macapuno before applying the buttercream so as not to ruin the celicate texture of the buttercream. This will also enhance the flavor of the cake, since the syrup will be absorbed by the cake like a sponge, resulting in a delightful combination of pandan and macapuno. Frost the top surface and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream. Run a cake comb over the top surface and around the sides of the cake for a textured look. A fork may also be used to approximate a textured effect.
Garnish the top of the cake with more macapuno. If desired, sprinkle the sides of the cake with finely chopped cashew nuts.