Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Pandan cake is incredible. It’s cakey-brown on the outside yet alarmingly green on the inside, so light it could almost fly, and has a gaping hole in the middle. One slice is never enough, so airy - like a Wispa, and is horribly moreish. It shouldn’t share a surname with heavy drunken fruit cake - they’re so polar-oppositely different.
Of Malay origin, it’s a popular cake in South-East Asia - where the pandan leaf grows. Uniquely aromatic, the dark green juice from the leaf gives the cake its flavour and that colour, whilst the lightness comes from using oil rather than butter. There’s a taste I can only describe as satisfying – coconut milk. I’m not a fan of coconutty-flavoured things, but this in no way dominates the pandan flavour.
My mother used to drop this off whilst I was a student to make sure I was at least eating something. And now that I’m not a student, she still drops it off - and this week I’ve been picking away at it scoffing at least two wedges a day.
Pandan cake is a good way to round off an Asian meal – I usually crave something like this rather than a good old-fashioned Western pud after a pork belly or a stir-fry.
You can pick this up from any good Chinese or Asian supermarket in small, medium or large. I usually get large. Look for the cake with the hole in it.