Pandan Coconut Cake with Kaya
1 cup unbleached pastry flour2 tablespoons cornstarch1/2 teaspoon baking powder6 large eggs, separated3/4 cup sugar1/3 cup vegetable oil1/4 cup coconut milk1 tablespoon homemade pandan extractKayaShredded coconut
To make pandan extract, cut 5 to 6 leaves into small strips with a pair of scissors and blend with 1/4 cup water until you get a puree. Then squeeze puree in cheesecloth to extract liquid. Place liquid extract in a container and set aside until the dark green solid bits sink to the bottom. Pour out the layer of clear liquid on top and you have concentrated pandan extract. I usually make pandan extract a day ahead and keep overnight in the fridge for the liquid and extract to separate. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with parchment paper, with at least two corresponding ends sticking out for easy removal of cake later.Sift together unbleached pastry flour, cornstarch and baking powder twice.Whisk 6 egg yolks and half the sugar in a large bowl. Add vegetable oil, coconut milk and pandan extract, and whisk to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Add sifted dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated.In another bowl, whip 6 egg whites with an electric mixer until thick foam is formed. Gradually add the remaining sugar and keep whipping until you get soft peaks. At a slower speed, continue to whip until stiff peaks are achieved.Gradually and gently fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture until fully combined. You will get a delicate, soft and fluffy batter.Pour mixture into baking pan and spread out as evenly as possible with a spatula, making sure the corners are filled. Jiggle the batter and knock pan on worktop 2 to 3 times to make sure it’s completely level.Fill a rimmed baking sheet with 1 cup of water and place the baking pan on it. Bake on middle rack of oven until the middle of the cake springs back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes.Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Knock pan on worktop 2 to 3 times to loosen cake. Transfer cake to a piece of parchment paper by placing a parchment paper-lined baking sheet on top of the baking pan and flip so the cake is now on the new parchment paper. Carefully peel off the parchment paper that the cake baked with. Then transfer cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.Trim the edges of the cake. Cut into half, spread kaya generously on one side and flip the other side over to sandwich. Spread a light layer of kaya on top of cake and cover with shredded coconut. Cut into desired size and serve.