Pandan, or screwpine is a plant used widely in Asia to flavour dishes. It produces a kind of nutty flavour which goes very well with coconut. If you’re wondering what kind of dishes use pandan, I suspect I may be entering into a pandan-crazy phase so don’t be surprised if I now make a whole host of dishes containing pandan :)
When I was younger we would visit the Chinese supermarket and I would always try to slip a pandan cake into the basket without it being noticed. The cake is a chiffon cake which makes it impossibly soft and moist and needless to say that this moreish snack never lasted more than a day in my house. I distinctly remember either breaking off small pieces and savouring every melting mouthful, or competing with my brother to see how much we could squeeze into our mouths at a time (disgusting I know :p)
So when a friend of mine gave me some pandan leaves she had left over from making kaya (there will be a post on this later), the first thing that popped into my mind was pandan cake. And I decided to take it one step further and make pandan cupcakes topped with a pandan buttercream :D Mine is after all a family whose lives revolve around cupcakes.
The resulting cakes tasted lovely, and went very nicely with the pandan buttercream. However I made a mistake. I used a recipe for a pandan cake and crucially did not adjust the baking time for cupcakes. The resulting cupcakes were majestically risen and domed in the oven, but sank when they cooled and consequently lost some of their spongy chiffony goodness :'(
I will be making these cupcakes again, with the correct amount of time in the oven and better photos. And of course the recipe will follow :)