Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pandan Lamingtons

Lamingtons. They are so quintessentially Aussie. We all have our preferences, some of us swear by the classic version, some like the cream/jam filled ones. And then there's pandan. It's leaves are so widely used in Malaysian dishes that it was a total shock to my system when I came back to live in Sydney 11 years ago and found that hardly anyone had heard of it. I've been over the moon with the gradual increase in Malaysian cuisine in Australia, and the eventual appearance of pandan in desserts, like Dan Hong's pandan chiffon cake on Masterchef (my only gripe is that they kept pronouncing it on the show like 'pang-dang' which made me cringe so friggin much. It's meant to be pronounced more like 'pahn-dahn').
I've put these elements together, one totally Australian and the other bringing me straight back to Malaysia, to create these Pandan Lamingtons. Lamington purists will probably be totally offended by this bright green monstrosity but if there was ever a dessert which I would use to describe myself, this would be it. It brings together my two loves, my happy childhood memories in Australia and my love of Malaysian food (including my Mum's awesome cooking). They may not be the prettiest cakes ever but they are wonderful to eat. I'd been planning them for ages and I'm quite pleased with the way they turned out.
I adapted a recipe for plain lamingtons by adding some pandan essence paste to the sponge cake. It was quite convenient that the recipe used a chocolate ganache rather than a cocoa icing for the coating, as I was able to switch it to white chocolate ganache which was a much better match for that lovely soft & fluffy green pandan cake. Coconut and pandan are always perfect together, plus the shredded coconut on the outside is exactly the type of coconut that they use in Malaysian desserts and kuih. The finished lamingtons even remind of Malaysian kuih with that hint of green hiding underneath the layer of coconut (which was a total accident, the white chocolate ganache ended up being a lot more transparent than I had expected).
Pandan Lamingtons
(makes about 32, adapted from this Gourmet Traveller recipe)
8 eggs
250g caster sugar
3/4 tsp pandan paste (more if you use the more watery pandan essence)
250g plain flour
30g unsalted butter, melted
400g shredded coconut

For the white chocolate ganache coating:
600g white chocolate
300ml pouring cream (min. 35% milk fat pure cream)

Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Grease and line the base with baking paper in a 24x32cm lamington tray, or two 20cm square cake tins. Whisk eggs, pandan paste and sugar in a heatproof bowl (it will be freakishly green at this point but don't worry, it will lighten after you whip it) over a saucepan of gently simmering water for 5-10 minutes or until warm (about 40°C/105°F), lighter and frothy. Transfer to an electric mixer and whisk on high speed in a large mixing bowl for 10 minutes or until mixture has tripled in volume. Sift over plain flour in batches and, using a metal spoon, fold gently to combine between additions. Just before adding the last of the flour, fold through melted butter. Pour into prepared tin(s) and bake in centre of oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer withdraws clean. Stand in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then turn out onto racks and cool completely.
For the white chocolate ganache coating, combine chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. When chocolate begins to melt, stir gently until combined and smooth and set aside in a warm place.

Scatter shredded coconut over a tray. Cut sponge into 4-5cm squares. Using 2 forks, dip each square into the ganache and shake to remove excess. (If ganache starts to thicken, place bowl over gently simmering water to thin.) Roll each square in coconut, shake off excess and place on a wire rack (sitting over a tray). Stand for at least 1 hour or until chocolate sets. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 3 days.
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  1. I think they are adorably pretty little cakes. The colour is wonderful. What a happy accident with the ganache I think it looks perfect with the green peaking through.

  2. I absolutely love the sound of these! I must have been Malaysian in my past life, I love pandan!

  3. Oh wow - these looks amazing. As an Aussie through and through I think pandan Lamington's are a GREAT idea. This country has great food due to little inventions like this one...I want one NOW!.

  4. This is so kick ass! I have a big bunch of pandan and I've been racking my brain to figure out what to make.. I think these should be one of them

  5. Beautiful!, it´s the first time I´ve heard about pandan, now thanks to you I´m going to read more about it.
    Love from Spain

  6. sounds awesome - i've been craving a pandan chiffon cake for a while, and these are so gorgeously green they almost satisfy that craving

  7. My boyfriend is going to Australia in September and I want to make him these! Not sure if he knows what pandan is but he'd love the white chocolate ganache!

  8. I'm not that into lamingtons - but pandan-flavoured ones are such a great idea!

  9. Prelepo izgleda, verujem da je i jako ukusno :)))

  10. This is such a clever combination! I love all things pandan!

  11. Love the green! Its unexpected and so appealing. And coconut is perfect with pandan.

  12. wow i love the idea of pandan lamingtons! I LOVE the green, and the coconut is a perfect combo with the pandan!

  13. That looks amazing. Do you live in Sydney? Would you be able to tell me where you buy your pandan paste and pandan leaves at all??

    Thanks, and I love your blog!

  14. These look so gorgeous - I love the pastel green and white with the coconut flakes on the outside. I've never heard of pandan before, very intrigued now - I'll have to see if they sell it in the UK.

  15. Lianne - I got my pandan paste from an asian supermarket in Cabramatta, but I've seen it in a lot of other Asian supermarkets around Sydney. I know you can get frozen pandan leaves in some Asian supermarkets and I've gotten it fresh from a Thai grocer near Chat Thai called Pontip? Ooh and apparently at Martellis in Rouse Hill sells it (according to Citrus & Candy :D )

  16. MMM this is the first time I see them..this is New for me..Thank you for share it..
    Besos from Mexico

  17. I've never had lamingtons before, nor pandan, but I may just have to remedy that soon. These look delicious!

  18. They are beautiful, i've made lamingtons and it is hard to make them that neat (mine certainly were not)!!! what a grand idea, i pronounce it wrong....sorry, i'll try and remember. Funny thing is today I am attempting a pandan coconut angel cake, fingers crossed. My oven is not very forgiving.

  19. I want these RIGHT.NOW. omgoodness sounds soooo goood!!! :)

  20. How gorgeous!! I love adaptations and this is a perfect fit!! Beautiful.

  21. Have you ever thought of some spicy or savory pandan ckaes or lets say side little "things" for a fish course or so? That would also be interesting and colorful - especially with the white dish. I am living in Berlin Germany and bought even pandan in pots growing on my balcony. Just want to try something savory with the leaves.

  22. Yana - There are plenty of savoury Malaysian dishes that use pandan leaves. For example, we fry chicken wrapped in it, or tie up the leaves and use it to flavour rice or just generally add it to a dish to give it a greater depth of flavour. You should investigate some Malaysian recipe websites and cookbooks for more ideas.

  23. ...fantastic recipe & beauiful images
    ciao from Italy

  24. you always comes up with the best things!!!! especially love this one.... must try to make some soon!!! Oh i'm getting hungry!!

  25. Firstly, these are gorgeous, and secondly, I've never had a lamington? I really need to google them, but I love the pastels and the food props you've used.

  26. These look wonderful. Pandan and coconut are the perfect flavour combination. Kudos to you for combining something so aussie and malaysian. Hats off to you for your creativity. =D

  27. I've heard of all different flavoured lamingtons, but pandan is the first - what a great idea and love the white chocolate coating too! Sounds almost summery.

  28. O..M... G... why didn't I think of that!! So making these!!

  29. I just found your blog, i was watching the daring kitchen's tiramisùs and i found your blog in there, let me tell you that you have such a precious blog! And that new entry is just beautiful and looks really tasty!

  30. yummy! hehe an asian-australian fusion just like meee!

  31. here u are making pandan lamingtons when im struggling to make a pandan cake AND lamingtons. oh you talented you :P

  32. Linda V @ Bubble and Sweet - Thank you! I agree, it wouldn't have looked as interesting without the green showing!

    Lisa - You were totally Malaysian!

    MissPiggy - Yay! Glad you like it :)

    Phuoc'n Delicious - Thank you! Jealous!!! I always have trouble finding fresh pandan, that's why I used the paste!

    Marialuisa - You should definitely try some, it's such a great flavour!

    Dadá flavors - Thank you!

    chris - Ugh I love pandan chiffon cake so much! These were super pandany!

    Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane - Haha you should make them! Pandan is awesome.

    leaf (the indolent cook) - Aww I love lamingtons! Thanks!

    jacamaca - err ok?

    jenius - same here! thanks!

    shaz@feedingmykidsbetter - Thank you! I agree, coconut and pandan is a match made in heaven :)

    Gastronomous Anonymous - Thanks so much!

    Elly McCausland - If they are any Asian supermarkets around you might be able to find it there!

    Food And Travel By Mer - Thanks

    chocolatesuze - puuuurdy :D

    Jacob - You definitely need to get on that!

    muppy - They are so hard to make neat! I got coconut and chocolate everywhere!

    Skylar - Thanks!

    Gourmet Getaways - Thanks so much :)

    Paul @cookingmesoftly - Thank you!

    oni... - Aww thanks so much!

    myFudo - You definitely need to try a lamington!

    Tina @ bitemeshowme - Thanks so much!

    Martyna @ WholesomeCook - Thank you! I used to be a total lamington purist who got offended by different flavoured lamingtons but these worked so well I'm converted now!

    Iron Chef Shellie - Heehee I hope you do!

    Valerie - Aww thanks so much!

    Christine - Haha the word fusion makes me cringe for some reason but I guess it is fusion!

    sugarpuffi - haha thanks

  33. Bellissimi! Li voglio provare :-)

  34. Hi Steph, just wanted to say I made this (I have tried a few of your recipes and so far so good...) BUT OH MY. Wonderful. A friend at work brought some home made kaya back from KL, and rather than wasting it (I felt guilty eating so much of it with butter etc), because it was soooo good, I made these and used the kaya in place of the traditional raspberry jam. They were a massive hit at work (as it makes quite a big batch!) Everyone was interested and delighted in the taste. A whole department of people now inducted to the delights of pandan and kaya! (Including me! It's not a traditional ingredient for a Mediterranean-Australian either!)
    Thanks for the great recipe.
    (PS: I just zapped the cream and white choc in the microwave in 30 second batches - seemed to work just fine...)


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