Monday, December 24, 2012

Pandan Cotton Soft Cheesecake with Kaya

Pandan Cotton Soft Cheesecake with Kaya
I didn't make this cake for Christmas, I made it for my brother's birthday a couple weeks ago. But I thought I'd share it with you guys because it is SO GOOD, and it's red and green so it's still relevant to the season. I've made plain Japanese cotton soft cheesecake before, the such a magical hybrid of cheesecake and sponge cake but this one has a Malaysian spin to it. This one is flavoured with pandan, and the cake is filled with kaya. If you've read my blog for a while and you don't know what either of those are then I will be sad. I've written about it a lot. Pandan-flavoured stuff is awesome. Kaya is AWESOME. This cake is awesome.
Pandan Cotton Soft Cheesecake with Kaya
The pandan flavouring gives the cake that neon green hue, and I think the strawberries work really well as a topping, both looks and flavourwise. The super light and soft pandan cheesecake is fun alternative to the usual pandan chiffon cake, and it works really well as a cheesecake flavour. Because the cake itself is so light and has a bit of a tangy flavour from the cream cheese, it goes well with that thick layer of coconut jam in the middle. Kaya is the sort of thing that shouldn't be eaten in moderation.
Pandan Cotton Soft Cheesecake with Kaya
I'm silly and completely forgot that I needed to bake cakes in a water bath, which is why the outside is a little browner than you might expect. But when you cut into the cake it looks pretty impressive. If you couldn't be bothered splitting the cake into two separate layers you can bake it as one cake and spread the kaya on top instead. And if you can't be bothered making your own kaya or buying some from the Asian supermarket, you could try filling the cake with some coconut flavoured cream.
Pandan Cotton Soft Cheesecake with Kaya
Anyway, I wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holidays. I'll be back next year with more sugary, buttery recipes!
Pandan Cotton Soft Cheesecake with Kaya
Pandan Cotton Soft Cheesecake with Kaya
(serves 12, adapted from this recipe from Diana's Desserts)
140g/5 oz fine granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
50g/2 oz butter
250g/9 oz cream cheese
100 ml/3 fluid oz fresh milk
2 tsp pandan paste (you will need more if using pandan essence, adjust to taste)
1 tbsp lemon juice
50g/1.75 oz plain/all-purpose flour
30g/1 oz cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup kaya (Malaysian coconut jam, available at most Asian groceries or here's a recipe to make your own)
Optional: Fresh strawberries or other fruit to decorate

Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F). Grease base and sides, and line the base of two 18cm round cake tins with baking paper. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Cool the mixture. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, egg yolks, lemon juice and pandan paste and mix well. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form. Add cream cheese mixture to egg white mixture and stir until combined. Split mixture between the two cake tins. Bake cheesecake in a water bath (I forgot the water bath, this isn't the end of the world it will just be a little drier on the outside) for about 50 mins or until set and golden brown at 160°C (320°F).
Pandan Cotton Soft Cheesecake with Kaya
When cakes are ready, cool them very slowly to stop the cakes from collapsing in the centre. Turn the oven off first for 5 mins, then open the oven door and let it cool for another 10 mins, then cool in tin for 15 mins. Remove from tin and cool completely on a wire rack. Sandwich the two cake layers together with the kaya in between. I topped my cake with strawberries, which had been hulled, halved and marinated in sugar for an hour. Serve immediately or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to about 3 days.
Pandan Cotton Soft Cheesecake with Kaya
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25 comments:

  1. Wow Steph looks delicious! Merry Christmas, I want to wish you a wonderful and blessed holiday. Thank you for always inspiring us with your amazing posts and delicious recipes, I want to wish you great success.
    Best wishes
    Rowaida

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  2. I love pandan and also can never get enough of kaya, this cake is perfect! amazing photos as always, and merry xmas to you, Steph! :D

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  3. Beautiful colours, I can't quite imagine the Kaya but I do like pandan cake when I've tried it.

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  4. Hey Merry Christmas to you! Like a true and true Malaysian I love pandan, and I love kaya, so I love your cake! It looks stunning too. never thought of combining kaya and pandan chiffon, must be delicious, you are clever Steph:-)

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  5. Wow, those colors are so festive! Gorgeous and perfect for the holidays.

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  6. Wow, so pretty! I love the green surprise inside...perfect for Christmas! :)

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  7. This looks amazing!! Pandan and kaya sound like a perfect combo :)

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  8. am absolutely loving this cheesecake! definitely something ive got to try. i hear so much about kaya but i've never had it. think i need to go and get myself some, or make my own! merry christmas and happy new year to you steph. here's to another great year and an even better next xoxo

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  9. Oh this cake is PERFECT!!, beautiful in colours and looks very yummy!!, I love it.
    Merry Christmas to you too.
    Love from Spain
    Marialuisa

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  10. beautiful as always! merry christmas steph!

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  11. I have loved the cotton cheesecake. It is one of my favorite recipes.

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  12. This is so vibrant and looks really fluffy and light. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year.

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  13. I must have been Malaysian in my past life! I made pandan and kaya ice cream today - I just LOVE the combination and your cheesecake looks delicious!!

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  14. Your cotton cheese cake is so fluffy, I love the idea of Pandan and Kaya spread. Could this also work if you tread it with black sesame and red bean for a more Chinese approach?

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    1. Ooh yeah that could totally work! I love that idea!

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  15. Cheesecake. Pandan. Kaya. THIS IS THE GREATEST THING IN ALL THE WORLD. If only we could somehow add peanut butter, too.

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  16. I love the combination of pandan and kaya!! Really makes me miss home :D

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  17. This looks amazing and I have to know where you found that flat ended spoon. I've never seen one like that and would love to have one!

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    1. I picked it up at an antique store :)

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  18. This looks delicious! And might I also mention, genuis! I love cheesecake, pandan and kaya, and the idea to use all three in a cake is quirky and makes me wonder why no one has thought of this before! (Or maybe someone already has and it's a really popular kind of cake around the world, and I've just been living under a rock until today.) I really can't wait to try making this!

    I'm not so sure though that we have pandan paste or essence here in our country. Will it be ok if I do without it (if I really can't find pandan paste or essence)? Will it affect anything other than taste?

    Also, I have a quick question. Will the egg white-cream of tartar-sugar mixture be added to the batter? It isn't specifically mentioned in your recipe but I'm assuming that it will be.

    Thank you! :)

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    1. Hi Z, if you can't get pandan I would recommend using the original recipe (which I have linked to at the start of my recipe). And you're right, I accidently missed a step in the recipe, I have updated it now!

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  19. Hi I made this cake for mother's day.. the cake sunk although I let it cool slowly according to your instructions. .it certainly didnt look pretty and I had to shave off the wrinkled sides. Fortunately the strawberries could hide the top that has collapsed. Nevertheless my parents really enjoyed the cake! The flavours of cream cheese, pandan and kaya really go well together! Is there any other tip to prevent the cake from sinking?

    DT

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    1. Aw that's a pity the cake sunk! I would probably recommend baking the cake for longer, that should help it hold it's shape a bit better. Other than that you might need to whisk your egg whites a tiny bit stiffer.

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  20. I will try it baking it again thanks!

    Ps: I love your blog :)

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