Despite staying in Taipei for so many years, I still get sudden cravings for Singapore desserts and food. I recently had a craving for ondeh ondeh (the Singapore-Malaysian dessert of pandan flavoured glutinous rice balls filled with thick gula melaka syrup, rolled in fresh grated coconut). For those unfamiliar with it, it's like chocolate lava cake in a ball, except that pandan glutinous rice replaces the chocolate cake and rich, caramel-like gula melaka syrup replaces the decadent dark chocolate seeping out when you bite into it. Heaven! There has been a few updated variations of the ondeh ondeh, like the cupcake inspired version. This is my mini bundt cake version of the ondeh ondeh.
Pandan leaves (also called screwpine) , while commonly used in South East Asian desserts and foods, are not commonly used in Taiwan cuisine, and are therefore difficult to find. My current batch of pandan was brought by my mom when she visited last. So I had to make it last. I used all the leaves to make pandan extract, then I poured the extract into ice trays, then transferred the pandan ice cubes into a ziplog and left them in the freezer. So now, I can have pandan extract any time I want. To use, just defrost the ice cubes and stir it up.
It's a fairly straightforward recipe. A little more effort needs to be put into preparing the mini bundt cake pan - generously butter the pan, then use a kitchen towel to wipe it around, making sure that you grease every nook and corner of each cavity. Then sprinkle flour generously into each cavity, tapping it around to ensure that every nook and corner of each cavity is covered with flour, then turn it over and tap out the remaining flour.
Pour batter into a mini bundt cake pan, filled up to 2/3 per cavity.
Leave the cakes to cool after baking, then use a thin knife to insert into the sides of each cavity to gently pry it away from the pan. Then turn the pan over and the mini bundt cakes should tip out easily.
While cake is baking, make the gula melaka syrup and put aside to cool. Then put in the refrigerator to chill.
Best way to eat this is warm. So warm up the pandan mini bundt cake, drizzle the chilled gula melaka syrup over the cake and sprinkle grated coconut on it. Serve with a jar or sauce of chilled gula melaka syrup on the side, for even more oomph. Love it!
Pandan Mini Bundt Cake with Gula Melaka Syrup and Grated Coconut
(adapted from Yellowfingers)
Pandan Mini Bundt Cake
Weighing machine or measuring cup
Mini bundt pan
Cooling grid / rack
Toothpick or cake tester
200gm cake flour, and a little more for flouring pan
1/2 tsp baking powder
125gm unsalted butter, room temperature, and a little more for greasing pan
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
180gm castor sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
100gm coconut milk
3 Tbsp pandan extract
a little bit of green icing colour
Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius.
Grease mini bundt cake pan with butter, then dust it liberally with flour. Bake sure all crevices are well greased and floured to prevent cake batter from sticking onto the sides. You want the designs from the mini bundt cake pan to show clearly on the baked bundt cakes.
Mix together butter, vanilla and salt in a mixer on low speed to combine, then increase speed to medium and cream the mixture until it becomes light coloured and creamy.
Add sugar gradually into the mixture, beating well after each addition, until well incorporated.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until well incorporated.
Sift together flour and baking powder, then set aside.
Combine pandan extract, coconut milk and green icing colour in a bowl and set aside.
Add into the butter mixture alternate flour mixture in thirds and pandan-coconut mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture. Beat together only until the ingredients are well mixed.
Fill each mini bundt cavity 2/3 full. Tilt the pan or use a knife to gently even out the batter in each cavity.
Bake for about 25 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
Put pan on a cooling grid for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Use a thin knife to gently pry the sides of the cakes from the pan. Then overturn the pan and gently tip the mini bundt cakes out of the pan. Leave on cooling grid to cool completely.
Gula Melaka Syrup
200gm gula melaka, chopped in small pieces
Heat gula melaka and water in a saucepan over a stove at medium heat until gula melaka has completely dissolved.
Continue to simmer at low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes until syrup thickens. Set aside to cool.
Transfer to an air-tight container and chill in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks.
Assemble and Enjoy
Pandan mini bundt cake
Chilled gula melaka syrup
Warm up mini bundt cake in a microwave for about 20 to 30 seconds.
Place mini bundt cake on a plate.
Drizzle chilled gula melaka syrup generously over the mini bundt cake.
Sprinkle grated coconut on the mini bundt cake and serve, with more gula melaka syrup on the side.