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Pandan Cheesecake with Pandan Kaya Topping

I’ve made cakes with pandan (screwpine leaves) flavour several times now.

I think I have finally found a way of making a Pandan Cheesecake with a topping that the whole family likes!

There are three parts to this cheesecake: the base, the cake, the topping. It is a relatively easy recipe, but it does take time, and there are some ‘exotic’ ingredients which some readers might find challenging to obtain. An Asian grocery store (or well-stocked cosmopolitan supermarket) should have these ingredients. (Then again, I may be spoiled and don’t know how good I have it!)

Base

  • a packet of sweet biscuits (like Marie), crushed to yield 2 cups
  • 2/3 cup of melted butter
  • 1 tsp (or so) of cocoa powder (optional)

Note: Most recipes I’ve looked at call for 1 cup of crushed biscuits and 1/3 cup of melted butter. To me, the base ends up too thin and sometimes rather crumbly and does not hold well. I decided to double the amount here — 2 cups crushed biscuits, 2/3 cup melted butter — and I am extremely satisfied with the result. Your mileage may vary.

Method:

Combine crushed biscuits and melted butter until well combined. Press firmly into base of a 22cm (9-in) spring form pan. Chill until firm.

Filling

  • 2 Tbsp. gelatine, dissolved in 1/3 cup water (sprinkle gelatine over cold water, stir to combine, and then microwave on high for 45 seconds)
  • 2 x 250g packet cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 x 400ml can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 4-5 drops of pandan paste
  • 4-5 drops of pandan essence

 

Method:

Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth.

Add sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, pandan paste, and pandan essence and beat again until smooth.

Add gelatine mixture and beat again until smooth.

Pour into crumb base. Return to refrigerator and chill until firm. This will take several hours.

Topping:

I got the recipe for the kaya topping from this blog. That recipe is for a pandan kaya layer cake. I just looked at the kaya part for the topping. I tweaked the pandan juice part and the coconut milk part because I lazy (yes, I meant to write it that way). I used pandan paste and *gasp* canned coconut milk! Hey, it worked, okay?

  • 300 g water
  • 1/2 tsp white agar-agar powder
  • 40 g sugar
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 40 ml pandan juice (4-5 drops of pandan paste into 40 ml of water)
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Place all the above into a big enough saucepan and let sit for at least 30 minutes. That’s right. Just let it sit. Don’t stir, don’t beat, don’t heat. Just let it be.

  • 120 g coconut milk
  • 35 g white hun kwee powder

In a big enough bowl, combine the coconut milk and white hun kwee powder until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Hun Kwee Powder

Hun Kwee Powder

Hun Kwee powder, sometimes spelled Hoen Kwe  or Hun Kwe, is mung bean flour (starch). This might be the most challenging to obtain. I had to visit three different Asian grocery stores before I found this. (I have purchased this before, so I knew which particular store had it, but I thought I’d try my luck at a couple of others before making the trip there.)

According to a forum, you can use corn flour/starch in place of hun kwee powder. I have not tried this, so I can’t tell you how successful it will be.

  • 5 drops pandan paste
  • 1 big drop yellow food colour

 

Method:

Place saucepan over low heat and stir agar-agar mixture till agar-agar powder dissolves. (Mixture is now very hot but not boiling.)

Turn off heat. Add coconut milk mixture. Stir thoroughly. Add 5 drops pandan paste and 1 big drop egg yellow food colour. Stir thoroughly.

Turn on heat to medium-low. Cook and stir agar-agar mixture till thick enough to coat sides of pot thinly. Turn off heat. Stir till residual heat dissipates. (Mixture should now be thick enough to coat sides of pot thickly but thin enough to flow smoothly.)

Pour over cheesecake and chill until firm.

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Without all the la-di-da:

Base

  • a packet of sweet biscuits (like Marie), crushed to yield 2 cups
  • 2/3 cup of melted butter
  • 1 tsp (or so) of cocoa powder (optional)

Filling

  • 2 Tbsp. gelatine, dissolved in 1/3 cup water (sprinkle gelatine over cold water, stir to combine, and then microwave on high for 45 seconds)
  • 2 x 250g packet cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 x 400ml can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 4-5 drops of pandan paste
  • 4-5 drops of pandan essence

Topping:

Part 1:

  • 300 g water
  • 1/2 tsp white agar-agar powder
  • 40 g sugar
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 40 ml pandan juice (4-5 drops of pandan paste into 40 ml of water)
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Part 2:

  • 120 g coconut milk
  • 35 g white hun kwee powder

Part 3:

  • 5 drops pandan paste
  • 1 big drop yellow food colour

Method:

Base

  1. Combine crushed biscuits and melted butter until well combined. Press firmly into base of a 22cm (9-in) spring form pan. Chill until firm.

Filling

  1. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Add sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, pandan paste, and pandan essence and beat again until smooth.
  3. Add gelatine mixture and beat again until smooth.
  4. Pour into crumb base. Return to refrigerator and chill until firm. This will take several hours.

Topping

  1. Place Part 1 into a saucepan and leave for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Combine ingredients in Part 2 and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Place saucepan over low heat and stir agar-agar mixture till agar-agar powder dissolves. (Mixture is now very hot but not boiling.)
  4. Turn off heat. Add coconut milk mixture. Stir thoroughly. Add Part 3. Stir thoroughly.
  5. Turn on heat to medium-low. Cook and stir agar-agar mixture till thick enough to coat sides of pot thinly. Turn off heat. Stir till residual heat dissipates. (Mixture should now be thick enough to coat sides of pot thickly but thin enough to flow smoothly.)
  6. Pour over cheesecake and chill until firm.

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

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No-Bake Pandan Cheesecake with Pandan Agar Topping

I made a Pandan Cheesecake for my daughter’s birthday last November.

This is a tweaked version of that recipe.

Ingredients:

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Base:
1 – 1 1/2 cup crushed biscuits
1/3 to 1/2 cup butter, melted

Filling:
2 x 250g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 x 400g can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tablespoon pandan extract
1 teaspoon pandan essence
1 1/2 Tablespoons gelatine, dissolved in 1/3 cup water*

* sprinkle gelatine over cold water, stir well and heat gently in a saucepan until dissolved OR heat in a microwave oven on High for 45 seconds

Method:

1. Combine biscuit crumbs and melted butter. Press into a 24cm (9.5 in) square springform cake tin. Put in the refrigerator to chill and set.

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2. In a large bowl, add ingredients for filling one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour into  cake tin over the base. Chill until firm.

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Topping:
100 ml coconut milk
400 ml water
1/2 teaspoon pandan paste
13 g agar powder*
75 g sugar
pinch of salt
desiccated coconut

agar-powder

* agar is a plant-based gelling agent. Commonly used in South-east Asian cuisines/desserts. Because it is plant-based, it is suitable for vegetarians/vegans, unlike gelatine which is animal-based. Agar can be found in Asian supermarkets and some urban/urbane mainstream supermarkets. If in a pinch, gelatine is a good substitute. (Pandan paste and pandan essence may be more difficult to obtain!)

Here is an interesting article about the difference between agar and gelatin.

Combine all the ingredients for the topping — except the desiccated coconut — in a small saucepan. Stir over high heat until it boils. Then, lower heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

If you are using gelatine, you do not need to boil the mixture. Using warm/hot water should be sufficient.

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Pour agar mixture over the chilled cheesecake and, working quickly, remove as many bubbles as possible. Agar can set at above room temperature! It was >30C today and you can actually see traces where the bubbles were! The agar was setting as I was popping the bubbles!

Put back in the refrigerator to chill (if necessary).

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Sprinkle desiccated coconut over the cake.

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Serve!

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Enjoy!

Pandan Cheesecake

My youngest turned ten and couldn’t decide between a cheesecake and a Pandan cake. “Why not both?” she asked. “A Pandan Cheesecake!”

A Pandan Cheesecake? Does such a thing exist? Has anyone tried combining the two?

A quick search on the internet revealed that, like almost everything, there is nothing new under the sun. If you think of something, chances are, somebody has already thought of it, created it, and posted it on the internet.

I found a recipe that called for eggs and required baking. Since we prefer chilled cheesecakes (ie no baking required), I decided to just wing it!

One of my go-to cheesecake recipes involves a can of sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. I decided to replace the lemon juice with coconut milk, pandan extract and pandan essence.

Read the rest of this entry

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