A light, fluffy cloud-like sponge is always well received especially if its flavoured with pandan leaves. Swiss rolls are a much-loved treat. You can use the cake recipe in a standard baking tin and get the most gorgeous chiffon sponge (bake for 25–35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean). If you can’t get your hands on fresh pandan you can replace it with 1 teaspoon of pandan extract with 200 ml (7 fl oz/scant cup) of coconut water, available online or in Asian grocers. You can also replace the pandan in this recipe with just coconut milk or a fruit juice. You will need a 30 x 30 cm (12 x 12 in), 2½-cm (1-in) deep baking sheet for this recipe or something similar.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas 8).
- Blend the pandan leaves with the coconut water until smooth. Push the liquid through a sieve and into a bowl, making sure you squeeze out all the juice but discard any dry minced pandan.
- Put the egg yolks in a big mixing bowl and the whites into a freestanding mixer bowl. To the bowl with the yolks, add the oil, flour, baking powder and 200 ml (7 fl oz) of pandan extract. Whisk together until it becomes smooth. Set aside.
- Whisk the egg whites in the freestanding mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Slowly sprinkle in the sugar and whisk until the soft peaks are glossy, slightly firmer but not completely stiff.
- With a spatula, spoon a big dollop of egg white into the yolk mixture bowl and mix well together. Then gently and lightly fold in the rest of the egg whites, a dollop at a time. Pour onto the prepared baking tray and bake for 10–12 minutes until springy to the touch. Leave to cool, then remove from the tray onto a work surface.
- Meanwhile, whip the cream with the icing sugar until just forming soft peaks.
- To assemble, spread an even layer of cream onto the brown side of the cake, then sprinkle over the mango cubes. Cut a clean sheet of baking parchment the same size as the baking tray and set it aside.
- Using the baking parchment underneath to help you, start to slowly roll and fold the cake away from you, 3 cm (1 in) at a time, making sure the mango stays in while peeling away the paper as you roll. When you’ve reached the end, move the swiss roll onto the clean sheet of paper, roll it up, twisting the ends, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Remove from the fridge when you are ready to eat it. Slice into 3 cm (1 in) rounds using a serrated knife. You can decorate with fruit or icing sugar, but it’s just as delicious served plain.
Recipes excerpted with permission Vietnamese by Uyen Luu, published by Hardie Grant Books May 2021, RRP $32.50 Hardcover. Photos by Uyen Luu.