Pandan kaya lamington

Pandan kaya lamington

Have You Eaten
Billy Law

After living in Australia for 10 years, I finally became a citizen in 2007. Other than receiving a certificate and a wattle tree, I was given three other items from friends that have encouraged my passion in cooking: a CWA cookbook, a meat pie, and a lamington (which I devoured at the ceremony). While I do call Australia home, a part of me still belongs to Malaysia. Thus, this pandan kaya lamington was born.


Quantity Ingredient
50g corn
75g plain flour
50g self-raising flour
6 eggs
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon pandan essence

Kaya jam

Quantity Ingredient
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
50g dark brown sugar
250ml coconut cream
3-4 pandan leaves, washed

Chocolate sauce

Quantity Ingredient
150ml water
175g caster sugar
50g unsweetened cocoa powder
250ml thickened cream
100g dark chocolate, chopped

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
180g desiccated coconut


  1. To make the kaya jam, put the eggs, egg yolks, caster and brown sugars in a large metal or glass mixing bowl, and beat until the sugars have dissolved.
  2. Heat the coconut cream in a saucepan to boiling point, then quickly remove from the heat. Pour the hot coconut cream into the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, stirring continuously so it doesn’t curdle.
  3. Stack all the pandan leaves together and tie them into a knot, then drop the leaves into the mixture. Place the metal bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water. Using a silicone spatula, stir the egg mixture and scrape the bowl all the while to stop it curdling, until it reaches a smooth custard consistency with a nice golden brown colour — this will take about 1 hour (this is a crucial step so don’t walk away). Test to see if the mixture is ready by using the ‘parting the sea’ technique: use the spatula to draw a line through the mixture in the bowl; if the line stays visible for a couple of seconds before the mixture flows like lava and covers the line, it is ready.
  4. When the jam is cooked, it should be very thick and glossy and deep brown in colour. Remove the bowl from the heat, squeeze all the sticky jam out of the pandan leaves, then discard them. Strain the jam through a fine sieve into a jug. Leave to cool before storing in a sterilised jar. (The jam keeps well for a week at room temperature or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease two rectangular 15 × 20 cm cake tins and line with baking paper. Triple sift the cornflour, plain flour and self-raising flour into a bowl, then set aside.
  6. Using an electric mixer on high speed, whisk the eggs for 10 minutes until thick and frothy. Then gradually add the sugar, whisking constantly until the mixture has tripled in volume. Using a metal spoon, fold one-third of the egg mixture and the pandan essence into the flour, making sure it is well incorporated. Then fold in the rest of the egg mixture in two batches — be extremely gentle and try not to knock too much air out of the batter. Divide the cake mixture evenly between the two tins.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes. The cakes are ready when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Turn off the oven, but leave the cakes in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Spread a layer of kaya jam on the flat side of one of the sponge cakes, then sandwich with the other one over the top.
  9. To make the chocolate sauce, put the water, sugar and cocoa in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the cream and bring it back up to boiling point. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl, then pour the hot cocoa mixture over the chocolate. Let the chocolate soften for a minute, then stir until the chocolate has melted. Set the chocolate sauce aside until it is cool enough for coating.
  10. Have the bowl of chocolate sauce, a bowl of desiccated coconut and a wire rack over a baking tray ready. Cut the cake into fifteen 5 cm cubes. Using two forks, dip the cake into the chocolate sauce, then drop it in the bowl of coconut. Sprinkle the cake with coconut and then roll it around until it is well coated. Repeat for all the cakes. Place the lamingtons on the wire rack to set for 1 hour before serving.
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