I could write a love song to pandan — there’s something about the smell of pandan that hits me right in the same spot as freshly steamed jasmine rice, the scent is so fresh and airy, savory and sweet, vanilla without the woodiness, it smells herbaceous and green, it’s a smell of home.
Alas, I don’t write music, my lyrics are edible, my songs soothe the soul and the belly. My songs perfume the home and make you want to call your mom just to say hi. If you were here with me, we wouldn’t need to talk about a tough day at work or heartache, I would feed you.
Fresh pandan leaves have so many wonderful uses, a single leaf tied in a knot can perfume a water pitcher in the most elegant setting, steamed rice will absorb the light fragrance readily, chicken wrapped in the leaves and fried become one of Thailand’s most sought after appetizers in guy hor bay toey. Then there’s all the beautiful uses for pandan paste and extract; I love onde onde from Singapore, the little glutinous balls with molten gula malaka (local palm sugar) bursting open and spilling their soft rich contents in one bite; pandan chiffon cake is a light airy cottony cake of vibrant green angel food like goodness; and of course there’s always my pandan muffins.
In the following recipe feel free to experiment with different pandan extracts and pastes. The extract that I have here with me in New York is barely green and only slightly tints the muffins but still results in that glorious pandan perfume. For first time users don’t be alarmed if your muffins are bright green, it’s just the different kinds of pastes / extracts; for an example photo of a bright green muffin with my best friend click here.
Pandan Muffin Recipe
- 1 cup All purpose unbleached flour
- ½ cup ground almonds
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ scant tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ tsp pandan extract
In a small bowl whisk together baking powder, flour, salt, and ground almonds
In a large bowl whisk together coconut milk and coconut oil until the oil has dispersed and the liquid is smooth
Next whisk in sugar, egg and pandan extract
Lightly incorporate the dry ingredients just until moistened being careful not to over mix
Spoon into small muffin tray filling ⅔ of the way up
Bake in a preheated oven at 375° fahrenheit for 18 mins until the muffins pull away from the sides