I use green food coloring a lot when making cakes, but I never want to use store bought food coloring, so I decided to make one myself. This is actually very easy and the ingredients are also not difficult to get. I use pandan leaves or screwpine leaves which are very common in Indonesia and Singapore. There are lots of these plants in my parents house and I used to have some of them too here, but I cut them all because I didn’t have time to take care of them.
Homemade pandan paste has a very nice and fresh smell, but unfortunately, it doesn’t last long even though I keep it in the refrigerator. So I have to make it quite often at least once every month, but all the hard work of making pandan paste is paid off when I see nice green color in my cakes. You can use it to make chiffon cake, sponge cake, pandan bread, or even one of our favorite Indonesia traditional blossom steam cake.
So, here is how you can make your own pandan paste at home………………
- 25 pandan leaves
- 5 suji leaves (daun suji). This one is optional, use 10 pandan leaves to replace if you can’t find any
- 450 ml water
- Wash the leaves thoroughly (one by one) under running tap water
- Use scissors to cut the leaves into small pieces (around 2 cm in length)
- Blend the leaves with 250 ml of water till fine
- Pour the mixture into a fine strainer, then using a spoon, squeeze out the juices
- Pour the pandan juices into a tall glass or jar
- Don’t throw away the leftover pandan leaves on the strainer, and return them back to the food processor. Process again until fine with 200 ml of water, then strain again to squeeze out the juice. Place the juice in a separate container or glass from the first one
- After 2 to 5 days, you will see a thick dark green layer formed at the bottom of the glass (it took my first glass 2 days to form a thick layer, and 5 days for the second glass to form a thick layer)
- Pour away the upper layer of water and retain the pandan paste
- Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 or 3 weeks. Check the smell if you want to use it, you can still use it if the smell is still nice and fragrant