The Castella~Kasutera bug has gone viral and I'm grateful to Biren of Roti n Rice for resurrecting this recipe of a popular Japanese sponge cake made with sugar, bread flour, eggs, syrup but without any oil or raising agent. I first saw the post of Castella cake on Nasi lemak lover followed by Anncoo Journal but both of them used the wooden mould to bake this cake which sadly I do not have. Then when Biren posted hers without using the wooden mould but only using a loaf pan, I welcomed it with glee! I hopped over to Yummyworkshop and watched the video that Biren had linked up with her post and here's my first attempt at Castella~Kasutera Cake.
See the last pair of pictures ..... Yummyworkshop's recipe calls for optional Turbinado sugar to be sprinkled on the parchment paper at the base of the pan and since I didn't have that, I googled for substitute and found that light or brown sugar and Demerara sugar could be used. Since I had the latter, I happily used that. But when I removed the piece of parchment paper on inverting the cake, lo and behold, the melted Demerara sugar got stuck onto the parchment paper and left me with a botchy and pale face base! That explains the reason why my cake did not have a dark coloured base like the surface. What a shame!
Think I didn't bake this cake long enough, only baked for 45 mins.(I got worried when the top was so brown) and perhaps that explains why the cake was a bit sticky and hard to slice up. Will remember to bake for another 5 to 10 mins. on my next attempt.
Recipe for Honey Castella~Kasutera Cake (adapted from Yummyworkshop with slight modification)
- 5 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 125 gm caster sugar
- 100 gm bread/high protein flour, sifted
- 50 ml honey + 2 to 3 Tbsp hot water (I used 3 Tbsp)
- 15 gm Turbinado sugar to be sprinkled on the base of the pan (optional)
- Line a 7 inch square pan with foil both the interior and exterior. Place a piece of parchment paper at the base.
- Dissolve honey in hot water, stir well and let cool.
- Whisk egg whites on high speed till foamy, add in sugar in three batches and beat till stiff but not dry peaks form.
- Add in egg yolks one at a time, beat on low speed till batter is thick and soft peaks form when the whisk is drawn up.
- Add sifted flour in three batches and mix on low speed till just combined but with no traces of flour visible.
- Add honey mixture and mix on low speed.
- Pour batter through a sieve into prepared cake pan, use a spatula to help the thick batter go through the sieve. Use the spatula to smooth out air bubbles.
- Tap the pan lightly on the worktop to remove any more air bubbles.
- Bake in a preheated oven @ 160 deg C for about 50 to 60 mins. till golden brown. Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
- Take pan out from the oven and drop it on the counter from about a foot high to prevent shrinkage, thrice.
- Cool cake in pan. When cool enough to handle, invert the cake onto a clean sheet of parchment paper.
- Remove foil and wrap up the warm cake with the parchment paper to ensure the cake has a moist texture. Put the wrapped cake in a plastic bag, chill it in the fridge overnight, upside down to preserve moisture and to avoid uneven or dense layer at the bottom.
- To serve, trim off the sides of the cake with a sharp serrated knife in a 'sawing' motion, then cut up into neat slices.
- Serve with hot or cold unsweetened tea.
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Ancuta from Matrioska's Adventures