Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Honey Castella Cake

Castella or Katsura cake is a popular japanese sponge cake. If you are familiar with the cake, you will know that mine looks nothing like how it should look. Haha. My first attempt at making castella cake was not very successful.

I can never resist buying castella cakes. The soft, moist and tender cake is usually made into rectangular loaves and presliced into servings that go perfect with a cup of tea. When I looked up recipes, I thought they seemed pretty simple to make.

Since there aren’t too many steps, I’m pretty sure I went wrong at the egg stage. You are supposed to beat for about five minutes, until the egg batter ribbons. I lost track of time and was distracted. Also the recipe I read only said flour, but upon further research, all the other recipes I saw call for bread flour. My cake initially rose, but then collapsed in after it was out of the oven.

The cake still tasted good, it just tasted more like a pound cake rather than a sponge cake. I plan on trying this again until I get it right.

There are many castella cake recipes out there. I used one I found on My Kitchen Snippets because it was easier than some of the other recipes, and because her cake came out so soft and fluffy looking.
I made some slight changes to the recipe, replacing the orange juice with milk and skipping the orange zest. I also reduced the sugar a bit because I’ve always found the castella cakes I’ve bought to be a bit too sweet for me. I don’t think these changes are what caused my cake to collapse. I’ll have to do some more research before my next attempt.

Castella Cake (slightly adapted from recipe found on My Kitchen Snippets)

Ingredients :

5 large eggs
150 grams granulated sugar
200 grams flour
100 ml whole milk
2 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons oil (I used vegetable oil)

Directions
1. Prepared a square 8 x 8” square baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease it well. Preheat oven to 350 degree F and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a mixer whip eggs and sugar on high speed for 5 minutes or until batter forms a ribbon when the wire whip is lifted, the color should be light yellow.
3. Turn down the mixer to medium speed; slowly pour the flour mixture into the batter. Next add the milk and honey and mix until combined. Last, add the oil and make sure it is incorporated into the batter thoroughly.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place it in the oven and bake for 10 minutes in 350 degree F. After that, lower the temperature to 325 degree F and bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
5. Remove from the pan as soon as it is done. Place it on the cooling rack and let it cool completely. Wrap entire cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. This prevents the cake from drying out. Cut and serve the next day.

 

10 Responses to “Honey Castella Cake”

  1. 1

    Eva — January 17, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    My first attempt at castella was a fail as well.

    Check it out:
    http://dailydosesofsugar.blogspot.com/2010/07/castella-japanese-sponge-cake.html

    I can’t wait till I can replicate the moist and tender ones from the bakeries!

    • Kirbie replied: — January 17th, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

      let me know when you succeed!

  2. 2

    Mariko — January 17, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

    how strange that the cake would need bread flour– I would think it would come out too heavy!
    I like the look of your cake, though. I adore castella cake but I like a thick spongy cake too.

    • Kirbie replied: — January 17th, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

      I’m surprised too. If anything, I thought it would use cake flour. Next time I’m going to try bread flour and see what happens.

  3. 3

    anna — January 19, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

    I’ve never had or even seen these before but they look and sound amazing!

    • Kirbie replied: — January 19th, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

      Castella cake is pretty yummy. You can find it at Japanese supermarkets and I’ve seen it at chinese and korean markets as well.

  4. 4

    Lydia — March 29, 2013 @ 1:54 am

    Just took it out of the oven, the family loves it!

    • Kirbie replied: — March 29th, 2013 @ 8:30 am

      I’m so happy to hear that!

  5. 5

    elizabeth — November 16, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

    I am excited to bake this cake …its a simple cake and I like simple things, don’t you? Quite often it is the simple things in life which brings us the most joy.

    What flour do I use as it is not clear – all purpose flour, bread flour or just plain cake flour?

    Waiting to hear from you…you can email me. Thanks you.

    • Kirbie replied: — November 17th, 2013 @ 10:05 am

      all recipes which say “flour” mean all purpose unless I specify differently. have fun with the recipe!

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