Friday, February 25, 2011

Honey Castella Cake

If you’ve been following my baking adventures, you might recall that I’ve tried twice now to make a castella cake with no success. You can read about that here and here. I get an edible cake, that is actually quite tasty, but it is definitely not the right texture.

Castella (also known as Kasutera) cake, is a japanese sponge cake that has a light, fluffy texture. It’s usually baked in to a long thin rectangle shape and then sliced. It’s delicious for breakfast or for an afternoon snack with tea.

I wish I could tell you that I finally mastered castella cake, but sadly I haven’t. I’ve found a couple more recipes but they require a lot of eggs and a lot of patience. This weekend, I saw some castella cake on sale. It is readily available at the bakery section of Japanese supermarkets. I got mine at Nijiya.

I thought I’d buy one and see if it was as good as I remember. Was it really worth the effort of me continuing to try to bake my own? One bite, and I was in heaven. The cake was so utterly soft and light. I ate three slices before stopping myself.

Yes, it was as good as I remembered. So I’m going to continue on my castella cake baking quest. Though if it doesn’t work out, I might just go out and buy it from now on. It’s not expensive and it keeps well.

Anyhow, I was munching on the cake and I was itching to take a picture to capture how a castella cake really should look. Which is why there is this post of castella cakes with no recipe.

If anyone is interested in trying to make the cake, the most promising recipe I’ve found has been on The Little Teochew. It involves a lot of work, but her cake came out so pretty.

 

9 Responses to “Honey Castella Cake”

  1. 1

    Beauty & the Feast — February 26, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    Ah one of my friends brought me some of this last year and it was so fantastic! Light, sweet, and delicious. Looks great!

  2. 2

    Ruby — February 26, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

    I’m from Taiwan and I used to eat castella cake all the time.
    And no, castella cake doesn’t need that much work and time!
    You mentioned using bread flour for a chewier texture—while it’s true, it’s easier to turn dense on you if you didn’t do everything perfectly. All-purpose flour is more forgiving though.
    BUT, the flour has far less effect on the cake than how you beat the eggs.
    Like a sponge cake, it relies on the eggs to rise, so it’s EXTREMELY important that you set the eggs+sugar over simmering water(warm eggs yields larger volume, but don’t cook them!), beat them with electric mixers on med-high for 5-10 minutes until thick, then add warm milk and honey, continue to beat for 5 minutes or so until very thick and light in color. Turn the speed down to low and beat for 1 minute more.* The ribbons of batter should not disappear for 10 sec.
    Use the lowest speed, mix in the melted butter, (the butter would cause the eggs to deflate, so many recipes do not even have it, for the first try, you can omit it too, the high sugar content would still keep it moist)Then sift in the flour, still on low speed, mix 30 sec until everything just combined.
    Bake according to direction.
    When cake comes out of the oven, wrap it up and if you can, wait until the next day.
    *REPEAT: COLD EGG=SMALL VOLUME=NO! Use warm eggs, and the whole beating process should take about 15 minutes. DON’T RUSH IT!

    Take a break, and maybe try it again?:)

    • Kirbie replied: — February 27th, 2011 @ 10:43 am

      Thanks for all the tips. It’s strange that the recipes I tried didn’t require the simmer over water part, though I’ve seen that on other recipes. What you said makes a lot of sense. Now I really want to try again!

  3. 3

    Mew — February 27, 2011 @ 3:14 am

    http://manggy.blogspot.com/2008/08/honey-castella.html

    That’s the best honey castella recipe I’ve ever tried. It involves beating your eggs over a pan of simmering water so that they become very stable and can hold a lot more air. I would definitely recommend doing it that way!

    • Kirbie replied: — February 27th, 2011 @ 10:45 am

      Thanks so much! Between you comment and Ruby’s, I really want to try again!

  4. 4

    Lindsey@Lindselicious — February 27, 2011 @ 10:20 pm

    I feel your pain! This cake has alluded me twice as well… Definately post if those tips help out a lot!

    • Kirbie replied: — February 27th, 2011 @ 10:58 pm

      I’m eager to try it again with these new tips. I’ll post if it works out. Though it still sounds like a lot of work though since you can’t use the stand mixer if you need to beat the eggs over simmering water.

  5. 5

    Nastassia Johnson — February 28, 2011 @ 11:44 pm

    these look llike my childhood fave saralee frozen poundcake and i mean that as the highest compliment. they look so light fluffy and delicious! can’t wait to give this recipe a try.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 1st, 2011 @ 9:47 am

      I hope you enjoy the recipe!

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