"Ah-ah-ah-choo!" Pardon me. I think I have caught the latest "Castella-cake flu bugs" too :p
I can't stop admiring how Biren from Roti and Rice and Ann from Anncoo Journal bake their Castella cakes. Biren is always clever and detailed with her baking and I enjoy reading all her detailed explanations of the origins and procedures of her baked goods. Ann is always brilliant and perfect with all her baking and her Castella cake is a spot-on!
A few years back before I started blogging, I always remember a particular Castella cake post that had enchanted me for years! It was the one from The Little Teochew that captured all the "sparkling" angles of her Castella cake. Her post mentioned that she used the recipe from Just Hungry which uses a technique of whisking the cake batter while holding the bowl over a pan of hot water. I did tried baking Castella Cake using Just Hungry recipe for not just once but for more than three times but failed very badly in all my attempts. I thought I was hopeless in Castella cake baking and wouldn't be able to bake a Castella cake in my life. LOL!
Until recently, I saw how Cheah from No-Frills Recipes did all her interesting research to bake her Castella cake and how Sonia from Nasi Lemak Lover finally succeed baking her Castella cake after five attempts. I am very inspired by Sonia's perseverance, and didn't want live my life regretting not baking a Castella cake...LOL! And, here I am baking my own honey Castella cake! And, I'm glad that I did it!
The Castella cake recipe that I using is from Roti and Rice. With so many recipes to choose, why am I choosing this recipe?
All mainly because Biren's recipe doesn't contain any cake stabiliser. I have used Ovalette (a cake stabiliser) before to bake my sponge cakes but didn't like the idea of having an emulsifier in my cake because I reckon that it creates an over-"bouncy" texture. I must admit that the cakes with added stabilisers does stay in their shape very well with the least amount of shrinkage but I think Biren has designed her recipe in the way that the eggs in her cake has been cleverly treated to create a fabulous Castella cake texture. Thanks Biren. This cake is so light and beautiful!
|I didn't have a traditional Castella wooden cake pan and so I improvised mine according to Biren's instructions.|
|Making the cake|
|Admiring every angle of the cake when it was freshly baked|
|Thanks Biren! This cake is so light and beautiful!|
Here's the recipe from Roti and Rice
(with my modification in blue in order to bake the cake in 11 cm x 21 cm loaf pan)
2 egg whites at room temperature (increase to 3)
2 egg yolks at room temperature (increase to 3)
5 tbsp (70g) sugar (remain unchanged)
1/3 cup (50g) bread flour, sifted (increase to 75g)
1 tbsp (25g) honey diluted with 1 tbsp hot water
(increase to 40g with 1 1/3 tbsp water)
Line a 9 cm x 19 cm (mine is 11 cm x 21 cm) loaf pan with aluminum foil followed by parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C) (or 150°C fan forced).
Place egg whites in mixing bowl and beat at high speed (speed 10*) for 30 sec until slightly foamy. Add sugar in 2 to 3 batches until firm peaks form, about 4 min.
Add yolks one at a time at medium low speed (speed 4*) until well combined, about 1 min. Add sifted bread flour and beat until just combined.
Pour in honey mixture and continue to beat for 1 min.
Pour batter through a sieve into cake pan. Press with a spatula to help batter go through sieve. Tap pan lightly to remove air bubbles. Using a spatula, smoothen the top of batter to remove any remaining bubbles.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 min or until top is evenly browned. Toothpick inserted into cake should come out clean. Remove pan from oven and drop it from a one foot height onto the counter to prevent shrinkage.
When cake is cool enough to handle, remove from pan. Peel off parchment paper and turn it upside down onto a fresh piece of parchment paper. Wrap with plastic wrap and leave overnight at room temperature to preserve moisture in the cake and for flavor to develop.
To serve, cut off edges on three sides except the browned top with a very sharp knife. Cut into thick slices using a sawing motion and serve with a cup of tea.
*These are the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer speed numbers.
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