Helen’s Japanese Castella Cake

Helen's Japanese Castella cake.JPG       Helen's Japanese Castella cake cut up.JPG      

For the egg yolk mixture:

1 and 1/2 Tbs condensed milk
3 Tbs honey
3 Tbs milk
3 Tbs vegetable oil, preferably smooth and neutral tasting ones
3 egg yolks, at room temperature
80 g light brown sugar
200 g bread flour (Sift twice)
1 Tsp baking powder

For the egg white mixture:

3 egg whites, at room temperature
40 g caster sugar
1 Tsp cream of tatar

Method

Place a baking rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the internal sides of your cake pan with aluminum foil and a piece of baking paper to fit its bottom.

For the egg yolk mixture:

Place condensed milk, honey, milk and oil in a saucepan or heat proof bowl. Cook mixture in the saucepan using the stove with very low heat or microwave mixture in the heat proof bowl with short pulses of low power until all dissolve into the mixture. Do not over-cook the mixture until it boils because overcooking the mixture will cause it to curd!!! Set aside for the mixture to cool slightly, about 10 mins.

Place egg yolks and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and use a hand whisk to beat until mixture turns slightly lighter in colour. Whisk in the honey mixture. Add flour and baking powder into egg yolk mixture and whisk until everything is combined.

For the egg white mixture:

Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites in medium low speed until foamy. Add cream of tatar and increase beating speed to medium (not too high to avoid large bubbles forming). While beating, add sugar gradually and continue to beat until stiff peaks form and the meringue look glossy. Do not over beat the mixture.

To combine and bake:

Using a spatula, fold in the egg whites to the egg yolks mixture in 3 portions. It’s ok to mix the first batch of egg white mixture kind of vigorously into the egg yolk mixture but please ensure that the subsequent batches are mixed in very gently until most of the white is not visible after folding.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Gently drop the pan onto the kitchen bench from a height of 10 cm to remove any large air bubbles and do this just once. If you are afraid of doing this, you can use a skewer to draw a zigzag to remove air bubbles in the batter. You can choose to do either one of these steps or both but do not over-do these steps.

Place pan in the middle rack and bake for 10 mins. Decrease temperature to 140°C and bake for another 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the cake is thoroughly cooked and must has a nice golden brown top. Lightly press the cake with your finger, if it bounces back, that means your cake is done.

Remove the cake from the oven. Gently drop the pan onto the kitchen bench from a height of 10cm – to prevent shrinkage. Allow the cake to cool with the foil until the warm cake is cooled enough to touch.

Remove the cake out of the pan, peel off the foil and the baking paper at its bottom and wrap the cake in cling wrap. Place cake in an airtight container and allow it to rest in room temperature so that the cake will moisten by itself for at least one day and the cake cake will stay moist (in airtight container) and delicious even until on its 5th day of bake.

Slice and serve on the next day. Store the uneaten cake in airtight container for up to 5 days in room temperature.

NOTE:

(1) An inserted skewer or cake tester is not a good gauge to see if the cake is thoroughly cooked.

(2) Different oven is different temperature and time. To optimize your baking, you might wish to try other oven temperature setting: 185 Degree C; then 150 degree C. Less your oven time to 60 minutes.

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