Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Castella (Katsutera) Cake- Japanese Honey Sponge Cake

After baking 4 cheesecakes in 2 weeks, I've decided to surf around for something else to bake. Finally, stumbled into The Little Teochew and saw her incredible pictures of an velvety smooth Castella Cake that I knew I have to try baking.  I don't think I've eaten a Castella Cake before, so let's just do it!  The recipe was taken from Just Hungry

What was special about the recipe was that there was no butter or oil in the ingredients list. This is the first time I've baked a cake without them. Just eggs, sugar, honey, milk and flour. Little Teochew/ Jo used bread flour while Just Hungry provided an option to use all-purpose flour or bread flour. I have my own reserves about using bread flour for baking cake, worried that the end product may be very tough. Jo had to steam her cake to soften it. Hence, I've decided to use all-purpose flour, hoping to get a soft cake. 

A slice of Castella Cake
Not so smooth with lots of pores but at least it tastes much better than it looks.
The light was extremely light & spongy with the sweet fragrance of honey. Hmm....
Not very nicely cut too although I've used my sharpest knife :P
Wonder how some people manage to cut their cakes so professionally???
I imagine myself sitting in front of a cake, with my whole collection of knives, trying to perfect my cut...
I think I'm getting fixated at cutting cakes!

Whisking eggs and sugar over a pot of hot water.
This is another unique requirement for baking the Castella Cake.
I have halved the recipe, using only 4 eggs instead of 8.

The batter almost filled my loaf tin to the top.
 I was worried about the batter overflowing during baking but Just Hungry said fill it to the top. 
So keeping my fingers crossed... 

Looking not too bad after baking...
The holes were made from the skewer to test for 'doneness'
Although I've made a smaller cake, I still require the same amount of baking time.

After getting the cake out of the oven, I brushed some honey glaze (honey mixed with some hot water) over the top and the top of the cake started to sink in! I quickly placed the cake back into the oven, hoping to rescue it. After it cooled down a little in the oven, I used cling-wrap to cover up the cake and put the entire cake + tin into the fridge to cool it totally. This step was important according to Just Hungry as it helps to keep the cake moist. 

Well, I just had some slices of cake for breakfast and they're cool, soft & moist. I didn't have to steam it to make it any softer. But I still hope I can achieve the look of Jo's version of velvety cake with micro pores someday. But for now, I still get to enjoy my version of the cake. :)

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