Saturday, October 15, 2011

Castella Cake/Kasutera

I must thank all my readers for leaving a comment here.  And I'm glad some of you broke your silence just to share your personal experiences. 

I am doing fine, so please don't worry about me. The reason I published the SAHM post is simply because sahms are often misunderstood by many. With my personal experience sharing, I hope to give working people an insight of the life of a sahm.  We might seem like we have lots of time, with no reports to run, no meetings to attend, and no deadlines to meet.  But we have our own commitments too.  I'm not upset over my friend's remark, just irritated.  I just want to remind her that life as a sahm is not what she thinks.  She is fortunate to have her parents taking care of her kids, and at anytime she needs to go on a date with her hubby, her parents are always there for her.  To me, I don't care a damn about how she lives her life and how blessed she is.  I just live mine the way I choose it, with or without support from relatives.  I've come so far all by myself, and I don't get demoralise with her remarks.  So, yes, I'm feeling good and definitely not going to get miserable over this :-)

Back to some "serious" postings.  This Castella Cake was a hit  back in 2009.  I've always wanted to try baking it but I've read and understand that this is a very delicate cake.  Being a beginner in baking, I procrastinated and finally found my guts to make it last Dec.

The texture is soft and light, however I wasn't able to achieve the "poreless" effect despite using low power on the mixer.

Not too well done on the skin too, the "pores" were too obvious.

Feeling adventurous, I made another batch using brown sugar.  Nice!  But again, still couldn't achieve the nice appearance.  Nevertheless, they tasted great and my kids love it.

Castella Cake (Japanese Honey Spongecake)
Recipe adapted from Baking Mum
Method adapted from Just Hungry with slight modifications

5 large eggs
170g granulated sugar (I reduced to 140g)
200g plain flour, sifted twice
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I omit)
100ml milk, at room temperature
4 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons canola oil

  • Cut the parchment paper so that it's large enough to fit the bottom and sides of the cake pan with a little excess. Fold it in until it completely covers the bottom and sides, leaving a it hanging over. (To make it stick to the pan, smear a little butter or shortening on the pan first.) Sprinkle a little sugar over the bottom, on top of the paper.
  • Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat.
  • Heat up milk, add honey and mix well.  Set aside for later use.
  • Break the eggs into a big mixing bowl and whisk on lowest setting on your mixer. Add the sugar gradually. Start whisking this while holding the bowl over the pan of hot water. As soon as the mixture feels lukewarm to the touch, take it off the water and continue whisking. If it cools down again, put it back on the hot water pan to warm it up.  Beat till ribbon stage (pale and extremely thick, you should be able to write your initials on the surface of the batter with your whisk, and they should stay there for a few seconds before it disappears)
  • Add the flour in 3 - 4 batches and mix till there are no pockets of flour. Next add the milk/honey mixture, beat it well. Last, add the oil and make sure it is incorporated into the batter thoroughly (I used Baking Mum's method in this step).
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven of 170C for 10 mins, reduce heat to 150C and bake for another 35 mins or until a skewer stuck in the middle comes out clean.
  • In the meantime, mix together the 1 tablespoon of honey and a little hot water, to make a glaze.  As soon as the cake is out of the oven, brush the top with the honey-water mixture.
  • When the cake is cool enough to handle but still warm, lift it out of the pan, paper and all, and put into a plastic bag. Seal the bag and put into the refrigerator, for at least several hours. This step is critical to ensure the kasutera has a moist texture. If you let it cool to room temperature before putting it in the plastic bag, it will end up a bit dry.
  • To serve, use a very sharp knife to make clean cuts.


DG said...

This is nicely baked, can see the soft & fluffly texture in it :)

mr. pineapple man said...

I love love love castella!!! especially the bat brand from nagasaki :)

usako16 said...

Hello I am a beginner at baking and I have the same oven as you do, I am wondering which rack do you use to put your cake batter on, and which settings you set for baking? Upper, lower or both? How to prevent your cake (e.g chocolate cake) from burning on top and the bottom? Thanks.

Food For Tots said...

Never attempt this cake before. Yours looks perfect to me. ;)

Kitchen Corner said...

I really admire you have gone through so far and so capable without help from relatives. I dun have anyone else to help me too but I already feel myself totally exhausted especially when he does not cooperate with me. I wonder how you able to cope out so far. I wish to screammmmm....
Haih... Beside, you cake looks tasty, I think I need something sweet to calm down now :) cheers!

Blessed Homemaker said...

Thank you all for your kind words.

I used the bottom rack but elevate up with a baking pan, followed by a cooling rack. So I bake in between the 2 original racks. I always bake using top and bottom heat. If the top is turning brown too fast but the cake is still uncooked, cover it with foil to prevent burning.

Blessed Homemaker said...

Kitchen Corner,
Thanks again! You are struggling because you are a first time mom. I've struggled too. Don't worry about it, it is just a phase in your motherhood life. Let me know if you need any help in your newborn, I'll try my best to answer to your queries. In the mean time, hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Talk beautifully but you are sulking deep inside.

Anonymous said...

I just tried this recipe. My cake is full of holes but taste is good. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Karen