I feel myself still have long way to master in baking, like this an example of Castella cake, I only success on the 4th attempt (thought still not a perfect one!) even i have the recipe and resources for reference.
Earlier i was too confident because I thought i have this wooden box that specially to make Castella cake, sure i have no problem to make this cake. And i even has more confident as there is a cake stabilizer added in..This is cake stabilizer or so called Ovalette / SP, widely used in Asian baking but don't think can be found in Western countries..Actually this is not good when consume frequently and i also dislike the plastic smell. I just tried this time specially for this cake...
These were the 3 failed attempts! A layer of uncooked flour formed at the bottom..
1st failed attempt - I bake at the lower rack, the heat could not flow fast to the bottom and resulted a layer of uncooked flour...
2nd failed attempt- This time i bake at the middle rack, but still a thin uncooked flour layer formed but better than 1st time, maybe i underbeat the batter..
3rd failed attempt- still at the middle rack, increase the temperature but still formed a thin uncooked flour layer
I almost give up after the 3rd failed attempts..I sent an SOS email to Castella cake master sifu Jane and got some advice from her. I rememberd Jane asked me to take it easy (平常心 ) to make this cake. But I could not do that because I already failed 3 times, hahaha.. So I cracked my head to find out the reason..At last, i concluded that I should remove the layer of foil wrapped outside of the box (more heat contact from the bottom since four size of the box is thick wood) and only line with paper and also change the cake pan.
I also came out with my own paper layout that suit and perfect fit in this wooden box.
You need to beat the batter till stable and creamy..
Also inverted the cake after bake..(next time i will try not to invert to see any ifference)
Thought my 4th attempted still not perfect, the bottom shrunk a bit..(I suspected i bake at a bit high temperature of 170c instead of 160c as suggested, cake rise too fast and tall, resulted rapidly shrunk once contact with cool air)..
With my failed experinces as per above, i hope it will help you to success making this cake for the 1st time...
The taste of this cake is just ok, something like Egg sponge cake (Ji Dan Kou) with honey aroma but the texture more firm if compare with normal cake, between cake and bread. If i have opportunity, I must taste the real Castella cake in Japan.
Updated on 25th February 2012- I would like to reiterate that this is actually a good recipe, just my poor skill resulted these failed attempts..In fact, i got a very nice smooth and not wrinkle top cake surface, and the surface also not sticky once cake is cooled down.
Castella (Kasutera) cake长崎蛋糕(カステラ)
(recipe source: adapted from Jane’s corner, original recipe by周老師)
*makes one wooden size of cake
250g eggs (at room temperature)
80g fine sugar
10g cake emulsifier/Ovalette/Cake stabilizer
55g high protein flour / bread flour
90g low protein flour / cake flour
a pinch of salt
50g melted butter
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c.
2. Line wooden box with parchment paper and place on a large baking pan.
3. Warm milk, honey and cake emulsifier and mix through over simmering water.
4. Pour all ingredients into mixing bowl except melted butter and mirin. Beat with medium speed (KA mixer speed 4) until batter is thick and creamy white (about 8-10 mins), scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl from time to time. When you are done the batter will be thick enough to form soft peaks when you draw up your whisk. If you write a “O” on the surface with the whisk, it should stay there long enough for you to read it before it disappears.
5. Combined melted butter and Mirin together, slowly add into the batter and beat over low speed (KA mixer speed 1), scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure blend well.
6. Pour batter in the lined wooden cake box (I also warm the cake box in the pre-heated oven). Put cake into the oven and reduce oven temperature to 160c. Bake for 55-60mins at middle rack of the oven.
7. Remove cake from oven, place a non-stick parchment paper on top of the cake and follow by another cake pan, turn up side down the cake. Cool on a wire rack.
8. When the cake is cool enough to handle but still warm (~15mins), invert the cake again, remove the pan and wooden box. Continue to cool on a wire rack.
9. Cool slightly and wrap the cake nicely. Chill in the fridge overnight before serving (This step is critical to ensure the Castella has a moist texture).