If you like sweet and bouncy Taiwanese castella cake, you must try this recipe. It's incredibly smooth and chewy and infused with an incredible pandan flavor. Step-by-step instructions and a video recipe are included.
What is a castella cake?
The Castella (or Kasutera) cake was first introduced to the Japanese by Portuguese merchants. The cake was known as Pao De Castela (a bread from Castile). Over the years, the Japanese have adapted it to their taste. Japanese castella is made with only bread flour, sugar, eggs, water and honey. Castella honey is one of the most popular flavors. The texture is more like custard.
The Castella cake was then presented to the Taiwanese during the Japanese rule in Taiwan. Of course, the Taiwanese have also adapted it to their taste and this is what it is called Taiwanese castella. Taiwanese castella is more like a soufflé. It is made with cake flour (low gluten flour) instead of bread flour. It is soft and bouncy cotton.
Love how chewy and soft but bouncy Taiwanese castella is (can't stop 'bouncing' the cake in the LOL video)
The summary of the recipe
1. Taste: It's not too sweet and has that distinctive eggy aroma, which I love. If you don't like egg cake, you might not like it. It might sound bad when I said "eggy", but it's really not that kind of egg you imagine 🙂 Besides, it has a pandan flavor so the pandan contributes to that good aroma as well. You can add other flavors such as vanilla, or lemon, or orange extract for example
2. Texture: Soft, mellow and bouncy. It makes me happy just to watch it 🙂
3. Ease: Intermediate
4. Benefits: The ingredients for the castella cake are not difficult. It uses common ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. I prefer to use oil to make a cake (it's healthier) so this recipe uses oil instead of butter
5. Against: Getting the right meringue can be a bit tricky, especially if you've never worked with a sponge / chiffon cake before, but it's not really hard. It takes some time to bake this Taiwanese castella cake, but the result is satisfactory
I used a large egg, about 55 grams with the shell
2. Cake flour
To get the sweetness, you need the cake flour. If you use all-purpose flour, it won't be as soft and fluffy
You can use any oil with a neutral taste. I use grapeseed oil and sometimes avocado oil
You can replace it with pandan juice. I didn't use pandan juice because I ran out of pandan leaves and just use store bought pandan extract
5. Pandan extract
I am using this pandan extract. They're not the best, but that's what's available where I am.
I use granulated sugar (also called white sugar, regular sugar). You can substitute the same amount with powdered sugar, which is much finer than granulated sugar.
How to make a very good Taiwanese castella sponge cake
1. Set up a water bath
Put water in a pot and place a heat resistant bowl on top of the pot. Water must not touch the bottom of the bowl
Pour in the milk and oil and heat until the mixture is hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and wipe the bottom of the bowl
2. Prepare the cake batter
Sift the cake flour and salt into the milk mixture. It will be a thick mixture
Add pandan extract
Then add the egg yolk one by one. Put aside
3. Prepare the meringue
Beat the egg whites on low speed until frothy, then increase the speed to medium and add the sugar in 3-4 batches and keep beating until you get a stiff peak
4. Fold the meringue into the cake batter
Add 1/3 of the meringue to the cake batter. Swipe down and fold it up to combine
Then pour the dough into the meringue
Then slide down and fold over to combine until you can't see the white meringue anymore. Try to work fast and not to fold the meringue too much and deflate it
Pour the dough into the prepared pan. Hit the cake pan on the counter several times to pop large air bubbles.
Place the cake pan in the larger pan. Pour hot water about 1 inch high
5. Bake the cake
Very carefully transfer the cake pan to the oven, 3rd rack from the top (middle of the oven) and bake for 1 hour 50 minutes to 2 hours. Took me 2 hours with my oven. You can start checking the cake at around 1 hour 30 minutes. The cake should bounce back when you touch it gently. It should be dry to the touch. The cake should not shake when you gently shake the mold. A cake tester should come out clean
Remove from the oven and immediately knock on the counter several times to minimize shrinkage. Then immediately lift the cake out of the cake pan very gently by gripping it on the baking paper. Place on a cooling rack
Gently peel off the parchment paper from the side of the cake and allow it to cool completely this way before cutting
Use a serrated knife to cut the cake so you don't crush the cake. It has a very soft bouncy texture
Now the best part of course is to slice it up and eat it. We were blown away by the sweetness and sweetness of the Taiwanese castella cake. It was quite amazing!
Tips for avoiding cracks on the sponge cake
1. Cook at low temperature in a double boiler
Baking at 300 F (150 C) in a hot water bath gives me a perfect cake with no cracks on the top. The key is to cook it slowly and slowly. I have a conventional oven (heat source from the bottom). The cake doesn't deflate much when I took it out of the oven
2. Immediately remove the cake from the mold.
Once out of the oven, do not let the cake cool in the pan, this will cause the cake to shrink and also creases on the surface.
The sponge cake is dense and flat
There could be several reasons:
1. The meringue
Please do not reduce the amount of sugar. This cake is not too sweet. Sugar is necessary to give you a beautiful, shiny and solid meringue. A stiff meringue makes sure that the meringue does not deflate easily when you fold it into the cake batter. Make sure you don't over-beat the meringue. Once you reach a steep summit, stop.
When you fold the meringue into the dough, you might have overworked it and wasting most of the air that makes this cake tall and chewy.
2. Make sure the water you use for the double boiler is hot
If the water is not hot enough, the bottom will form a dense layer as the dough slowly separates
How to store Taiwanese castella cake
Let the cake cool completely. If you don't plan to serve it on the same day, don't cut it yet. Just wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in a cake container if you have one. When you are ready to serve, simply cut into the desired size. The cake can be stored at room temperature for 3 days.
Did you make this amazingly sweet Taiwanese castella sponge cake recipe?
I love it when you take a photo and a tag to show me what you did 🙂 Just tag me @WhatToCookToday #WhatToCookToday sure Instagram and I'll be sure to stop and take a look for real!
If you like Taiwanese soft cotton castella cake, you must try this recipe. It's incredibly smooth and chewy and infused with an incredible pandan flavor. Step-by-step instructions and a video recipe are included.
For cooking / making kueh: I strongly encourage weighing ingredients with a digital kitchen scale instead of using measuring cups as they are not very precise, especially when it comes to recipes requiring precision.CONVERTING GRAMS TO CUPS (NOT AVAILABLE)
Things to prepare before you start:
Preheat the oven to 300 F (150 C). Take the eggs out of the fridge for about 15 minutes to let them come to room temperature
Line your cake pan with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. I used two overlapping parchment papers. So I can lift the cake from the pan to cool it later
We will bake the cake in a double boiler. Get another larger pan so you can put the cake pan in a double boiler. Boil water for the double boiler
Set up a bain-marie (bain-marie):
Put water in a pot and place a heat resistant bowl on top of the pot. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Pour in the milk and oil and heat until the mixture is hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and wipe the bottom of the bowl
Prepare the egg white meringue:
Fold the meringue into the cake batter:
Add 1/3 of the meringue to the cake batter. Slide down and fold over to combine, then pour the batter into the meringue, then slide down and fold over to combine until you can no longer see the white meringue. Try to work fast and not to fold the meringue too much and deflate it
Pour the dough into the prepared pan. Hit the cake pan on the counter several times to pop large air bubbles. Place the cake pan in the larger pan. Pour hot water about 1 inch high
Bake the cake:
I have a conventional oven (heat source from the bottom). Very carefully transfer the cake pan to the oven, 3rd rack from the top (middle of the oven) and bake for 1 hour 50 minutes to 2 hours. Took me 2 hours with my oven. You can start checking the cake at around 1 hour 30 minutes. The cake should bounce back when you touch it gently. It should be dry to the touch. The cake should not shake when you gently shake the mold. A cake tester should come out clean
Return to calm:
Remove from the oven and immediately knock on the counter several times to minimize shrinkage. Then immediately lift the cake out of the cake pan very gently by gripping it on the baking paper. Place on a cooling rack and carefully peel off the parchment paper from the side of the cake and let cool completely this way before cutting
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