Castella – Heavenly Japanese Egg Cake

Wikipedia entry of Castella – During the 16th century, a Portuguese ship came into Nagasaki, which used to be the port of Japanese commerce. The Portuguese brought the Japanese many then-unusual things such as guns, tobacco, and pumpkins. Castella was also one of the things they brought. Castella was able to be preserved for a long period of time, so it was useful for the sailors who were out on the sea for months. In the Edo Period, in part due to the cost of sugar, it was a precious food, and was served to envoys from Korea. Later, Japanese people started making castella, and over the years, the taste changed to fit their palate.

How to explain castella? It is a Japanese egg cake, very moist, very soft, and have a slight hint of honey and other unrecognizable sweetness. Traditionally it was made using mirin (reduced sake), which contributes to “other unrecognizable sweetness”.

Great things about Japanese sweets are:
1. Not too sweet
2. Not too fatty
3. One can see influence from other countries, yet we adjusted them taste soo damn good.
4. Our creativity is endless – i.e., cream with red bean paste, green tea powder in cheese cake, just genius!

Castella is definitely one of them. It’s only egg, flour, and sugar (well, a table spoon of honey, and dark corn syrup as well) and all you do is mix the shit of out of them. Yeah, you are supposed to beat them for 12 minutes or so. No need to worry about losing the air bubble, etc.

Also there is no fat in it, no butter, no oil! (caution – there are 10 egg yolks, and 5 egg whites). I was afraid the cake would turn out too dry, but for some reason, it turned out to be the moistest cakes I have ever made. It’s so soft, and taste like the ones you buy at the airport!!!

Since my pound cake mold was a bit too small, I used an angel food cake pan, but next time i will make it into a perfect rectangular shape.

Oh, I almost forgot. I somewhat followed recipe this time:
1 cup of cake flour
1.5 cup of sugar
10 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp dark corn syrup

mix wet ingredients together for 5 minutes. Add sifted dry ingredients, and mix another 7 minutes. Pour into mold, bake in 350 oven for about 40 minutes or until it’s done. When it is manageable, take it out of the mold, wrap in plastic tightly, rest it at least 24 hours (by being wrapped, moisture redistributes back into the cake, and that’s the key!).

There are other recipes using bread flour, etc., which is on my list to try this coming weekend.

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2 Responses to “Castella – Heavenly Japanese Egg Cake”

  1. kayoko Says:

    i was lucky enough to have some of this, and he’s right- it’s the BEST! Better than Bunmeido, a famous castella maker in Japan.

    You are awesome homo.

  2. kayoko Says:

    i was lucky enough to have some of this, and he’s right- it’s the BEST! Better than Bunmeido, a famous castella maker in Japan.

    You are awesome homo.

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