Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Hello Castella!

My husband and I went to New Malden last Saturday, to check out the little Korean town in London.  (which I will write a bit more later).  We went to a Korean supermarket (it was huge!) and saw some Castella cakes (蜂蜜蛋糕) by the till - it looks so fluffy and suddenly my inspiration came - that's what on the baking itinerary for the weekend!

After browsing a few recipes online, I decided to go after Just One Cook Book's recipe - very detailed explained and the reviews were great.

The first cake was a little too sweet, but is super moist and soft.

The first batch was done on Saturday night, in the 'original' honey flavour.  But after my husband and  I tasted it, we think we might need to cut a bit on the sugar level.  So the recipe below is the 'updated' version, for the one just came out the fridge Tuesday morning.  And that is a 'Pandan' version.

Pandan Castella Honey Cake (1 pound loaf)


3 large eggs (chilled in room temperature for 24 hours)
90g sugar
100g bread flour
1 tbsp honey (2 tbsp honey if making original flavour)
1 tbsp warm water
2 tbsp Pandan extract (omit it for original flavour)
1 1/2 tbsp coconut milk (omit it for original flavour)

extra honey for glazing:  1 tbsp honey + 1/2 tbsp warm water

First of all, line a 1 pound cake tin with baking paper.  Use melted butter to adhere the all sides.

Line the cake tin with parchment paper

Preheat oven at 160C

Sift the bread flour twice, so it is super smooth with no lumps.  In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp of honey with 1 tbsp warm water.

In a large bowl, use an electric whisk in medium speed to whisk the eggs until frothy.  Slowly add in the sugar and increase speed to high, keep whisking for about 5 minutes - until the egg batter is thick in texture, pale yellow in colour.  It will be 4 times bigger before it was whisked and leave a ribbon trail when you lift up the whisk.

Egg batter is ready when it looks pale yellow and leaves a ribbon trail when the whisk is up

Add honey and whisk in low speed until just combined.  Then whisk in pandan extract and coconut milk also in low speed.  
Whisk in honey, pandan and coconut milk - just until combined

In 3 addition, add in the bread flour, each whisk for 15 seconds in low speed.

Now pour the batter into the lined tin, run a stick through the batter to lead out any large air bubbles.  After that, jingle the tin against the counter, this will bring out more air bubbles from the batter and leave a very smooth texture for the cake.

2 steps to bring out air bubbles - run a stick along, then jingle it against the counter

Bake for 40 mins until it is fully set, and it should have a bouncy, fluffy texture when you touch it.

Remove from the oven, and spread on top with the honey glazing.  Then place a large piece of cling film on the counter, remove the cake and turn it upside down onto the cling film.

Wrap it tightly and put it in the fridge immediately to retain the moisture inside the cake.   It is ready to be served after sitting in the fridge over night (upside down!).

Turn it upside down and wrap with cling film.  

I had it this morning for breakfast, is so good to pair with fresh coffee!

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