30 March 2012

Marble Matcha Castella (Kasutera 长崎蛋糕)

The castella cake flu bugs spread so fast, I didn't manage to escape :)
The subtle sweet tastes, the smooth, delicate and bounce texture, I baked it not one, not two but three times in two days! My son rushed into the kitchen asking for a piece of what I baked when he smells the aroma! However, my cake is far from the perfect flawless castella-cake's definition which requires bottom and top of the cake to be flat with not a single ripple; cake texture to be poreless.

There are many different recipes for baking a yummy castella, I can't recall which castella cake was the first one I saw, but recently saw Ann baked her beautiful Matcha Marble Castella, her zebra marble pattern cake is exquisite! Zoe had her Japanese Honey Castella Cake. Sonia finally success baking her Castella.  Angie used spelt bread flour to baked her Matcha Spelt Castella and there is where I came to discover Biren from Roti n Rice recipe. 
Biren baked the castella cake without using the traditional wooden mould. Moreover, she did not use the cake stabilizer. This really increase my interest in trying out the famous castella cake using her recipe. Biren has a detail photos illustration on how to bake this cake, if you are interested in baking castella, hop over to her blog :)

* Note: you may noticed the photos are not so clear, this is because I am using the D80 which I am not familier with, please give me some time :)

My third castella, no major shrinkage and the top didn't collapse.

The above work-in-process photos were taken while I baked the first Green-tea Castella cake. It turned out not 100% successful because the top part of the cake which just under the cake top was a bit wet, same for the second castella cake (photos as below). Therefore, I increased my oven temperature to 180C for my third castella cake and prolong the baking time to 65 mins.

1st attempt: with 2 tbsp green tea powder and 2 tbsp honey

2nd attempt: 1 tbsp green tea powder and 1 tbsp honey

3rd attempt

Recipe adapted from Roti n Rice with changes
115g bread flour
10g green tea powder (used 1 tbsp, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water)
5 egg whites at room temperature
5 egg yolks at room temperature
150g sugar (used 80g)
2 tbsp mirin (omitted)
2 tbsp honey, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water

1. Line loaf pan with aluminium foil, then with non-stick baking paper. Sieve bread flour. Set aside. Preheat oven to 180C (for my oven
2. Place egg whites in mixing bowl and beat at high speed (speed 10 for KA) for 30 sec. or until slightly foamy. Add sugar in 2 to 3 increments until firm peaks form, about 4 mins.
3. Add egg yolk one at a time at medium low speed (speed 4 for KA) until mixture well combined, about 1 min. Add sifted bread flour and beat until just combined. Add honey, continue to beat for another min.
4. Scoop 3 tbsp of white batter and mix with green tea powder. Set aside.
5. Pour the remainding batter through a sieve into the loaf pan. Press with a spatula to help batter go through sieve. Tap pan to remove air bubbles, you may use a chopstick to draw "Z" on the batter. Pour in the green tea batter to the white batter, stir the batter a bit with chopstick (don't overstir or else the green pattern won't be obvious). Smooth the top of batter.
6. Place the pan into middle rack of the oven and bake for 65 mins (for my oven) or until cake top is evenly browned.
7. Remove loaf pan from oven, drop it from one foot height onto the counter to prevent shrinkage.
8. When the cake is cool enough to handle, life cake up by holding the edge of aluminium foil. Turn cake upside down onto a piece of parchment paper. Peel off aluminium foil, wrap cake with parchment paper and leave overnight in the fridge (right side up) to preserve moisture in the cake and for flavour to develop.

Smooth, delicate and bounce texture! This recipe is a sure keeper.