When I travelled to Taiwan a few years ago, the Castella Cakes in Tamsui Night Market is one of the must-eat food from the food recommendation. We are foodies will not miss this opportunity to eat it. At that time, we bought a freshly baked original flavour Castella Cake and sat by the park watching the sunset to taste. The rectangular shape of the castella cake is not only pleasing and cute, but it smells sweet good, and it tastes very soft and delicate. The point is not too sweet and it is super delicious! Therefore, eating delicious food during the trip made us have very good memories of Taiwanese cuisine.
Because of the pandemic, we can’t travel abroad and miss the delicious and soft taste Castella Cake, plus it is not easy to buy here. So we went online to search for recipes. The ingredients did not look complicated and many people said that it was easy to operate, so we decided to start challenging ourself to bake castella cake at home. We have tried several times of this Castella Cakes, and the result is usually that the center is not fully cooked. This is more difficult than the banana bread or no-bake cheesecake I made before.
Failure is the mother of success, have the passion to start making also must have the courage to restart. It is not difficult to operate the Castella Cake at home. You only need to follow a few important techniques to make a soft and delicate Castella Cake. First of all, the oil must have a temperature to perform the hot water dough method. Then, the cake baked in the water bath method tastes moist and delicate. Because it is a water bath baking, you must prepare a baking pan without a seam at the bottom. If not you must wrap at least 3 layers of aluminium foil to prevent water ingress. Our previous failure experience was to use a baking tray with a seam and the in the right temperature.
The most important thing for baking this cake is the temperature control. Because we got a new oven recently and we are not familiar with the temperature of this new oven, so we have baked so many failed cakes. To solve the problem, we just bought an oven thermometer.
Information from The Internet
The cake was brought to Japan by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century. The name is derived from Portuguese Pão de Castela, meaning “bread from Castile. Castella (カステラ, Kasutera) is a kind of Wagashi originally developed in Japan based on the “Nanban confectionery” transmitted from Portugal. There is no confectionery called “Castella” in Portugal. And the prototype confectionery described later also different in appearance and manufacturing method from Kasutera (Castella). Castella Cake was first introduced to Taiwan in 1968, adapted the recipe to better suit Taiwanese tastes. Creating varieties that incorporated Taiwanese Longan honey and Japanese cheese. With these changes and with heavy promotion, castella cake quickly became a favourite amongst the Taiwanese.
Pandan Castella Cake
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- 20cm x 20cm x 5cm baking tin
- baking paper
- 80 g All Purpose Flour
- 20 g Corn Flour
- 60 g Unsalted Butter
- 6 Eggs 70g each
- 90 g Caster Sugar
- 50 ml Coconut Milk
- 50 ml Pandan Juice extracted from 10pcs Pandan Leaves
- A pinch of Salt
- A few drops of Lemon Juice or Vinegar
- Cut pandan leaves into small pieces add in 100ml water and blend it. Used fabric to squeeze out the pandan juice.
- Takes 50ml pandan juice mix with 50ml coconut milk and add a pinch of salt then stir well.
- Double boiling the unsalted butter until melted.
- Shift all purpose flour and corn starch into the bowl while butter still hot and stir well.
- Add in coconut pandan juice stir until the batter smooth.
- Separate the eggs yolks and whites.
- Put the egg yolks into the batter in portion and stir well.
- Add in few drops of lemon juice or vinegar into egg whites and whipping it with high speed and add in sugar in portion (3 times), whisk until stiff peak.
- Pre heat oven 150°C.
- Put 1/3 egg whites in the batter and stir well for emulsification.
- Pour the batter into the egg whites bowl, use a spatula to draw a zigzag to remove air bubbles in the batter until smooth.
- Put baking paper into the mould, pour the batter from the top into the mould to prevent large bubbles. Bang the mould for few times to release the air bubbles.
- Water bath 150°C baking for 50 or 60 minutes. Water bath is simply a pan of hot water placed in the oven, it adds moisture to the oven.
- When the cake is ready must take it out and tear off the baking paper. Then cut it and enjoy it.