Super Soft Japanese Sponge Cake

Honey Castella is a Japanese sponge cake with a fine and fluffy texture, prepared only with egg foam. Only 4 ingredients: eggs, sugar, flour and honey.

This sponge cake is said to be named after the Monarchy of Castile in Spain, but was brought to Japan by Portuguese merchants through Nagasaki in the 16th century.

Imagine the dismay of the first European merchants who came to those shores to realize that there was no stick of butter within 2,000 miles to bake.

Sugar was introduced at the same time when the European trade arrived so the Castella sponge cake developed into a softer and sweeter flavor. It had great staying power because it allowed the Japanese to enjoy the novelty of cakes without having to adapt to dairy products. The importance of the latter cannot be underestimated since East Asian cultures did not have dairy products in their diet until the last century.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar (70 g)
  • 1/3 cup baker’s flour (sifted) (50 g)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey diluted in 1 tablespoon of hot water (25 g)

Preparation

Cover a tray of approx. 9 cm x 19 cm with aluminum foil, followed by parchment paper. Preheat oven to 165 ° C

Place the egg whites in the mixing bowl and beat on high speed for 30 seconds until slightly foamy.

Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar little by little until firm peaks form, about 4 minutes.

Add the yolks one by one at low medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.

Add sifted flour and beat until combined.

Pour in the honey mixture and continue beating for 1 minute.

Pour the dough through a strainer into a cake pan.

Press with a spatula to help the batter get through the screen.

Using a spatula, smooth the top of the dough to remove air bubbles.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the surface is evenly browned. A toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.

Remove the tray from the oven and when the cake is cold enough to handle, remove it from the pan.

Peel it off the parchment paper and place it face down on a new piece of parchment paper.

Wrap in plastic wrap and leave overnight at room temperature to preserve moisture in the cake and to develop flavor.

To serve, cut the crust from the sides except the top and bottom with a very sharp knife.

Cut into thick slices with a saw movement.

Serve it.

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