Treat yourself with this super moist Japanese sponge cake with a hint of sweetness from honey! Made with only 4 ingredients, Japanese Castella Cake is a very popular confectionary in Japan. Try this delicious cake for your weekend baking project. It makes the perfect holiday or hostess gift too.

 

INGREDIENTS
  • 6 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell) (at room temperature – very important!)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ⅔ cup bread flour (Castella has an elastic bouncy texture from bread flour, and all-purpose flour cannot achieve this texture.)
  •  cup honey (5 Tbsp + 1 tsp to be precise)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp water (warm)
Honey Mixture for Brushing Castella
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • ½ Tbsp water (warm)

  • INSTRUCTIONS
    1. Gather all the ingredients. Preheat oven to 320ºF (160ºC). For a convection oven, reduce cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC).


    2. Cut parchment paper to fit the baking pans (See the video for this process). You will need two loaf pans (8.50 x 4.50 x 2.75 inch / 22 x 11 x 7 cm). If you use a plan smaller, add the excess batter in smaller pans and bake for a shorter time.


    3. Sift the bread flour with the sifter or a fine-meshed strainer twice. Holding the handle with one hand and tapping the strainer gently with the other, the flour will gradually sift through the strainer.


    4. Add 2 ½ Tbsp warm water to honey and whisk well.


    5. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Crack eggs into the bowl and vigorously whisk until combined.


    6. Add the sugar.


    7. Beat the eggs and sugar on high speed (Speed 10) for 5 minutes. If you beat the eggs with a handheld mixer, it will take more time.  The volume of the beaten eggs will increase about 4 times. The texture will be thick and the color will be pale yellow. When you stop the mixer and lift the whisk attachment, the mixture should fall in ribbons.


    8. Add the honey mixture into the egg mixture and whisk at low speed (Speed 2) until combined, about 30 seconds.


    9. Add the bread flour at three separate times: add ⅓ of the bread flour and whisk at low speed (Speed 2) for 15 seconds, then add more flour and whisk for 15 seconds. Add the last remaining portion and whisk until just combined for about 1 minute. Do not overmix.


    10. Spray the loaf pans with oil and spread out evenly with pastry brush.


    11. Put the parchment paper in the pans and make sure the paper sticks to the pans. If not, add oil and spread out evenly with a brush.


    12. Pour the batter into the pans (about 80% full).


    13. Using a skewer, draw a zigzag line to remove the air bubbles in the batter.


    14. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 2-inches above counter dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles.


    15. Bake at 320ºF (160ºC) in the middle rack of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. I bake for 35 minutes and keep my oven door ajar for a few minutes then I take out the cake. When done, the cake sides will pull away from the pan slightly; the top will be flat and feel spongy when pressed with a finger.


    16. Mix 1 Tbsp honey and ½ Tbsp warm water in a bowl and apply the honey mixture on top of the cake with a pastry brush.


    17. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter top. Take out the cake from the pan to the plastic wrap, top facing down. Gently peel off parchment paper.


    18. Immediately wrap the cake with plastic wrap to keep the moisture and while it’s hot store in the refrigerator overnight (at least 12 hours), keeping the top side facing down. This will help the cake have more fine and moist texture.


    19. To serve, slice off the sides of the cake with a sharp bread knife and cut into ¾ to 1 inch thick slices (you get 7-8 slices total). It’s better if you bring the cake to room temperature before serving.


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