Saturday, January 18, 2014

Kasutera - Japanese Honey Castella For Chinese New Year

Here is another cake which is deliciously sweet to serve to your guests during the Chinese New Year.  The green tea present will be auspicious and bring 'choy'/prosperity to your home. Kasutera aka Castella is a speciality of Nagasaki, this cake was brought to Japan by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century.  This cake does not contain any fat or butter but it is very moist and soft, the honey is the culprit, that is why sometimes this cake is called Honey Cake. 


4 egg whites
125 g fine granulated sugar
100 g bread flour/high protein flour
1 tbsp green tea powder
5 egg yolks
15 g honey mix with 2- 3 tbsp hot water


Cover a 7 inch thick cardboard box with heavy duty aluminium foil - 2 layers

Line the inside of box with parchment paper

Wrap Bake Even Strips around parchment lined box

Preheat oven to 325 f

Weigh 100 g bread flour/high protein flour

Weigh 125 g fine granulated sugar

Weigh 15 g honey

Add 1 tbsp green tea powder to the bread flour

Separate eggs and use 4 egg whites only

5 egg yolks

Add 3 tbsp hot water to the honey

In a clean oil free bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy

Egg whites should be foamy before adding in the sugar

Slowly add in fine granulated sugar, a little at a time with the mixer running

Whisk egg whites with sugar at high speed until glossy and stiff

Remove bowl from mixer and add in egg yolks into the egg whites

Use the whisk to mix the egg yolks into the egg whites until well combined

Sieve in the flour and green tea to the egg batter

Combine flour into egg batter with a whisk

Add in diluted honey

Pass the batter through the sieve into the prepared cake pan.
Use the spatula to smooth out air bubbles. Tap the pan lightly on the worktop to remove any more air bubbles, before putting into preheated oven to bake.(sorry have no pictures cos can't multi-task at this gesture)

Bake in a preheated oven 325 f for about 50 to 60 mins. till golden brown. 

Check if cake is done with a skewer and if it comes out clean, the cake is done.

Take pan out from the oven and drop it on the counter from about a foot high for 3 times, to prevent shrinkage.

Cool cake in pan. When cool enough to handle, invert the cake onto a clean sheet of parchment paper.

Wrap up the warm cake with the parchment paper to ensure the cake has a moist texture. 

Put the wrapped cake in a plastic bag, chill it in the fridge overnight, upside down to preserve moisture and to avoid uneven or dense layer at the bottom.

 To serve, trim off the sides of the cake with a sharp serrated knife in a 'sawing' motion, then cut up into neat slices

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