Here I am getting ready for a three week vacation to Canada. The bags still aren’t fully packed and the house not ready to be left for almost a month. And I’m feeling really relaxed. Did I mention we leave in an hour? I’m usually one of those people that has everything ironed and packed a week beforehand, the house spotless and in order and the kids cleaned and clothed and ready for the airplane hours before we leave the house. Did I mention the kids are still in their pajamas splayed out on the carpet reading comics as I type this? I blame it on the heat.
So the other day, instead of ironing clothes for five people for three week’s vacation, I decided to make a cake that I’ve been dreaming about since we were in Japan last year. It’s a typical sponge type cake that you find all over Japan and it has this soft and moist spongy consistency that is light and fluffy at the same time. Confusing I know. It’s thought that the cake actually originated in Portugal and was brought over to Japan in the 16th century (to the southern island of Kyushu).
Surprisingly enough there is no butter or oil in this cake. Which means it’s absolutely sin-free and healthy of course. It has a lovely pale yellow colour (thanks to the 6 egg yolks) and is so pretty when served on a plate with a side of peaches (which I saute in butter and brown sugar).
Read on for recipe…
Japanese Castella Cake
6 egg yolks
2 tsp honey
pinch of salt
75ml (5 Tbsp) condensed milk90g flour
4 egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 160C (325F). Grease a springform loaf pan or line a normal loaf pan with greased parchment paper.
2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and doubled in volume. Slowly add in the honey, salt and condensed milk.
3. Gently fold flour into egg yolk mixture.
4. In clean mixture bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold 1/4 of egg whites into the egg yolk mixture (to loosen it up) and then fold in the rest making sure to keep the mixture as airy as possible.
5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (the top of the cake should have a nice golden brown colour).
6. Remove cake from oven and let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes. To serve with the traditional Japanese appearance trim off side crusts of cake and slice with serrated knife. Serve with hot green tea.