Japanese Kastella


I was looking for a simple light cake to bake, something that doesn’t need any frosting, so I took out one of my old cake book and stumbled upon a recipe for Japanese Kastella. Japanese Kastella originated from Portuguese Madeira and was brought to Japan in the 16th century. It says in the book that this is “possibly the most popular cake in Japan today“. It is traditionally served in an elegant plates in small slices with a cup of green tea….I got curious, I’ve never had, never seen or even heard of Japanese Kastella until I had this cake book, so I decided to give it a try; I checked the list of ingredients.. yep, I have everything in stock.

It is quite easy to make, it only took about an hour from prep time to finish.

The cake after its “pictorial” ( picture was taken by my sister-in-law), was gone in 60 seconds. It did not stand a chance with my little cake monsters. For me though it was just alright, not bad for a tea cake, it’s like the missing link between angel cake and chiffon/genoise cake. It is light, airy, a bit dry (it doesn’t have any oil or butter in the recipe) but with a rich taste. It goes well with honey-sweetened tea or coffee.

Japanese Kastella
adapted from Ultimate Cake by Barbara Maher

6 egg yolks
100g (3 1/2 oz ) caster sugar
2 tsp honey
pinch of salt
75ml ( 5tbsp) condensed milk
90g (3 oz) plain flour, sifted
4 egg whites
icing sugar to decorate

Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Grease and line an 8 1/2 inch (22cm) springform round pan.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together to the ribbon stage. Whisk in the honey, salt and condensed milk.

Stir the flour into the egg yolk mixture. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites into soft peaks. Stir 2 large spoonfuls of the whisked egg whites into the egg yolk mixture to loosen the texture. Carefully fold in the remaining egg white, taking care not to knock out the air.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until richly golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave to rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn out on to a wire rack, carefullly peel off thelining paper and leave to cool.

Dust the top of the cake lightly with icing sugar just before serving.

This cake keeps for 2-3 days and freezes for 2-3 months

Happy Baking!



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