Castella, a specialty of Nagasaki and brought to Japan by Portuguese way back 16th century. It is also known as Japanese Sponge Cake that made of sugar, eggs, flour and starch syrup. The fluffy texture and light taste of sponge cake and the unique style of cooking this is very interesting. Since Japan is one of the countries that cook traditionally they still use the unique way of cooking or backing this cake traditionally until now.
Castella’s simple taste is a favourite of many Japanese. However, there are now many varieties made with ingredients such as powdered green tea since Japanese loves teas and also added with brown sugar and/or honey for extra sweetness.
The shape of Castella is rectangle but as time goes by, there are some molded in various shapes; a popular Japanese Festival food is Baby Castella, it is a bite-sized version that will allow you to eat as much as you want. Many tourists are visiting this festival because they wanted to eat and taste Japan’s pride and it is Castella.
I know you want a copy of recipe of Castella, and I will share you the traditional way of baking this sponge cake and I hope you’ll enjoy. Here are the ingredients.
In a pitcher of blender, place eggs, milk, water, melted butter, salt and flour and blend until smooth.
Lightly heat a non-stick pan and oiled.
Pout a scoop of batter onto the griddle, using 2 tablespoon of each crepe.
Tip and rotate the pan and the crepe should be as thin as possible.
Flip over when the batter is set and start to brown.
Stack finished crepes on a plate and cover with damp towel and set aside.
In electric mixer, blend cream cheese, lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla until smooth.
Gently fold in the shipped cream.
To serve, fill each crepe with ¼ cup sliced strawberries and 1/3 cup of cream cheese filling.
Roll up and top with a small dollop of the cream cheese filling.
Add some more strawberries.
Prepare the wooden boxes for baking first.
Wrap each of the four sides in a layer of paper for the lower part of the box.
Secure the paper with glue on the external side of the box.
Line each side with baking powder.
You should overlap the base by about 1/3 of the box’s width.
Line the base with baking paper the size of the internal dimension of the box.
On another base made of three sheets of paper wrapped in baking powder.
Wrap the sides of the upper part of the box in a single layer of copy paper.
Preheat oven to 210oC fan forced.
Lightly beat the eggs, egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl and set over a water bath.
When the egg mixture reaches 40oC on a thermometer remove the mixture.
Combine honey, mirin and boiling water until smooth.
I a stand mixer, whisk the egg mixture for 7-8 minutes or until light and fluffy and holds a ribbon when whisk is lifted out of the mixture.
Add honey mixture and beat for about a minute.
Sift in the flour and for 1 minute then add the butter and gently stir through without beating the mixture.
Scatter the sugar crystals over the base of the box.
Run a spatula through the mixture 3x to remove any air bubbles (removing air bubbles is very important so that the inner part of the cake is smooth).
Bake the Castella on the center shelf of the oven for 10-20 minutes or until the top is a rich golden brown. Carefully add the upper box and lid, and reduce the temperature immediately to 160oC fan.
Bake for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and remove the upper box.
Turn the lower box out onto the cutting board lined with plastic wrap.
When the cake is cool when touched, remove the lower box and wrap the cake securely in plastic wrap and keep wrapped overnight.
Unwrap the Castella and slice and serve.
You can add cooked condensed milk in between two Castella slice. To make the cooked condensed milk, you have to boil condensed milk inside the can and let it boil for about an hour, when you open the can, the condensed milk will turn color brown and the texture is a bit hard that will fit between the Castella.
The fillings won’t separate in the Castella if you cook the condensed milk completely. It is the best way to east Castella and perfect as dessert.
As for the Castella, you can add more fillings; you will be the one what to add in the sponge cake. In addition to that, it is perfect with hot black coffee while chatting with your friends or family.
I know you have some interesting fillings in the Castella, feel free to comment below and share it to other readers. Happy Baking !!!