Obsessed. Or possessed? I baked this sponge cake three times last weekend. Yeah, like I had nothing better to do. Sometimes, I am overcome by a certain kind of madness.
I spotted the recipe for Japanese Cotton Sponge Cake from the book Creative Making of Cakes by Alex Goh. This is the caption from the book that described the cake and I quote :
"This cake is very nice to eat. Moist and soft in texture but difficult to prepare. The egg whites must be beat (sic) to the right consistency. Also over baking or too high temperature will cause the cake to shrink".
Is that enough to encourage or discourage you? The ingredients were easy enough - butter, milk, flour, eggs and sugar. And as usual, Alex Goh's instructions are super brief. He leaves you wondering and mystified. Perhaps he doesn't want to insult you so he assumes that you know your game.
What made me hesitate was the instruction to "cook the butter till melted and add flour and mix until well blended". Does that mean I add the flour while the butter is still on the stove? Or do I take it off the heat and mix?
Then I left the book on the shelf and forgot about the recipe for more than a year. That was until the long weekend when I decided to be bold and experiment!
I melted the butter in the microwave and then poured it into a mixing bowl. Then I added flour and the rest of the ingredients.
Since this was experimental, I was quite relaxed and when I took the cake out of the oven, I decided to try a trick which is supposed to minimize the shrinkage of sponge cakes.
What you do is drop the cake from a height to knock off the steam. So "whoomp!!" went my cake and since I was not sure how many times you are supposed to do this, I did it three times. I saw the cake deflate before my eyes.
I let it cool and then sliced it for a taste. Whoa. This cake is indeed very nice to eat. Soft and moist with a fragrant egg aroma. But it was deflated and was very short.
So I baked it again the following day but did not drop the cake. I wanted to see if there was any difference. This is how it looked like immediately after unmolding.
Then within seconds it got all wrinkly on me.
|Kecut dan kedut kek aku ni.|
But still, it was a joy to eat, wrinkles and all.
I had to do it again. See what happens if I drop it, but this time just once. This is how it looked like after being dropped and unmolded.
And it stayed that way (there is still some shrinkage, though minimal) until it cooled completely.
No wrinkles. Yay!
This cake is so good that it's hard to stop eating. I think I must have demolished half the cake. My partner enjoyed it too and when I asked him if he found the cake too sweet, he said it was all right. I am of the same opinion, sweet but not too sweet.
So now that I figured it out, I shall share the adapted recipe so that you can bake and enjoy this super soft and moist cake. I promise you, you will love this cake even if it turns out slightly deflated or wrinkled.
Japanese Cotton Sponge Cake
Recipe source : Adapted from Creative Making of Cakes by Alex Goh (page 32)
- 60g butter, melted
- 80g flour, sifted (I used self-raising)
- 80ml full cream milk
- 1 whole egg
- 5 egg yolks
- 5 egg whites
- 120g caster sugar
1. Line an 8" baking pan and set aside.
2. Melt butter (I used microwave) and pour it into a mixing bowl.
3. Add sifted flour and use a spatula to mix the flour and butter until well blended.
4. Add milk and continue to mix.
5. Add egg yolks, one by one, mixing as you go along, followed by the whole egg. Set aside.
6. Using a hand held mixer, beat egg whites until foamy and add sugar.
7. Continue to beat until stiff peaks.
8. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites and fold to mix (I used my bare hand) until you do not see any streaks.
9. Pour batter into the lined pan and bake at 160C in the middle rack for 35 minutes or until skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (Please note different ovens behave differently and adjust according to your oven).
10. Remove the cake from the oven immediately and drop it from a height (about 12 inches ) onto your tabletop.
11. Then unmould the cake and leave it to cool completely before serving.
Note : The cake will still shrink slightly.