Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Japanese Cotton Sponge Cake


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)

Ingredients :
- 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

Method :
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.

38 comments:

  1. Wow, this is one GORGEOUS cake!! I can't wait to try it!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Do try it, you will love the soft fluffy texture :)

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  2. wah looks so tasty! I believe it is like the Taiwan original cake so you can bake more to sell them. again I will be like TM, can i buy from you, pretty please? so did you finish all 3 cakes or can they be stored frozen like your other cakes?

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    1. You bet!!! She finished & whalloped all the 3 cakes by herself. Her partner only had miserable crumbs and we can go begging till eternity to eat a slice from her. Hu Hu Hu Hu....

      #KeepingBegging #PityHungryMe

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    2. Mun : I haven't tasted the Taiwan original cake but have tried the Ah Mah egg sponge cake. I'm not selling cakes yet hee..hee... I gave away some of the cakes :)

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    3. TM : Hello! I am not so greedy lah... wahahaha!!

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  3. Hi, PH!

    Yesterday I was ready to bombard you with my comments as I wanted to catch-up with your previous entries that I missed. And, I couldn't remember why I clicked the 'X' button on top and closed my chrome after reading your 'egg porn shot' entry ^_^ I bet usia dah tualah, asyik lupa bila buat something ^_^

    It doesn't matter whether the cake decides to deflate or wrinkle itself, as long as the taste is good, just eat ^_^ I bet with the madness that you have now, you will bake this over and over again yeah until all the wrinkles disappear ^_^

    It doesn't matter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See what I have done? I dunno when I published the comment without deleting those last 3 words ^_^ I bet memang dah tua sangat-sangatlah ni (Psstt...the KRT stories 'squeezing' my brain terus makin kecil tak boleh fikir betul-betul ^_^)

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    2. hah..hah...I have done that too :) Yup, wrinkled or collapsed, the cake will still taste good!

      Don't worry, MD. These lapses in memory happens to everyone hah..hah..

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  4. Martha Stewart & Gordon Ramsay would raise eye brows and give you a medal for your 3 baking attempts! That's a real chef and baker's determination to produce perfect cakes. You should have fed me the rejected cakes instead of eating by yourself. Soon you will need to buy new dresses and weighing scale which will go haywire. Boing! Boing!
    Just leash me next to your kitchen's dustbin and all happy.

    Why good sponge cakes must be from Taiwan & Japan? You could name yours as Ah Hong Chee's Extra Soft & Comfort Sponge Cakes! I can help you to sell online and we can become overnight millionaires! Muahahaha

    #StopDreamingLah #BossYellingNow! #Back2Work

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I gave away my cakes to family members but feel that the cakes are not good enough to give to you lah. Nanti you will discover that my cake looks better than it tastes hah..hah..

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  5. What a beautiful looking cake. There is nothing better than a piece of moist sponge cake with a cup of tea and a good book.

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  6. Third time truly is the charm! It looks beautiful - I bow before your baking skills!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sean! I am so motivated hee..hee...

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  7. Waaaa that is seriously tempting, PH!

    And looks so good!

    *drool*

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  8. If there's one cake I like...this is it! ;) I love simple egg sponge cakes especially those from Japanese bakeries. At first, I was wondering what were those square marks on your cake only to realise later that it was caused by the wire rack. If you have seen the videos of the Taiwan original cake being made, they use a wooden plank to unmould the cake. Maybe you can get one as that'll eliminate the lines on your cake. I think a little shrinkage is alright coz even the Taiwan original cake I see has shrinkage. I'm sure your homemade one is just as delicious but even an experienced baker like you had to do it 3 times, I wouldn't dare try since I'm not even a baker. I'll stick to buying them from outside...kekeke! ;D An 8-inch cake is like one portion of the Taiwan original cake. So, three can be finished very quickly, no? Hehe! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose I could line the rack with baking paper first before inverting the cake. Those pesky marks do come in handy when I slice the cake hee..hee.. I have seen those guys at the bakery use a metal ruler to mark the cakes. Yes, this cake can be finished easily since it is so light and so tasty :)

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  9. That looks so good! Bet it is a whole lot better than those expensive overrated Taiwan egg cakes.

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    Replies
    1. Oh..thanks hee..hee... I have yet to try the Taiwanese egg cakes. I hear there are long queues.

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  10. Wow! What a coincident! I bought a piece of sponge cake this morning and share it with a friend just to try. It was so moist and fluffy and I love it! Thanks for the recipe. I don't know whether I will be able to bake this but your sponge cake sure looks great!

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    Replies
    1. I am sure you can bake this cake and do it well!

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  11. Wow... I really wish I could stay next door to you.. whatever you bake or make, I super like! Maybe one day I will try this recipe...

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    Replies
    1. Don't copy cat my wish lah to be her neighbour. She won't welcome me to her home unless I manifest into a fat green caterpillar and wriggle my way to her flower pots! Join me to wriggle??? Or you wanna be the Queen Bee having coronation party??

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    2. Claire : heh..heh... I can't wait for you to try the recipe!

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  12. The recipe looks simple. Oh my. I love Japanese sponge cheese cake.

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    1. It is simple actually. Just need to get the egg whites right and the mixing right. Then just bake!

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  13. These cakes are fit to be sold at PH Original Cake Shop LOL!

    Business sure very good!

    By the way, did you use the mitten I gave you to bake this cake? LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your confidence in me hee..hee..

      I used your mitten when I bake cookies because I can lift the cookie tray with one hand :)

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  14. I can fell the lightness and airy-ness of the cake from your photo! Since my great success I told you in your latest birthday post, I'm thinking to try on this recipe too but the egg white beating definitely is a challenge for me! But I always face this problem when baking, the surface always get burnt while the inner not fully cooked, you know what I did yesterday? I cover the surface with a baking paper then continue to bake until it fully cooked :P

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    Replies
    1. I hope you achieve success with this cake too! Yes, I also do like you, cover the top of the cake to prevent burning. It works.

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  15. Ohhh....i suka kek ni PH. Pernah try 2-3 kali. Lepas tu tak buat dah haha...
    Betul... buat dia sedikit leceh sebab tulah sedap

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hainom, kek ni kira oen of the best lah sebab gebu gitu. Memang leceh, kan. Kadang2 kuning telur pecah dan masuk dalam bekas putih telur. Hancur!

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