Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kasutera

I love every type of sweets, but I've always had a sweet spot for Japanese sweets, aka, wagashi. Kasutera is made with honey, and is similar to a sponge cake. Immediately after being taken out of the oven, a plate is placed over the pan to lock in the moisture. The cake is then wrapped in plastic wrap to further trap moisture and prevent the cake from drying out. Being me, I couldn't help myself and I had to try it even before the cake had a chance to cool. A thick slice with some berries and whipped cream was the perfect okashi or snack.

I was a little hesitant to make kasutera at first, just because I wasn't sure if I would be able to obtain the light and fluffiness I was so used to when eating it. The eggs are whipped until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes in a stand mixer, to obtain the fluffy texture. Yes, I know it sounds like a long time to be whipping something, but these are whole eggs I'm talking about, whole eggs. Not just egg whites, yolk too!



Kasutera カステラ
from SugarBar
Ingredients
    2 eggs, at room temperature 
    80g caster sugar 
    15g raw honey 
    10ml water 
    60g cake flour 
    15g coarse brown sugar
1. Line the bottom and sides of a small loaf tin with baking parchment. Sprinkle coarse brown sugar in an even layer on the bottom of the tin on top of the parchment paper. Preheat oven to 160d Celsius.

2. Lightly mix the honey and water together in a small bowl to form a thick syrup. Set aside.
In a bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat on high until the mixture pales and thickens. The mixture should be ready when the electric whisk leaves a slow dripping, thick trail when lifted, taking a while to disappear into the rest of the batter. (after reading more recipes for kasutera, the general feedback was to whisk for a long time until soft peaks are formed, around 15mins; I think I whisked mine for about 5-7 mins. Will give this method a try next time round for a fluffier cake.)

3.Mix in the honey syrup. Then sift in the cake flour (you may want to double sift this cake flour before adding to the batter) and lightly beat this in. Set aside the electric mixer, using a rubber spatula, use the folding method to gently mix until incorporated. Ensure no pockets of flour are left.
Pour the batter from a high point into the prepared loaf tin. Use the rubber spatula to slice the batter in the middle from top of the tin to the bottom in a straight line. Then, using both hands, pick up the tin and lightly tap the bottom on the table to release excess air bubbles.
Place loaf tin on a flat cookie tray and bake in the oven for 30mins, or until cake tester when inserted comes out clean.

4.Once baked, remove from oven and place loaf tin on a wire rack. Top the cake surface with a piece of baking parchment and place a long flat dish over it to keep the cake surface flat for 5 mins. Thereafter, remove the dish and parchment paper and let cool in the tin for a little while (another 5mins thereabouts) until cool enough to handle with your hands but still warm. Tip the cake out from the tin, baking parchment and all. Place the cake into a plastic ziplock or using clingfilm, wrap it up. This is apparently to seal the moisture within the cake. Letting it cool completely standing on its own will dry out the cake a little.

3 comments:

  1. Wow, that looks so yummmy and soft and fluffy! I've heard about this cake, and will try it out :)

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  2. I have read a lot about this cake, but have never attempted one as i didnt think i have the patience to whip the eggs and wrap the cake after it gets done! But your pictures have sure inspired me to give it a go!

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  3. I feel like I should have heard about this before but I haven't. It looks so moist and you are right, it would be so decadent with some cream and berries.

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