I always have sudden thoughts to bake in the middle of the day, so I am interested in simple recipes with basic ingredients that I can find at home. I previously made a Black Sesame Japanese Cotton Cake a few years ago, but this time I want to challenge an authentic treat in Taiwan, Old Street Castella Cake (古早味蛋糕). The recipe uses the same ingredients, a slightly different method, and a different texture.
What is Old Street Castella Cake?
Similar to the Japanese Cotton Cake, I use the scalded flour method, which is a common technique in baking pillowy soft cakes. Unlike the Japanese cotton cake which is better to eat cold, the Taiwanese Old Street Castella Cake tastes better when fresh from the oven. It has a strong egg flavor, with a fluffy texture. Baking this cake requires much patience to achieve a smooth surface. It is baked in a low temperature for 1 hour with a hot water bath.
Where do I get Hojicha Powder?
This time, I decided to infuse Hojicha Powder that I got from Hojicha Co. in my cake. I prefer using the powder in desserts because I don’t have a grinder to grind the tea leaves into powder form. And the powder tends to have a stronger flavor. It is difficult to find them in Vancouver, so I am glad that Hojicha Co. carries them. This Hojicha Powder is originated in Kyoto, Japan, and I also enjoy using it as a Hojicha Latte.
Hojicha Old Street Castella Cake (培茶古早味蛋糕)
- 6 inch Cake Pan
- A Baking Pan bigger than Cake Pan
- Silicone Spatula
- Hand Mixer
- 3 egg yolks
- 30 g milk or soy milk
- 45 g all-purpose flour
- 38 g vegetable oil
- 10 g hojicha powder from Hojicha Co.
- 3 egg whites
- 35 g sugar
- Preheat the oven to 170 °C or 325 °F.
- Line the cake pan with parchment paper. Wrap the cake pan with two layers of aluminum foil. Make sure that the cake pan is fully covered to prevent water going into the pan.
- Separate egg yolks and egg whites into two separate bowls. Put the egg whites in the fridge.
To prepare Yolk Mixture:
- Whisk the egg yolks and soy milk until combined.
To prepare Scald Flour:
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour and hojicha powder. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil at a low temperature. Then pour the heated oil immediately into the flour mixture and quickly stirred until everything is combined and lump-free.
- Wait until the scalded flour mixture is partly cooled, and mix it into the yolk mixture until combined. Set aside.
To prepare Meringue:
- Bring out the egg white from the fridge. Whisk the egg whites at low speed, allowing small stabilizing bubbles to form. Add in the sugar (35g) gradually and whisk at medium-low speed. After you add the last part of sugar, turn to high speed until soft peak forms.
- Put 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk batter. Gently mix them until combine.
- Gently mix the batter with the remaining yolk batter, until combine.
- Pour the batter into the lined cake pan. Tap the pan lightly to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.
- Place the cake pan into another baking pan. Add about an inch of hot water to the baking pan, so it surrounds the pan. Make sure you add enough water, so it does not fully evaporate during the baking process.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 170°C. Then bake for 45 minutes at 150°C (300°F).
- Once it is done, turn off the oven and let the cake be in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the pan. Ready to serve.
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Disclosure: hojicha powder is gifted by Hojicha Co.