This castella was made using blueberry flavored honey purchased from Sugi Yohoen in Nikko, Japan. My sister was attracted to the steamed sweet potatoes cake on display outside. We ordered one small sweet potato cake to share and the lady shopkeeper gave us 2 small cups of honey drink to try.
The honey is fabulous. Each flavor has different health benefits but we were sold on the raspberry flavored honey the moment the lady said it will help to burn fats and aid in slimming. Ha! We ended up buying 5 bottles of varied flavors between us, even though it was going to be tough lugging the honey home. In fact, I had a small episode at the security clearance in Japan. You see, I had forgotten no liquid above 100 ml was allowed in the airplane cabin. I had stowed the precious honey in my hand-carry bag! Lucky for me I was allowed to charge out from the security clearance to check-in the items. Thank God they arrived undamaged.
I followed the recipe from Cooking with Frog, with some adaptations.
Blueberry Honey Castella (adapted from Cooking with Frog, who adapted from Annco Journal)
- 6 eggs
- 100 grams castor sugar
- 3 tbsp blueberry honey, mixed in 2 tbsp warm water
- 100 grams bread flour, sifted twice
- 2 tbsp large brown sugar crystals, for sprinkling
- Line the bottom and sides of a 7 x 7 inch square pan or wooden castella cake box, making sure the parchment paper extends at least an inch over the top of the pan. If using cake box, line the bottom with aluminum foil before lining with parchment paper. Sprinkle brown sugar crystals evenly on the bottom.
- Prepare a small pot of simmering water. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine eggs and sugar with a hand whisk.
- Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water and whisk until the eggs are warm.
- Remove from heat and start whisking using the stand mixer for 5 minutes on low speed. I use speed 4 on KitchenAid.
- After 5 minutes, when egg mixture is almost at room temperature, repeat step 3.
- Repeat steps 3-5 until the egg mixture is whitish in color and has tripled in volume. The ideal texture is reached when, dripping off the whisk, it takes around 15 seconds to incorporate with the rest of the mixture.
- Reduce speed to slow. Add in honey water mixture.
- Gradually add in bread flour. Stop the mixer when the flour is just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan a few times on the counter to burst large bubbles.
- Bake for 60 minutes. Cover the top with aluminum foil if it gets brown too quickly.
- Remove cake from oven and drop the cake, with the pan, 2-3 times on the counter top to reduce shrinkage. Remove the wooden box, if using. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
- Carefully invert the cake onto a clean piece of grease-proof paper and remove the parchment paper from the bottom. Wrap the cake completely in grease-proof paper, followed by a layer of cling film. Place the wrapped cake in a ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight.
This is the first time I’m using this method of standing mixer/hand whisk mixing. I have always used a hand mixer previously, in order to produce a castella cake with tight crumbs. The results from this method surprised me. The crumbs were not larger than my previous bakes. In fact, it seemed smaller than some of my attempts so far.
This is an easier and faster method! It took about 20 minutes or so to beat the egg mixture to the correct texture. Definitely better than an hour standing at the the hot stove. 🙂