Taiwanese castella cake is a pillow-like sponge cake that is extremely jiggly when baked fresh out of the oven. This traditional cake from Taiwan is so fluffy that some call it a jiggly cake or bouncy cake. I admit that the jiggliness was very satisfying to look at and so it became my favorite cake to bake.
- 45 ml (3 tbsp) milk
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
- 54 g cake flour or low protein flour
- 1/8 tsp table salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 54 g egg yolk from 3 medium-sized eggs
- 90 g egg white from 3 medium-sized eggs
- 40 g granulated sugar
- Prepare the pan by lining parchment paper to cover the whole inner sides. If your pan is not leak-proof, wrap the outside with aluminium foil. This cake will be baked with a hot water bath so ensure no water is going in.
- Heat milk and oil to approximately 158°F (70°C).
- With a hand whisk, quickly mix cake flour into the hot mixture. It will turn lumpy but this is fine.
- Add and mix the yolk one at a time. Add salt and vanilla. Mix thoroughly until the dough has a sticky smooth consistency.
- At this point, preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). I use top and bottom heat without fan, so adjust your oven accordingly if it uses a different setting. Also, start heating up hot water for the water bath.
- Using a hand mixer, beat egg white until foamy with even tiny bubbles. Gradually sprinkle sugar onto the sides as you mix. After all sugar is added, continue beating until soft peak.
- Add 1/3 of beaten egg white (meringue) into the batter. With a wire whisk, mix them thoroughly.
- Add another 1/3 of meringue. From here on, we want to gently combine the mixture with a folding motion. Be careful not to deflate the batter. The air inside this fluffy meringue is the key component of a fluffy cake. Mix just until no white streaks are seen.
- Add the final meringue. Fold gently just until it is 90% mixed.
- Switching to a silicone spatula, check the sides and bottom of bowl for any unmixed batter. Fold just until combined. Do not overmix as the batter loses its air every time we mix.
- Pour batter into the pan. Shake the pan to spread it evenly. Tap the pan onto the counter twice to release any big unwanted bubbles.
- Place the pan onto a larger deep pan. Pour hot water (around 176°F / 80°C) into the bigger pan up to 1-inch high. Carefully transfer into the oven. I place it on the second bottom rack, so not on the middle rack. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until the top is brown, spongy, and dry.
- Once baked, remove immediately from its pan and peel-off the paper. This will prevent the cake from shrinking too much. Slice it and let cool on the cooling rack before storing or serve it warm.