Sunday, June 14, 2015

Japanese Sponge Cake (No Baking Powder & No Baking Soda)

Baking is one of most favorite things to do!!! I so love baking that the very aroma that fills the house is so tantalizing. My oven conked off a long time and ever since, I never got a chance to bake. I miss the aroma, the cake rising up to its glory and everything about baking.

Chefs Across Boundaries, an initiative started by a few of us foodies and bloggers gave me this wonderful opportunity to make this wonderful cake!!!

Every month is Chefs Across Boundaries, we have a new challenge. A new cuisine to learn and cook. The month of June was hosted by the gregarious Shaheen Ali of www.spoonforkandfood.com 

The cuisine of the month was Japanese. The minute I heard this, I was rather shocked than surprised because apart from Sushi & Noodles I just don't know anything. I have never even cooked anything from this cuisine. So then Google came to the rescue. But another shock was most of their food was non - vegetarian or they had ingredients which weren't easily available. 

Finally landed on this wonderful cake which had just he basic ingredients and was easy, yet tricky. 


Japanese Cuisine is just not about Sushi & Noodles. In fact they are masters in making beautiful looking desserts. 

A Japanese Sponge is very light, fluffy and is an important part of Western Style Desserts. This sponge uses no baking powder or baking soda and its just about beating eggs and sugar that makes the cake so wonderfully light.


There are two types of desserts Wagashi -  Japanese Style & Yogashi - Western Style. This is a Yogashi Dessert and is almost similar to a French Genoise Cake. 

Well beaten eggs and precise measurements of ingredients is the key to the success of this cake.


So now let's get down to the recipe. 

What you need:
  1. Flour (Maida) - 90 grams
  2. Sugar - 90 grams
  3. Vanila Essence - 1 tsp
  4. Eggs - 3
  5. Butter - 20 grams
  6. Milk - 1 tbsp
  7. 7" cake pan
  8. Parchment Paper
How to go about it:

1. All you ingredients must be at room temperature. 
2. First, melt the butter with the milk in a microwave. Not too hot. Just melted in the milk. Keep this 
aside. 
3. Sift the flour twice and keep aside. Cut a parchment paper according to the size of the cake pan. Place the paper on the bottom and along the sides of the pan. 
4. Pre heat the oven at 180 degree for 20 minutes.


5. Add the eggs and the sugar in a bowl. Keep this over a simmering water over low heat and whisk the eggs until it is luke warm and the sugar is dissolved. A double boiler set up.


6. Take the bowl of the pan. Now whisk the eggs until they are thick. This takes approximately 5 to 8 minutes. First start on with low speed and increase the speed. Do not over whisk. 


7. The consistency is called ribbon stage. The beaten mixture will fall like a ribbon. Stop whisking now.



8. Now, add the vanilla essence and with a spatula very gently fold the mixture. Do not use the beater anymore.

9. Sift the flour in 3 parts in to the mixture and very gently fold the flour in to it. Gentle because, you are not break the air incorporated into the eggs. This is the key to the lightness and spongy texture of the cake.

10. Finally, add the milk butter mixture and give a final fold. 


11. Put the cake pan into the oven and bake at 180 degree for 20 - 25 minutes.


Points to remember:
  1. The oven should be hot when you are putting the cake pan inside. Cold oven or warm oven will not make a good sponge.
  2. The eggs must be beaten well to incorporate air into them. This is the most important point.
  3. Do not open the oven in between to check the process. 
  4. Do not beat or whisk while you are adding the maida.
  5. Do not let the batter sit out after you have folded the maida into the egg sugar mixture. Immediately you need to put in the oven.
Njoy with your loved ones...

Luv..

Champa