Updated post on 12-9-2017
I have been baking this cake so many times subsequent to the issuance to this recipe. However, as the family do not like the cheesy flavour, hence i did modify here by omitting cheese or even baked in plain.
I therefore take this opportunity to upload some new pictures.
This is really a good recipe . As for the shrinkage or breakage, my personal experiences shows that it very much depend on the temperature changes and more importantly the stage of the egg white beating. Soft peak has less tendency to break yet hard to stiff peak is prone to breaking.
Whether breaking or shrinkage happen, when slice in pieces, it is totally not obvious.
With the influx of the so called “Castella” cake in Singapore, logically it is supposed to be the same as this recipe. Friends have given me one cake and I am totally disappointed with the cake. It is not that i am arrogant, however, my dis satisfactions are:
- The cake is too yellow and even with orange color egg yolks, i can’t get the flavor
- There is not much of an egg aroma, instead a totally different type of flavoring may have been used
- The cake that i received have extreme shrinkage, much worst than what i have baked..
- The crust is extremely thick that shocked me
I am rather disappointed with this set of pictures and I do not think the picture did a justice representation of the deliciousness of this cheesy sponge cake. My cutting skill is well below my expectation. The orange colour in the picture is the cheddar cheeses whereas the top brownish specks are baked parmesan cheese powder.
The exact name for this recipe or is commonly known as 台湾古早味芝士蛋糕 or literally translated as Taiwanese Traditional Cheese Cake. In fact, it is a baked sponge cake with the addition of cheeses to flavour it . While it may have been a traditional recipe for Taiwanese, I do not think the word traditional or gochabi (古早味） shall be used in the recipe in Singapore and Malaysia. I have not seen this type of sponge cake being sold in the bakery here.
This cake suddenly become a craze in Chinese Facebook Group and there are many posts of the same recipe within a day. While this cake is very common in Taiwan many many years ago, I think it has become popular because one of the Taiwanese bakery has opened a bakery in Kuala Lumpur and I was told the queue was very long. Obviously this cake also suit the local taste buds.
Well it is not surprising, though it is rather old recipe for Taiwan, this recipe falls under the trendy soft pillowy type of cake that the recent foodies like. That is also the reason that i have decided to research and share the recipe with readers.
There are many recipes in Taiwanese websites and I have choose one and modify for local readers. One of the most difficult things to follow Taiwanese recipe is the oven temperature. Here most oven does not have the ability to have two different top and bottom temperature but many Taiwanese recipes required different top and bottom temperature.
This is really a sponge cake or jidangao (鸡蛋糕）with strong egg aroma. It is very different from western sponge cake that uses much more flour and less eggs. This recipe requires 6 eggs for an 8” square tray. The sponge cake in itself is moist and soft. Possibly because of the recent “lava flow” syndrome, cheese was added in between but it only flows when it is hot and the flow stops immediately when the cake cooled. The flow will also depends on the brand of cheddar cheeses uses. Mine does not melt totally. Parmesan cheese powder were sprinkle on top of the cake and personally i think it is the parmesan cheese powder that make the cake cheesy aromatic. However, parmesan cheese powder is optional.
This cake can crack and shrink by the sides and I do not aim specifically that it will have a smooth top. If you look at the picture above, you will see that even it cracks in the stores and shrinkage is very big too. Who cares about the cracks and shrinkages and it sells like hot cakes. Personally, my family especially my girl loves the cake. The cake is not sweet but I had hoped that it can be more salty. The quantities of the cheeses used are not able to transform it into a savoury cake.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: Prepare a 8” x 8” sponge cake
Egg Yolk Batter
- 80 grams of cooking oil
- 6 egg yolks
- 100 grams of cake or low protein flour
- 70 grams of fresh milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 6 egg whites
- 80 grams of castor sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar (optional)
- 100 grams of cheddar cheeses (breakfast cheddar cheese slices can be used)
- 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese powder (optional)
STEPS OF PEPARATION
- Pre-heat the oven to 150 degree Celsius
- In a bowl, put the egg yolk, salt, fresh milk and cooking oil. Use a whisk to whisk until well combined. Sift in the low protein or cake flour, stir until it forms a smooth batter.
- In a clean mixing bowl, add the egg white. Beat until slightly foamy and add the cream of tartar (optional). Continue to beat at high speed and add sugar tablespoon by tablespoon. Once it reaches soft to firm peak, off the machine. The meringue should be glossy and shall be able to stand on its own. If you invert the mixing bowl, all the meringue shall stay intact in the mixing bowl and not flow down.
- Transfer 1/3 of the meringue to the egg yolk better. Fold lightly and swiftly in one direction with a spatula. Once it is well mixed, add the another 1/3 of the meringue and perform the same. Do the same for the final portion
- Once the final portion of meringue has been added and well mixed, transfer the batter to the greased baking pan . Pour half of the batter to the tin, level it and sprinkle the cheddar cheeses as evenly as possible. Pour the other half of the batter on top of the cheddar cheeses. Level it and sprinkle generously with the parmesan cheese powder . Lightly bang the baking tin on the table to force out any trapped air.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven of 150 degree Celsius using water bath method (put a tray of water with about 3 cm on the lowest level of the oven) for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Once out of the oven, slightly bang the baking tin on the table to force out the hot air. Take out the cake and can be cut and served immediately when it is hot .
Due to its presence in Malaysia, I foresee that they are readers who may be interested in the recipe. Even if you do not need the cheesy part, the Taiwanese traditional sponge cake is a nice cake to serve to your family on its own.
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