KT Bakes Honey Castella Cake EGG WHITES Use medium speed, not high, to make a smooth meringue. CASTOR SUGAR The slower the speed, the smoother the meringue will be. Underwhisking will make the cake collapse. Overwhisking will make the cake dense. Getting the meringue right is crucial. Slow down towards the end to catch . . . the perfect moment. EGG YOLKS Add the yolks one by one. Whisk thoroughly after each addition. If you add too many yolks in one go, the egg whites will deflate. Without enough air in the batter, the cake won’t rise well. Egg foam is a good leavener . . . only when it’s made right. HONEY Whisk in one direction, or the eggs will deflate. BREAD FLOUR Add the flour in 2 batches. After each addition, mix till smooth. Add the remaining flour. Mix gently, aiming where there’s dry flour. The batter must be smooth, not lumpy. Don’t overmix or the cake will be dense. FULL-FAT MILK The batter must be evenly mixed. Otherwise, it’ll rise unevenly. Scrape down with a spatula. Fold the batter . . . to get it really even. Slamming the bowl gets rid of big air bubbles. Halftime rest: 10 seconds. Gotcha! Big air bubbles are Castella cake’s #1 enemy. Search and destroy! Line only the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter slowly so that . . . big air bubbles burst as they flow out of the bowl. The pan is about 60% full. What’s the cardboard for? To provide insulation. The batter rises evenly when the sides are insulated. The batter must be baked once it’s done. Don’t overbake or the cake will be dry. The cardboard isn’t very hot, but the pans are. Drop the pan from about 1′ high . . . to minimize shrinkage. When wrinkles appear, flip the cake and wait 30 sec. Ta-da! Smooth & flat again! Let the cake cool down. Unmould when it’s cold. Use a knife with a thin blade. The cake is best served the day it’s made. It’s fluffy, moist, and it tastes of honey. A few knocks to make sure the sides aren’t stuck, then flip the cake. Hold the sides & bottom, not the top. Trim about 1 cm from all 4 sides. All that banging was for . . . this beautiful crumb. Simple, elegant, delicious.