May 16, 2020 - 2:40am
Castella cake deflates in oven
Hi! I've been trying out this recipe for Castella cake: https://kirbiecravings.com/honey-castella-cake-mastered/ but I've baked it twice now and the cake's been sinking in the middle. The common advice for sponge cakes that sink is that the leavening used is incorrect but I know this cake is raised purely by the eggs so I don't think that applies. The cake also tends to rise in the middle and then sink halfway which they say is a problem with the oven being too hot but I don't know if cooking it lower than 170 celsius would be right. I've also been placing in the cake in the middle rack of the oven and preheating the oven properly and I never open the oven door until the cake's finished. Any advice on this would be appreciated!
I love making whole-egg sponge cakes because you don't have to worry about starting with everything at the perfect temperature like with the creaming method. I learned to call this the genoise method from Flo Braker's Simple Art of Perfect Baking, which is an incredible resource for cake making.
Anyhow, I'd guess your sponge isn't cooked through all the way and that's why it is falling. Try using cake bands to even out the temperature, or bake it in a loaf pan but filled the same height as in a cake pan. Or bake it at a slightly lower temp for longer.
Use the finger test to check for doneness, not the toothpick. It should spring back from light, delicate pressure applied with the pad of your finger. There should be no tiny little crackling sounds of bubbles popping.
This seems like a neat cake. I've never seen a genoise method cake that calls for beating the flour in instead of folding. I might have to try it!
Deflating means the sponge is not set, which means it is undercooked.
Undercooked can be from oven too hot, or the cake is too deep (too thick) in the pan.
What kind of pan are you using? The link you shared shows a thin or short cake. If you use a deep or tall pan, the batter in the middle will not cook, when the outside surface of the cake is done.
Genoise-style cakes like this are commonly baked relatively thin.
castella eggs are separated, only the whites are whipped.
The yolks are stirred into the meringue.
oven temp to 160°C or 150°C. I've run into many versions of this cake in Southeast Asia, China and Korea.
I found this article interesting. (After reading a group of links.). Scroll down to Ingredients and note the inclusion of levain made from beer in one version.