Spring has come! Recipe: work-in-progress cream cheese castella

Cream cheese castella



So spring has finally here in the land of down under. It is still a bit cold in the morning and late at night, but warm sunshine is abundant during the day. I certainly enjoy these beautiful sights around me. My camera has been very busy. I spent the last weekend in Melbourne, shooting a beautiful and warm gathering. In the next few days, some other (work, food and/or photography related) projects will also flow on. So busy and exciting yet so little time.

You may notice I have been and will be quieter in the blog world for a while. Life inspirations and other duties mean less time for blogging. I will still be browsing my favourite blogs and discovering new ones. But catching up with comments might be a bit slower.

Cream cheese castella


In my kitchen, I have some projects need to be accomplished. Today cream cheese castella is one of them. What is castella, some of you may ask? Essentially, it´s a popular sponge cake in Japan. The cake is a perfect example of how western cuisine has integrated into local food scene. Castella cake was brought to Japan all the way from Portugal but the Japanese have adapted the cake to their very own taste. I have made several versions of this cake in the past. Hopefully one day I can share it with you about the best version yet.

Today version of the cake is not so traditional. Learning from my friend, Sunny, I bake cream cheese castella. Because of the cream cheese, the cake is not as light and airy as the original castella. I am thinking to modify the recipe a bit more by including some corn flour to lighten the texture. Also, I may keep the cream cheese mixture warm so that it will not weight my batter down as much when folded. Any suggestions, my dear friend?

Flavour-wise, the cake is really beautiful though. It´s not overly sweet but rich enough. A fine balance between sweetness and richness, something I miss from Asian desserts. We finish the cake in just a day. A proof of quality I suppose?

Cream cheese castella


So here´s my work-in-progress cream cheese castella. I have included some step-step photos for reference. Hope they are helpful for you.

Work-in-progress cream cheese castella


Recipe adapted from different sources. The quantity here is good for the traditional wooden castella pan which I do not have. I use a 20x20cm square pan and it works fine although the cake is not as tall.

Ingredients

100g cream cheese
50g milk
30g butter
5 egg whites
120g sugar
½ tsp salt
8 egg yolk

1 tbp maple syrup (or honey)
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
135g Flour

Method

Preparation: Sift flour 2-3 times. Butter your baking pan and line it with baking paper. Preheat oven to 170C.

Cream cheese castella - the making


Using a double boiler, put milk, butter, cream cheese in a bowl over simmering water. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Put egg yolk, sugar, vanilla and maple syrup in a separate mixing bowl over simmering water. Warm the yolk just until lukewarm. Take out and beat until thick and pale.

Cream cheese castella - the making


Whisk egg whites until soft peak forms.

Gently fold cream cheese into the yolk mixture. Sift flour over the yolk, fold gently to combine.

Gently fold the egg whites into the cream cheese and egg yolk mixture. Pour into the prepared pan. Hit the side of the pan to release some air bubbles.

Bake in the oven at 170C for 10 minutes, then lower the oven to 150C and bake for 30-25 mins.

If desired, when the cake is hot, brush some sugar syrup onto the cake. Invert the cake pan up-side-down to release the cake. Cool and serve.

33 Responses to Spring has come! Recipe: work-in-progress cream cheese castella

  1. Coffee and Vanilla says:

    Anh,

  2. Ricki says:

    Anh, thanks so much for your extremely kind comment on my blog! Your work-in-progress looks perfectly complete to me. :) And I remember drooling when I saw your matcha green tea frozen yogurt last week!

  3. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    That cream cheese castella looks delicious!

  4. bonvivant says:

    I love Japanese cream cheese cakes and yours look good just the way they are ;)

  5. tigerfish says:

    Fall will be coming soon in this part of the sphere :)

  6. Faith says:

    I had never heard of a castella until now…it sounds delicious! I love the richness and creaminess that cream cheese brings to this!

  7. Pam says:

    I love your pictures with the black background!

  8. Ellie says:

    I love castella cake but I have never tried cream cheese version. Definitely going to try your recipe soon. Great blog!

  9. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    This is my kind of dessert, although I have never had castella cake before! I love all the flavors, and your photos are gorgeous!

  10. bittersweetblog says:

    It's so funny to think that it's now becoming spring for you… But what wonderful inspiration to feed off of! Love the look of this cake, the crumb looks so soft and tender. :)

  11. bittersweetblog says:

    It's so funny to think that it's now becoming spring for you… But what wonderful inspiration to feed off of! Love the look of this cake, the crumb looks so soft and tender. :)

  12. coffeegrounded says:

    You have a beautiful blog. I love your photography. :)

  13. edith says:

    Good to hear from you Anh. Hope all is well.

  14. Belle@Ooh, Look says:

    What a gorgeous recipe! I can just imagine the lightness of the eggwhites combined with the richness of cream cheese. Your photographs are beautiful, too.

  15. Rilsta says:

    Lovely photos as usual!

  16. shaz says:

    Beautiful Anh! Thanks for sharing the recipe – I always seem to have half-used cream cheese in the fridge – now I know what to use it for :)

  17. Heavenly Housewife says:

    This is beautiful. I've never head cream cheese cake like this, I'm going to bookmark it.

  18. Maya says:

    This is similar to the cheese cake that we get in Malaysia where cream cheese is incorporated in sponge cake batter. Spring….there is fall in the air in New York right now :)

  19. NQN says:

    I always think that how fast something is eaten and how many requests there are for a recipe indicates success! This looks lovely and I've eaten plenty but never made it myself.

  20. Jo says:

    Great recipe and the cake looks very moist plus delicious. I love the pics as well. Thumbs up!

  21. thelma says:

    it looks yummy! im gonna try it and bake it myself too. i really love cakes with cheese…. cheese cakes!!!

  22. myfrenchkitchen says:

    Since I'm not really a baker, I can't offer advice, but to me it looks delicious…I can see it with some nice berriefruit as well, looks delicious!

  23. Jessica@Foodmayhem says:

    Your pictures are gorgeous. They look like postcards. Maybe you should start selling postcards?

  24. Little Corner of Mine says:

    Looks good, I like the idea of cream cheese in castella cake.

  25. Natashya KitchenPuppies says:

    Happy Spring!

  26. Julia @Mélanger says:

    Anh, looks delicious. I must give this a try one day. Sometimes desserts are too rich, or not sweet enough for me. This one sounds like the perfect balance!

  27. Maria@TheGourmetChallenge says:

    I think the addition of cream cheese to anything makes it a thousand times better. I think I would enjoy the denseness of this cake. Great recipe!

  28. Johanna says:

    i have been eyeing off some cream cheese in my fridge for baking so it is intersting to see you are too

  29. dada says:

    It's so beuatiful and look delicious (like all your blog). It's strange to think the spring has come, like Coffe and Vanilla, I'm little bit jealous :-)

  30. Barbara Bakes says:

    A beautiful post! My first time learning about a castella. It looks delicious!

  31. veron says:

    Haven't tried cream cheese cakes…very interesting and such a gorgeous photo!

  32. Y says:

    Beautiful cake. I've made a honey castella before, but didn't know about it until I stumbled across the recipe.

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