December 31, 2009

Earl Grey Sponge Cake & Burnt Honey Cake

Tomorrow is new year's eve as well as my grandma's birthday. I was out of egg today and wasn't able to go get more until this afternoon so I couldn't start making cake til around 5. Since I have yet to succeed on making the Japanese style honey cake I thought I would give it another try. For some reasons I had a hard time looking for the recipe on the Taiwanese blogs, and the few I found all required SP (cake emulsifier). I don't really know what SP is, and have never seen it sold in the stores here. So in the end I settled for a Honey Sponge cake recipe that actually calls for bread flour! So curious I gotta try it.

 Honey Sponge Cake
(recipe from

whole egg         483g
egg yolk           81g
sugar                282g
salt                   3g
honey               101g
warm water      101g
bread flour        252g

  1. mix the whole eggs and yolks together
  2. on high speed mix the sugar, salt with the egg mixture is pale yello, thick and doubled in volume
  3. let honey dissolve in the warm water.
  4. add the honey water to the mixture and lightly mix it in
  5. sift the bread flour twice and lightly mix into the mixture
  6. pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake at 180C top heat/150C bottom heat for 30-40 minutes. My oven doesn't let me choose different temperature for top and bottom so I tried 160C/320F and put the cake on the top rack. It was mistake, as the top quickly burned in about 10 minutes. I then took it out and put it on middle rack and covered with a aluminum foil for the remaining time.

I cannot possibly serve this burnt cake as my grandma's birthday cake, so I decided to quickly bake another one. I had already tried baking my aunt's sponge cake recipe twice before with moderate success. Her recipe makes a very really dense and soft sponge cake I've tried. Her tip is to add the liquid oil in small amounts in several additions.

I used up the whole box of eggs I just bought hours ago. And my grandma tried to salvage the cake by scraping the burnt part off and flipping it upside down.

Earl Grey Sponge Cake
(recipe from my aunt)

egg yolks        6 (I used 6 large eggs or 5 jumbo eggs)
sugar             180g
liquid oil        140g (I used grape-seed oil, but you can use any liquid oil)

milk               100g (to make earl grey flavor, I add 2 tea bags and heat it up a little to get  the 
                      flavor in the milk)
cake flour      200g
corn starch    15g

egg whites      6 
sugar              80g

  1.  Whip the yolks and 180g sugars until well mixed, and slightly pale yellow.
  2. Add oil in several additions until each is completely incorporated. (I wanted to be extra fancy, so I added in about 7 additions)
  3. Add the milk to the mixture and mix well.
  4. Add the sifted flour to the mixture and lightly mix well. 
  5. Set aside the mixture and whip the egg whites to a peak. 
  6. Take 1/3 of the egg whites and mix well to the flour mixture.
  7. Lightly mix in the other 2/3 of the egg whites
  8. Pour into a 12-in pan and bake at 320F/160C for 50 minutes. (about 10 minutes into baking, I usually put a piece of aluminum foil on top to prevent too much browning.)
  9. Take out the cake and let it cool upside down.

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