Sunday, August 8, 2010

Clear Water Cake (Sponge Cake) 清水蛋糕



With a name like "Clear Water", it's forgiveable if you thought I was referring to some Japanese facial product. :) I came across this recipe at Cook.Bake.Love - a beautiful name for a blog, I thought. I was so enchanted with what I saw ... angelic little cakes which looked oh-so-twee. And if you know me, I can't resist anything pretty and petite.

But why "Clear Water"? Well, there is no water in this cake at all. Instead, like water that is plain and pure, so is this cake. Nothing fancy, just simple goodness. And what these pillowy-soft babies promised, they sure delivered ... a sheer delight to behold and almost a sacrilege to eat. Almost.


Their fluffy texture reminded me very much of those tissue-lined sponge cakes that I grew up eating as a kid. Do you remember those? ;)

Recipe
(originally from here and seen at Cook.Bake.Love)

(A)
- 3 egg yolks 蛋黄
- 1 whole egg 全蛋
- 50g corn oil 粟米油

(B)
- 50g low protein flour (cake flour) 低粉(蛋糕粉)

(C)
- 3 egg whites 蛋白

(D)
- 50g castor sugar 细砂糖
- Dash of salt 盐

* Notes from The Little Teochew:
1. I used my vanilla sugar because I wanted a hint of vanilla in my cakes ... people who do not like a strong, eggy smell should add 1/4 tsp vanilla extract;

2. I used Top Flour instead of Cake Flour;


3. I used regular canola oil in place of corn oil ... any neutral-flavoured vegetable oil can be used;


4. I omitted the salt.




1) Beat (A) till well mixed with an egg beater. 用打蛋器打匀(A)。

2) Sift in (B), mix well. 筛入(B)拌匀。

3) Whisk (C) till frothy, add (D) and beat till stiff peaks. 把(C)打至粗泡加入(D)打至干性发泡。

4) Fold in the egg white mixture to egg yolk mixture in 3 additions, mix till well combined. Scoop the batter into paper cups till 60% full. 蛋白霜分3次和蛋黄糊拌匀,用小勺装进纸杯至6分满。

5) Bake in preheated oven at 150C for about 18-20mins. 烤箱预热150度,烤18-20分钟左右。



When the cakes cool down, they will shrink and pull away from the paper liners. I used muffin cups which are taller than cupcake holders, and I believe that was why my cakes "collapsed" upon cooling and ended up looking like chubby hourglasses! Hahaha! Nonetheless, I thought they looked rather cute. ;)



Finally, I just want to add that this cake is proof that you do not need ovalette or leavening agents to achieve that soft, spongy texture. I hope you'll all try this recipe some day. :)

PS: To a very special friend - who sent me these gorgeous toile serviettes and other beautiful gifts - merci beaucoup ... j'adore. I await your return to blogworld. xoxo

59 comments:

  1. wow these look so pretty! I'm sure they taste great too :)

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  2. These mini sponge tortes look so cute! The photo of them in the oven looks good!

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  3. These little cakes look like angels, taste heavenly. Really love this kind of simple, soft sponge cake.

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  4. hahaha so cute, the cupcake looks like a mushroom :D the cupcakes must've been delicious too ^^

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  5. Hi Ju,

    Your clear water cakes are just a lovely as your cherry muffin cup. Reckon they look like mushrooms. :-)

    This is one of the best sponge cake recipes (or Chiffon cake?) I had ever tried.

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  6. Oh so cute! Looks easy enough, except I never know when "stiff peaks" happen! :P

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  7. They are such cuties, soft and tender! Won't get tired eating them!

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  8. hi ju,

    thanks for blogging...

    recently i just became a follower of your blog. i love the way you present your food & the way you take the photo of the food.. damn pro leh..! lol..

    keep posting cos' you have many fans here following your blog..

    =)

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  9. Prior to ready your post, I was telling myself, "Wow what a cute cake ... I love the shape of the cake ... Hmmm ... can't wait to make it!!"

    Than I read your post ... Hmmm... I hope I can make the cake this shape, too!!

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  10. Hi everyone, I did think the cakes looked like mini mushrooms too! :)

    dory: Awww, thank you for your lovely comment. ;)

    Camemberu: Cath, one day, when I am baking, I call you and your girls over? ;P

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  11. Ju they look so so so good! I love the shape! Looks 100% intentional =) And I've been super craving those tissue-paper wrapped sponge cakes. I was just going to try making some actually. Maybe your recipe is IT!

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  12. Wow. They are breathtakingly gorgeous. Good job, Ju.

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  13. wow the cakes look like fat mushroom, so cute

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  14. these are so cute!
    I can almost imaging little smurfs running around the little cakes... LOL

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  15. These are so cute and dainty. Perfect treat to end a meal of dim sum, too.

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  16. I thought the shape is rather cute too! Looks really soft and spongy, I like!

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  17. I think the chubby hour glasses are cute. I kept looking at the pictures and wondered how you made that shape. :)

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  18. Ju,
    I definitely will try this out because the little cakes look so fluffy and light!

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  19. Chubby hourglasses that have grown outwards on the waistline. So cute! And seems really easy to bake ;) ...maybe this should be an entry cake to bake for me?

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  20. Oh, those are dainty, pretty little things. I don't know if I would be as dainty gobbling them up, though. So lovely.

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  21. I am so intrigued by the name of this cake! Looks really cute with the hour glass shape :)

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  22. NEL: Smurfs! Hahahaha! I should have drawn some in as props. :)

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  23. These mini cakes r so cute! :)

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  24. so gorgeous! they look dainty especially with the flowers decor :)

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  25. Ju, these are so cute and agree with Wiffy, they look especially dainty as well. Love the clicks.

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  26. I love that these little cakes have an hourglass figure...Beautiful!

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  27. I tried making it last night and it turns out great! so light and spongy, I don't feel like I'm actually eating cake. :p

    today I brought some to office for my colleagues to try, they all like it very much. Everybody tells me, it's just nice, not too sweet. Sometimes store bought sponge/chiffon cake are quite sweet.

    Thank you for the recipe!

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  28. Janice: Good to know everyone liked it. Full credit to you!

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  29. Wow, you are right, they are simple and pure food! I have never tried it or made it! I can not wait to try some soon! Looks yummy.

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  30. Lovely cake that looks pretty and tasty :)

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  31. I love that shape and the napkins are just beautiful... what a lovely friend!

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  32. I must tell you that Poppa Trix has been looking over my shoulder as I'm reading blogs and he is drooling over these! So adorable, and amazing photos as always.

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  33. These look so perfect and totally cute!

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  34. "Whisk (C) till frothy, add (D) and beat till stiff peaks"

    how do u make it frothy n stiff peak? can i use manual egg beater?

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  35. Hi Ju, I haven't try this but am interested to adapt this into matcha clear water cake. Would you recommend reducing the amount of egg yolks used? How much matcha powder do you recommend I add? Thanks in advance!

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  36. Hi K, I'm sorry, I have never made anything with matcha before, and since this is my first time baking this sponge cake, I don't think I am in a good position to advise. However, I do know that when people want to add cocoa to a recipe, they usually reduce the amount of flour in relation to the amount of cocoa powder. So, if they are adding 2 Tbsp cocoa, they will reduce the flour by 2 Tbsp. I don't know if I have helped you at all!

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  37. Hi Ju, makes sense :) i'll try it out!

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  38. oops, sorry, forgot to ask! how many of those muffin sized cakes does your recipe yield? Thanks in advance!

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  39. xiuhui: Isn't the instruction very clear? Beat till frothy, then add sugar, and continue beating till you get stiff peaks. ?? Which part is confusing?

    k: Depends on how much batter you pour in as well. But I would say, in the region of 15-16?

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  40. hi ju. i dunno what does frothy and stiff peak means... this is my 1st time baking... just want to get it clear.

    can i replace castor sugar to brown sugar?

    thanks.

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  41. xiuhui: No, you cannot substitute with brown sugar. But if you are new to baking, it's good to read more ... there are sites like Delia Online, Joy of baking, Baking 911, which are very useful resources. They explain a lot of techniques and terms which are commonly used in baking. If you're baking for the first time, it's better to start with a regular butter cake. I don't recommend baking a sponge cake like this which requires beating the yolks and whites separately and then folding. A butter cake is more straightforward. I practised on butter cake for a very long time, then chocolate cake, and then sponge cake. Don't be discouraged if at first things don't turn out well. Just keep practising. You'll get the hang of things after a while. Good luck! ;)

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  42. tried this and the cakes turned out too wet and slightly uncooked inside :( not sure which part went wrong, was the egg whites not beaten to stiff peak, or is it becos the oven temperature isn't accurate so ended up the cake was underbaked.

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  43. hi ju. tried ur recipe today. i look at youtube n roughly know what is frothy n stiff peak. so try out today. after bake, the top sink n look like it is wrinkle... not smooth like urs. n it not very dry... abit of dense, not light... i use normal sugar instead of castor sugar... i use toaster oven to bake. is there any way i do wrong?

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  44. k: I'm not sure either. It could be so many factors like you rightly pointed out.

    xiuhui: I am guessing it could be the oven?

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  45. Hi ju, thanks for your inspirational receipes you posted. Recently, I baked a chinese steam sponge cake using your clear water sponge receipe. Guess what, my cake turn out great! It was soft and fluffy and has the chinese "fa gao" effect (everyone loves this:)

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  46. Hi Ju,

    Thanks for posting this!! I live in London and have been missing the tissue/paper lined sponge cakes for a while now. These are absolutely gorgeous!! How long can they keep for? I left them out in a container and slightly more than 24 hours later, I could see mould starting to grow on them. It was such a shame to throw them out. Maybe I should have kept them in the fridge!

    The cakes didn't sink well, any idea why? I can't wait to try again!

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  47. Anon: Good to know! Well done!

    Elsie: Sorry I really don't know. We finished all up on the same day. Lol. And why do you want the cakes to sink??? Mine collapsed because I was greedy and overfilled them!

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  48. Hmm thought they were meant to sink/collapse. My bad! Will work on them not sinking them :)

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  49. hi ju! thanks for the recipe! although mine sank/collapsed all wrinkly. the top is also not as brown and STICKY! any idea where it went wrong?

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  50. Anon: I think you did not beat the egg whites long enough, OR, you "overfolded" the batter, losing too much air in the process, OR, you needed to bake them slightly longer. It's hard for me to tell ...

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  51. Hi, can I use self rising flour instead of cake flour for this recipe?

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  52. This cake turned out amazing..i did add a bit of baking powder and a teaspoon of vanilla though..it was great!

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    1. How much of baking soda did you put to stabilize it? I had mine pale, sink and wrinkly too tho i put it longer in the oven (since i had no paper cups, i bake them in a cupcake pan with a layer of baking spray).. But they taste amazing and very cute! everyone asked me to make more! :)

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  53. Hello, Ju,

    Before I proceed with my question, I would like to thank you for your generosity in sharing your baking tips. Thank you for bringing so much joy to people whom u do not know at all but nevertheless share all your baking tips. May you & your family be blessed with good health, wealth & happiness :)

    OK.. now my question. I plan to make ice cream cake for my coming birthday.. something which i have long wanted to do. which sponge cake would you recommend ?

    Warmest Regards

    Angela

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    Replies
    1. Hi Angela, much thanks for your well-wishes! It's always a pleasure when people find my blog useful. I am not sure about ice-cream cake though ... I have not eaten one in maybe 30 years? Lol. And that was at Swensons - the entire cake was made of ice-cream! If I were to make one with sponge cake, I would use one which gives me a firmer texture cos: (1) Too fluffy/soft = cake cannot support the ice-cream layers; (2) When ice-cream starts melting, a fluffy sponge cake will become damp and soggy.
      My guess is to use Hot Milk Sponge Cake:
      http://www.thelittleteochew.com/2010/04/hot-milk-sponge-cake.html

      Not much of a help here, sorry!

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  54. Ju,

    Thank you for your recommendation. You are a greatl help :) Will post a pic for you if it turns out well. Am planning to make durian ice cream cake. I went youtube to watch some videos and it seemed simple enough :P

    Hv a great week ahead and HAPPY NATIONAL DAY!

    Luv

    Angela

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  55. i would like to try your recipe but there is one tiny problem.i do not know how to measure the corn oil into 50g.can you tell me the measurement in ml/cup?

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