Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Matcha Castella or カステラ (Green Tea Japanese Sponge Cake)

Although Caucasian sweets are tasty, I've always been more partial to Asian  sweets because of it's simplicity both in flavors and appearance. For example, Asian cake is much lighter and less sweet than it's Western counterpart. Castella cake is a prime example of that. The ingredients are simple and there's even no butter in it, however I think quality ingredients are essential. I don't know if you've ever had home harvested honey, but the difference between store bought honey and home harvested is huge. No comparison. No contest. Home harvested honey is amazing. I must say that I'm extremely lucky that my family are home beekeepers. (Thanks mom and grandpa!) Not only do I have access to this epic stuff, but I have the opportunity to enjoy the different varieties of honey as the seasons change. Right now, orange blossoms are in full bloom in Southern California so I have orange blossom honey. Light golden, floral in scent, it's delicious. However, beekeeping is not for the faint of heart.

Additionally, a high quality matcha powder is also important but can get pretty expensive. Obviously you get what you pay for and I've used both low end and high end matcha before. The lower end ones do not have as strong of a green tea flavor and the color of the end product is usually not as vibrant so I say go for the higher end one! Maeda-en brand is pretty darn good. I'm a green tea snob so you have to trust me on this one. Here's some proof:

The recipe I used in this post was adapted from My Kitchen Snippets. I reduced the sugar down a bit more and it was perfect for my taste. One problem I came across was that it wasn't as light and fluffy as I anticipated? The cake was still good but I think I just need to try this again.

Matcha Castella
5 large eggs
150 grams granulated sugar
200 grams all purpose flour
100 milliliters milk
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons matcha powder
6 tablespoons oil (I used grape seed oil in this recipe)

1. Prepare a 8 x 8" square baking pan. Line sides and bottom with parchment paper and grease it well. Preheat oven to 350° and place a rack in the middle of the oven. 
2. In a mixer whip eggs and sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes or until mixture forms a ribbon when the wire whip is lifted, the color should be pale yellow.
3. Meanwhile, add the matcha powder to the flour and sift twice to get rid of lumps. 
4. Turn down the mixer to medium speed and slowly add in the flour. Next add the milk until combined, then the honey until combined, and last the oil; the resulting mix should be smooth.
5. Pour the batter into a prepared pan. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake for 10 minutes in  350°. Afterwards, lower the temperature to 325° and bake for another 45 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. 
6. When it is cool enough to handle but still warm, lift the cake out of the pan, paper and all, and place it in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator for several hours. (I included this step from just hungry to give it that extra moistness.)


  1. Wow, Matcha Kasutera!! I'll be there in a few minutes! Just kidding...but I really wish I could visit you (but I'm sure all pieces are gone by now though. ;-)). So you will continue developing recipe? I look forward to see the new version!

  2. Thank you and will do! (: If only you could come! I could really learn from another amazing cook!!! And it is definitely all gone by now haha...