I am too used to eating chiffon cakes so sponge cakes, which are drier in texture, are not my cup of tea. However, with the introduction of the Tang Mian method, my sponge cakes are so fluffy and moist now! Like what I’ve mentioned in my Pandan chiffon cake blog post, gelatinized flour is able to absorb much more moisture. If you compare this recipe to a similar sponge cake recipe that uses three eggs and yields a 6-inch cake, you will spot that cakes made with the Tang Mian method contain much less flour but more liquids. I have been relying on my trusty digital thermometer when I scald my flour as I find that liquids that is too hot tends to ruin the yolk batter (I ended up having bits of dough in my yolk batter one time). Recently, I have tried a different approach by scalding the flour first with butter that is just starting to boil before adding in other liquids and egg yolks. The results have been satisfactory so far and I don’t need my thermometer anymore whenever I make this cake =)
Cotton-Soft Sponge Cake (Tang Mian Method)
Makes a 6-inch cake
45 g cake flour, sifted
35 g milk
35 g unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract (optional)
3 large egg whites
45 g granulated sugar
1/3 tsp cream of tartar
Notes: The eggs I use each has a net weight of 50 – 55 g.
雲尼拿漿或純雲尼拿香油 1/2茶匙 (選用)
Separate egg whites and egg yolks. Line base of the cake pan with parchment paper (lining of the side is not necessary). You may need to wrap the cake pan with aluminum foil if a pan with removable base is used. The cake batter is thinner than normal sponge cake batter and may leak from the bottom. Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC.
For the yolk mixture, heat butter in a small saucepan with low heat until it just begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Pour butter into the flour and quickly stir with a whisk to form a paste. Add milk in two batches and mix until well combined. Stir in vanilla bean paste if using. Whisk in egg yolks one at a time, stirring well after each addition, to form a shiny, smooth, and paste-like batter.
To make the meringue, place egg whites in a clean mixing bowl. With an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar (to stabilize the meringue) and continue to beat until foamy. Then slowly add sugar in batches and continue beating until close to firm peaks. When you lift the whisk, the meringue will stand straight up with a little curve at the tip.
Add one third of the meringue to the yolk batter and mix well to lighten. Add the remaining meringue in two batches. Fold gently and thoroughly with a spatula until you see no streaks of white. Do it quickly but gently so as not to deflate the meringue. Pour batter into the cake pan and smooth top with a spatula. Tap pan against the tabletop several times to get rid of any large air bubbles.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes then reduce temperature to 300ºF/150ºC and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean and cake feels springy to the touch (adjust time according to your own oven). Remove from oven and tap pan several times against the tabletop again to prevent shrinkage. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely before unmolding.
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