The picture of a beautiful chocolate cotton cake my friend recently posted on Facebook has evoked my memory of my cooked dough cake from last year. I made that cake with reference to my my Tang Mian Sponge Cake and 妃娟’s 黃金可可蛋糕 (literally Golden Chocolate Cake). The Tang Mian method helps to coat the flour with fats, inhibiting the formation of gluten. Gelatinized dough is able to absorb much more liquid, resulting in a moist,light and cottony cake. My cake was tasty but the top always cracked. I was too frustrated so I gave up after a couple of trials. My friend’s success has motivated me to restart my quest again.
最近在臉書看見朋友做了美美的朱古力棉花蛋糕，勾起了EC去年做燙麵蛋糕的回億。 去年研究的朱古力燙麵蛋糕概念主要來自燙麵法海綿蛋糕和妃娟的黃金可可蛋糕。 燙麵方法以油脂包裹並燙熟麵粉，糊化的麵粉可吸收多點水份同時不會產生筋性，蛋糕質地輕盈濕潤組織細密。 蛋糕味道雖好，可是EC做了數次蛋糕仍是爆面收場，種種挫敗下無奈地放棄了研究。 看到朋友如此成功，EC決定再戰燙麵蛋糕！
Inspired by cotton cake that has gained popularity, I baked my cake in a water bath in order to insulate the outer edge so as to bake the cake more evenly. My first trial still had a crack on top. So I further lowered the oven temperature for the cake to rise slowly. I also insulated the the bottom of pan by setting an inverted rack underneath so it was not in direct contact with the roasting pan. After all these adjustment I was finally rewarded with a perfectly smooth cake. I baked with round cake pan initially then switched to loaf pan as slicing was easier. It actually looked like pound cake from Sara Lee.
這次參考了棉花蛋糕的做法利用水浴法使蛋糕受熱更平均。 初試時蛋糕仍有裂痕，於是EC重新調整爐溫使用低溫烘焙，盛水的烤盆亦放入了蒸架避免蛋糕模直接接觸烤盆以致過度受熱。 在連串改革後總算成功焗出平滑的蛋糕！初時EC使用圓模，但後來轉用了長方模，因為切片比較方便食用，外形還有點像莎莉蛋糕呢！
To me, golden cake and cotton cake both utilize Tang Mian method and are very similar in composition. The main difference lies in that golden cake contains butter and is baked without water bath while cotton cake is made with oil and is baked in a water bath. Golden cake excels in flavor and cotton cake is ultra moist and cottony. Now I am more than happy to fuse them into one perfect cake.
依EC來看，黃金蛋糕與棉花蛋糕均以燙麵法製作，而配方也十分相似。 主要不同之處在於黃金蛋糕使用牛油和直接烘焙，而棉花蛋糕則使用液體油和使用水浴法烘焙。 黃金蛋糕味道較香，而棉花蛋糕則口感更綿密濕潤。 現在結合兩者便兩存其美了！
My final words regarding the shape of pans. This recipe is good for 7″ round cake pan as well as 8.5″ by 4.5″ loaf pan. For round pans, lining the base with parchment paper is sufficient. It is unnecessary to line the sides as the cake will release itself upon cooling and make unmolding a breeze. However, cake sticks heavily to the sides of loaf pan. So either remove the cake with a spatula or have the entire pan lined before filling.
至於模具方面，EC提供的配方可用7”圓模或8.5”x4.5”長方模。 圓形固底模底部墊紙即可，蛋糕放涼後會自動離邊，脫模十分方便。 長方模則黏得比較牢，EC要使用脫模刀方可順利把蛋糕取出。 因此以牛油紙墊底和圍邊會比較方便。
Chocolate Sponge Cake (Tang Mian Method)
For 7” round cake pan or 8.5” by 4.5” loaf oan
45 g cake and pastry flour
15 g Dutch processed cocoa powder (I used Cacao Barry Extra Dark)
1/8 tsp salt
45 g unsalted butter
50 g milk
4 large egg yolks + 1/2 large egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
3-1/2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
60 g granulated sugar
Notes: the eggs I use each has a net weight of 50 – 55 g.
鹼化可可粉(EC用Cacao Barry特濃可可粉) 15克
大蛋蛋黃 4個加大蛋蛋白 1/2個
Combine and sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside. Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC.
Heat butter in a saucepan over low heat until it starts to bubble (but not boiling). Immediately pour into the flour mixture. Whisk to form a smooth and shiny paste (i.e. the tang mian or cooked dough).
Stir in warm milk in three batches until it becomes soft dough like.
Whisk in egg yolks and half of an egg white one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Batter will be glossy, smooth and runny.
In another clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer 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 firm peak forms. When you lift up the whisk, the meringue will stand up with a large curvy tip.
Add one third of the meringue to the yolk batter and fold to lighten. Add the remaining meringue in two batches. Fold gently and thoroughly with a spatula until homogeneous.
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.
Set pan in a large roasting pan with an inverted grilling rack inside (the rack prevents the cake pan from touching the roasting pan directly). Place pan in oven then fill it with tap water. Bake for 10 minutes at 300ºF/150ºC then reduce temperature to 275ºF/140ºC and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean (adjust oven temperature and time according to your own oven). Cool completely on a wire rack before unmolding. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
烤盆內放反轉的烤架(可避免因蛋糕模直接接觸烤盆而過度受熱)，放上蛋糕模後放入焗爐，注水在烤盆內，以300ºF/150ºC先焗10分鐘，調低爐溫至275ºF/140ºC繼續焗40至50分鐘或至竹籤插入不沾麵糊 (請自行跟根據自家焗爐調整溫度和時間) ，取出後放鋼架完全放涼後可脱模，室溫或冷藏後享用皆可。
This cake cracked on top as my oven temperature was too high.
Too much batter here for a 6” round cake pan so I switched to loaf pan for my next trial.
This recipe is perfect for 8” by 3.75” aluminum loaf pans. It made gifting so convenient. What I didn’t like though was the change of color at the bottom of pan caused by the water bath.
食譜份量用8” x 3.75”的長方型錫紙盆剛剛好。 包裝好後送禮十分方便，只是EC不太喜歡水浴令盆底顔色變深。
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