This is the coffee version of my Tang Mian Sponge Cake (or Cotton Cake). This time I lined my cake pan with cardboard before inserting my parchment paper. This step is not a must, but it could further reduce the rate of the heat conduction so the cake would be less likely to crack on top.
For other cotton cake flavors, please visit my blog posts, Semi-Naked Drip Cake with Fresh Fruits and Whipped Cream and Tang Mian Chocolate Sponge Cake. Also visit my blog post, Pandan Cotton Cake
for similar cake that is made with oil.
Espresso Cotton Cake
For 8”x3” square cake pan
90 g cake and pastry flour
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
A pinch of salt
70 g unsalted butter
75 g milk
6 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
1/2 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice (I use Korean apple vinegar)
75 g granulated sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
Note: the eggs I use are about 50-55 g each without shells
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, espresso powder and salt. Set aside. Line cake pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC.
*For espresso powder that is not finely ground, dissolve it into warm milk first instead of mixing it into the dry ingredients.
*I trimmed cardboard pieces according to the inner dimensions of the cake pan then wrapped each with aluminum foil. I inserted these before lining the pan with parchment paper in order to further reduce the rate of heat conduction so the cake won’t crack easily.
Heat butter in a saucepan over low heat until it starts to bubble around the edges (best temperature is between 65 and 68ºC). Add flour mixture and whisk to form a smooth 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 in two batches, stirring well after each addition. Batter will be glossy, smooth and runny.
*It is important to keep the temperature of the butter within range. If temperature is too high then the scalded dough will be lumpy.
In an impeccably clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites and vinegar with the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or an electric mixer until very foamy. 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 remaining meringue in two batches. Fold gently and thoroughly with a spatula until homogeneous. Pour batter into pan and smooth top with a spatula. Tap pan against the table top several times to get rid of any large air bubbles.
Place cake pan into another bigger tray or roasting pan and fill the outer pan with warm water. Bake at 325℉/160℃ for 15 to 20 minutes. Drop to 300ºF/150ºC and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, filling the tray with more water if needed.
Switch off the oven while leaving the door ajar. Let the cake cool in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove cake from the pan and release the parchment paper from the sides. Let cool on a cooling rack and trim off the edges for a neater presentation. Serve immediately or chill and serve the next day.
The cake jiggles when it is freshly baked.
The surface of the cake is less likely to crack if the pan is lined with corrugated cardboard.
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