Taiwanese Chocolate Castella Cake

This recipe popped up on my youtube recently and it seemed relatively simple, but people make stuff look so easy and I was totally not prepared.

It seemed like an easy cake to bake but the techniques required were outside of my skill.

Here’s all the ingredients laid out.

I wish the guy in the video showed how he perfectly placed the parchment paper into the pan. I also knew I was taking a risk by using a 9″ pan versus the 7″ pan used in the video. I want to make this again but using a bread loaf pan.

The recipe called for 45 grams of chocolate and the bar I bought was 113g so I just halved it and chopped it up.

Now this is where I really messed up. The recipe called for 70 grams of milk and by easy google searching it came back to 1/3 cup. But for some reason I poured the milk to 1 1/3 cup and didn’t realize it. I also added ~70g(1/3 cup) unsalted butter. When I poured the milk into the bowl I KNEW I was doing something wrong but I was so certain I measured it out perfectly.

I kept going and just had faith in the process even though I was setting my self up for failure.

This was my first time separating egg whites & yolks, turned out well but it would soon go to waste…

I mixed up the flour and cocoa powder and I knew this little amount of dry ingredients was not going to mix well with the large amount of wet ingredients…

Here I mixed the wet & dry ingredients and I stopped in my tracks. I tried to add more flour to thicken it up but I didn’t want to continue and just waste my time.

In this moment I was pretty frustrated and I even got down on the floor like what did I do wrong?! I looked in the video’s comments hoping to see someone who had the same issue converting metric to standard but I found none. I ran out of time for the night so I figured I would just try again the next day with a clear mind. This time I was going to use my food scale and stick to the grams measurement ONLY. I made a sausage and egg burrito with the egg whites that were left to be useless.

Attempt 2

Okay this time I brought out the food scale that I actually haven’t really used so this was the perfect opportunity.

I got really strict this time and I shaved this chocolate piece to exactly 45 grams.

After chopping it up I had to make sure it was still 45 grams.

When I poured the milk to 70 grams and saw it lined up to 1/3 cup I was like ohhhhhhhh, thisssss is where I messed up. Such a silly mistake but it really had me beat down in the moment the day before.

This time I let the butter sit outside in the warmth so it can soften up a bit even though it would be harder to cut and divide.

Now when I combined the chocolate, butter and milk, it was looking proper.

I put everything in the stainless bowl and quickly realized that I can’t microwave metal lol. So I transferred to a regular bowl.

This is how it looked all combined.

Okay this time when I tried to separate the eggs, one of the yolks tore and spilled into the whites. I didn’t know this was a big issue so I scooped out what I could and kept going.

I mean look at it, seems clean enough right?…

100 grams of sifted flour.

15 grams of sifted cocoa powder.

When I combined the dry ingredients with the egg, it was looking right.

Then I poured in the milk/butter/chocolate combo and we were getting somewhere.

A teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Egg whites went into the bowl ready to be whipped up, but I was not ready for this second roadblock.

100 grams of sugar.

A couple cranks of sea salt.

Ready to be whipped, or so I thought.

After using my hand mixer for a long time, it got nowhere and I started to scratch my head and get discouraged again.

I knew it wasn’t going to work and it sucked because I didn’t have anymore eggs. I went back to youtube and watched videos specifically explaining the meringue process, since I knew it had to be more in depth than what the overall recipe showed. I used this video to learn the process.

I learned a lot from this video, egg whites need to be PURE whites, have a totally clean bowl obviously, but most importantly, room temperature egg whites.

I went back to the store for more eggs, came back, separated them and let them sit to come up to temperature. I took this time to catch up on some dishes.

Eggs at cold temp.

In the video they used a stand mixer so I decided to use the same.

I don’t have an outlet on that side so I moved to the other counter.

Once the eggs came up to temp, I started the meringue process.

I started mixing at a low speed.

After a little while of mixing, the egg whites started to get milky.

Then I added the sugar in slowly instead of all at once, I forgot the salt this time though.

The mixture started to stiffen up and I was pretty relieved, at this point I got the cornstarch ready.

10 grams of cornstarch.

After mixing some more, the peaks start to stiffen up to the perfect level.

Ready to be combined.

I folded in a little bit of the meringue slowly then added the rest.

The consistency after gently mixing was perfect.

Oven set to 305, which is the lowest I have ever set it.

Boiled some water to sit in the tray under the cake pan.

The mixture poured in ready to bake.

Since the foil pan wasn’t so sturdy, I used the pizza stone as a base.

After about 20 minutes in the oven I added the chocolate chips.

After 55 minutes in the oven it was ready, I knew it would bake faster than the 65-75 minutes since my pan was wider, thus a thinner cake.

Much much thinner than I wanted but at least I expected it, it was even though so that was kind of annoying.

To make the cream I referenced this video

I made sure to cool the mixing bowl in the fridge but then I freestyled it after that. I used 1 cup of whipping cream and a half cup of powdered sugar and started mixing.

It wasn’t doing anything at first and I was like oh man here we go again. But after some patience it started to build up.

Finally to a good consistency.

I was sooooo excited to finally plate this dish, it came together so well at the end and even though the shape isn’t the best, I couldn’t be happier!

The taste was amazing, it was very rich in flavor so the small portions were perfect. Aesthetically it needed some color so I grabbed some mint from my yard. I knew I couldn’t keep the cake in my house since I would eat it all, so I went out delivering slices to my neighbors and friends.

I learned so much from making this dessert and I do want to make it again sometime soon to redeem myself.

Thank you for reading, this was definitely a long one. If you guys have any tips for me please leave a comment!

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