Operation Bakery Clone: Paper Wrapped Cake

"Paper wrapped cake" is kind of a boring name for a simple, but decidedly unboring cake. The term is a literal translation of the Chinese name for this treat. I have been looking everywhere for this recipe for years with no luck. I knew it was some sort of chiffon cake, but no recipe I tried bore any resemblance to the real deal. It is mildly sweet and eggily perfumed, baked into tall cupcakes in parchment paper wraps. The sponge is made of very fine, springy bubbles, rather than the larger, "crumbier" ones produced by Western chiffon cake recipes.

I am happy to report that I finally found a recipe that produces a cake with a flavour and texture that comes very close to the original counterparts. It only requires five (main) ingredients, but for that reason, try to use the best quality butter and eggs you can find because you can really taste them in the final product.

The finished products didn't look quite like their commercial cousins because I don't have those tall baking tins. They also do sink down a bit as they cool because there are no artificial stabilizers in them. You could try baking these in ovenproof mugs to get the right height. Either way, they taste heavenly.

Paper Wrapped Cake:

60g flour (self rising, if you've got it)
15g cornstarch
90g sugar
5 eggs, separated and at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
60g butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking molds with squares of parchment paper (press down in the middle and crease the wrinkles so the cups stay in the molds. They will pop up a little, but the batter will weight them down later).
2. Sift flour and cornstarch together.
3. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks with 30g sugar until fluffy and lemony coloured. Beat in melted butter. Sift in flour mixture and beat just until smooth.
4. In another bowl, whip egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar. When you can see trails from your beaters, beat in the remaining 60g sugar. Whip to firm peaks.
5. Stir in a spatula-full of egg whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold in the rest of the whites.
6. Pour the batter into prepared molds, about 2/3 full.
7. Bake at 400F for 5 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350F and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes 15 muffin-sized cakes (less if you use a tall mold)

Recipe adapted from ucanmake.com
Image property of beetsandbites

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