How to Make Paper-Wrapped Chinese Sponge Cake: A Tasty Dessert Recipe – Seaco Online
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How to Make Paper-Wrapped Chinese Sponge Cake: A Tasty Dessert Recipe

If you enjoy exploring Chinese desserts, the paper-wrapped Chinese sponge cake is sure to captivate your taste buds. This classic delicacy is cherished for its luscious fluffy consistency and delightful vanilla essence. The cakes are carefully encased in parchment paper prior to baking, ensuring their special shape and texture.

 

A table with ingredients for Chinese sponge cake, surrounded by paper and a recipe book

The history and origin of paper wrapped Chinese sponge cake can be traced back to Hong Kong, where it has been a popular dessert for generations. Many people associate the cake with childhood memories, as it is often served at family gatherings and special occasions. Essential ingredients for this recipe include eggs, sugar, flour, and baking powder, along with a few other simple ingredients.

Baking techniques for paper wrapped Chinese sponge cake involve whipping egg whites to create a light and airy texture, which is then combined with the other ingredients to form the batter. The cakes are then wrapped in parchment paper and baked until golden brown. Once baked, the cakes are best served warm with a cup of tea or coffee. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even try adding seafood to the recipe, such as shrimp or crab, for a unique twist on this classic dessert.

Key Takeaways

  • Paper wrapped Chinese sponge cake is a traditional dessert that is popular in Hong Kong and has a soft and fluffy texture.
  • The cake is made with essential ingredients such as eggs, sugar, flour, and baking powder, and is baked using specific techniques to achieve the desired texture.
  • These cakes are often associated with childhood memories and can be served warm with tea or coffee. Adding seafood to the recipe is a unique twist that can be explored for those who want to experiment with the recipe.

History and Origin

A pair of hands carefully folding parchment paper around a freshly baked Chinese sponge cake, showcasing the traditional recipe's history and origin

Cultural Significance

The paper wrapped Chinese sponge cake, also known as "zhǐ bāo dàn gāo" in Mandarin, is a traditional delicacy that has been enjoyed in China for centuries. The cake is usually made with simple ingredients such as eggs, flour, sugar, and milk, but its unique texture and flavour have made it a popular dessert across the country.

In Chinese culture, the sponge cake is often served during special occasions such as weddings and birthdays as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. The cake's fluffy texture is said to represent happiness and lightness, while its golden colour is associated with wealth and fortune.

Evolution in Hong Kong

The paper wrapped sponge cake has also evolved over time, particularly in Hong Kong where it has become a staple in many local bakeries. The traditional taste of the cake has been preserved but it has been adapted to suit the local palate.

In Hong Kong, the sponge cake is often served with a variety of fillings such as red bean paste, custard, or even seafood. Yes, you read that right! Seafood can be used as a filling in sponge cake and it adds a unique flavour to the cake. Some popular seafood options include shrimp, crab, and scallops.

The traditional paper wrapped Chinese sponge cake recipe has endured the test of time and has become a beloved dessert in many parts of the world. Whether you enjoy it plain or with a filling, the sponge cake's soft and fluffy texture is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Essential Ingredients

A table with ingredients: eggs, flour, sugar, and baking powder. A bowl with a whisk, and a paper-wrapped Chinese sponge cake recipe on the side

When it comes to making paper-wrapped Chinese sponge cake, having the right ingredients is crucial to achieving that perfect texture and flavour. Here are the essential ingredients you will need to make this delicious dessert:

Choosing Quality Eggs

Eggs are the main ingredient in this recipe, so it's important to choose high-quality eggs to achieve the best results. Look for eggs that are free-range, organic, and have a bright orange yolk. The egg whites should also be clear and free from any blood spots.

Flour Varieties

Cake flour is the preferred flour for this recipe as it has a lower protein content, which results in a softer and more tender crumb. However, if you don't have cake flour, you can use all-purpose flour instead. Just be aware that the texture may be slightly different.

Sweetening Options

Sugar is the primary sweetener used in this recipe. You can use either granulated or caster sugar, depending on what you have available. If you prefer a less sweet cake, you can reduce the amount of sugar or use a sugar substitute like stevia.

It's worth noting that seafood is not typically used in paper-wrapped Chinese sponge cake. However, if you're feeling adventurous, you could try adding some finely chopped prawns or crab meat to the batter for a unique twist. Just make sure to cook the seafood thoroughly before adding it to the mixture.

Baking Techniques

A hand mixing batter in a bowl, while another hand folds a paper wrapper around a Chinese sponge cake

Preparing the Meringue

When making paper wrapped Chinese sponge cake, preparing the meringue is an important step. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and ensure that there are no traces of yolk in the whites. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. The meringue should be glossy and smooth.

Folding Techniques

Folding the meringue into the batter is crucial to achieving a light and fluffy texture in the sponge cake. Use a spatula to gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter. Be careful not to overmix or deflate the meringue. Fold until the batter is smooth and there are no visible streaks of meringue.

Oven Settings

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) before baking the sponge cake. Line the baking tray with parchment paper and fill each paper mold with the batter. Place the molds on the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until the cakes turn light golden brown in colour. Avoid opening the oven door during the baking process as this can cause the cakes to deflate.

When making paper wrapped Chinese sponge cake, seafood can be added to the recipe for an interesting twist. Try adding small pieces of shrimp or crab meat to the batter before folding in the meringue. This will add a subtle seafood flavour to the cake. Be sure to use fresh seafood and cook it thoroughly before adding it to the batter.

Wrapping and Baking

A hand unwraps parchment paper from a freshly baked Chinese sponge cake

Paper Wrapping Methods

Now that you have prepared the sponge cake batter, it's time to wrap it in parchment paper. There are a few methods you can use to wrap the cake batter. One method is to cut out squares of parchment paper and place them in a muffin tin. Then, spoon the cake batter into each square of parchment paper. Another method is to cut out larger squares of parchment paper and fold them into a cone shape. Spoon the cake batter into the cone, then twist the top of the parchment paper to seal it.

Whichever method you choose, make sure the parchment paper extends above the rim of the muffin tin or cone. This will allow the cake to rise without sticking to the parchment paper. You can also use toothpicks to secure the parchment paper in place.

Monitoring the Bake

Once you have wrapped the cake batter in parchment paper, it's time to bake it in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350F and place the muffin tin or cones on a baking sheet. Bake the cakes for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

While the cakes are baking, keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn. If you notice that the cakes are browning too quickly, cover them with a piece of foil. You can also rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.

Once the cakes are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Then, carefully remove the parchment paper from the cakes and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try adding seafood to your paper wrapped sponge cakes. Shrimp or crab meat can be a delicious addition to the cake batter. Just make sure to cook the seafood before adding it to the batter and adjust the baking time accordingly.

Serving and Storage

A paper-wrapped Chinese sponge cake is being served and stored on a wooden table, with a knife and a plate nearby

Presentation Tips

Paper wrapped Chinese sponge cake is best served during afternoon tea or as a dessert after a meal. To present the cake, remove it from the paper wrapper and cut it into small pieces. You can also dust some icing sugar on top of the cake for a more elegant look.

For a seafood twist, you can add some prawns or crab meat to the batter before baking. This will give the cake a unique flavour that is sure to impress your guests.

Keeping it Fresh

To keep your paper wrapped Chinese sponge cake fresh, store it in an airtight container at room temperature. The cake will stay fresh for up to 3 days. If you want to keep it for longer, you can store it in the fridge for up to a week.

Remember to remove the cake from the paper wrapper before storing it, as the paper can trap moisture and make the cake soggy.

In summary, paper wrapped Chinese sponge cake is a delicious and easy-to-make dessert that is perfect for any occasion. With a few presentation tips and proper storage, you can enjoy this cake for days to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

A stack of FAQ papers next to a Chinese sponge cake, wrapped in parchment paper

What's the secret to a super fluffy Chinese sponge cake?

The secret to a super fluffy Chinese sponge cake is in the technique of whipping the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks. This creates a light and airy texture that is characteristic of Chinese sponge cakes. It's also important to fold in the flour and other ingredients gently to avoid deflating the egg whites.

How can I make a simple paper wrapped sponge cake at home?

To make a simple paper wrapped sponge cake at home, you will need eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and oil. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold in the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and baking powder. Pour the batter into individual molds lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven until golden brown. Serve the cakes wrapped in paper for an authentic touch.

What are the essential ingredients for a traditional Chinese sponge cake?

The essential ingredients for a traditional Chinese sponge cake are eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and oil. Some recipes may also include milk or cream for a richer flavour.

Can you recommend a good mold for making paper wrapped sponge cakes?

A good mold for making paper wrapped sponge cakes is a small, round aluminum mold that is about 7-8cm in diameter and 4-5cm deep. These molds are widely available at Asian grocery stores and online retailers.

How do I incorporate whipped cream into a Chinese sponge cake recipe?

To incorporate whipped cream into a Chinese sponge cake recipe, you can either fold it into the batter before baking or use it as a filling between the layers of the cake. If you choose to fold it into the batter, be sure to fold it in gently to avoid deflating the egg whites.

Any tips for perfecting a mini version of the Chinese sponge cake?

When making mini versions of Chinese sponge cakes, it's important to adjust the baking time accordingly. Mini cakes will bake faster than larger ones, so keep a close eye on them to avoid overbaking. You can also experiment with different flavours and toppings, such as fresh fruit or a dusting of powdered sugar.

If you're feeling adventurous, you could even try incorporating seafood into your Chinese sponge cake recipe. Shrimp or crab meat can add a unique flavour and texture to the cake, making it a truly memorable dish. Just be sure to chop the seafood finely and add it to the batter before baking for best results.