Baking Science

Published on December 24th, 2019 | by Ultimate OmNoms

0

Cotton Soft Sponge Cake (Tang Mian Method)

Tàng 燙: scald. Miàn, 面: flour.

This is my absolute favourite sponge cake to eat.  Perfect in summer with whipped cream and topped with seasonal fruits. Made using the tang mian method, it has a moist, light cottony texture. The tang mian (cooked dough) method coats the flour with fat before adding anything else. By coating the flour with fats, it inhibits the formation of gluten. This means a beautifully fluffy bite that melts in your mouth.

Jump to Recipe

The science:

Gluten won’t start to form until the flour comes in contact with liquid (like milk and egg whites). Coating the flour with butter or oil creates a barrier which slows down the formation of gluten. This is fantastic news because long strands of gluten in cakes mean tough and dense mouthfuls of cake. No thankful, this induces flashbacks of my early baking days when watching the beaters beat the crap out of the cake batter seemed therapeutic. 

When mixing, you can see that the dough becomes gelatinised and shiny. Gelatinised dough is also able to absorb much more liquid, resulting in a much more moist cake than any traditional chiffon cake. 

The recipe

  1. Line the bottom of your cake pan with baking paper.
  2. Heat butter in a small saucepan using low-med heat, stirring gently until it just begins to bubble. Remove from heat.

3. Add cake flour to butter. Stir quickly to form a paste. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.

4. Add milk and mix well.

5. Add vanilla bean paste and salt.

6. Whisk in egg yolks by hand one at a time, stirring well after each addition to form a shiny and smooth batter. The gelatinised dough will look stretchy and glossy, webbed against the whisk.

7. Place egg whites in a clean mixing bowl. Beat egg whites until frothy.

8. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until foamy.

9. Slowly add sugar in batches and continue beating until firm peaks are formed. Take care not to overwhip or it will be hard to fold in the next step. If you overwhip, egg whites look grainy and dull. Adding the sugar with the egg whites help to stabilise the egg whites, so here you don’t have to worry as much!

10. Add one third of the egg white to the yolk batter and mix well. Using a spatula, fold the remaining egg white in two batches. Do so gently and thoroughly so no streaks of egg white remain.

11. Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Tap pan against the tabletop to get rid of any large air bubbles.

12. Put the cake pan into the water bath, ensuring that the water height reaches at least a third of the cake pan.

13. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes then reduce temperature to 140ºC and bake for another 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of cake comes out clean.

14. Remove from oven and tap the pan against the tabletop a few times to prevent shrinkage. Transfer to cool on a wire rack pan for 10min before unmoulding.

15. To decorate, add whipped cream with your desired seasonal fruits. I love a good strawberry sponge but when mangoes are in season, they are irresistible!

Print Recipe

Cottony Soft Sponge Cake (tang mian method)

Makes a tall 6” cake or a decent sized 8” layered cake

Ingredients

  

  • 70 g unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 70 g whole milk
  • 104 g cake flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
  • 100 g castor sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Instructions

 

  • Line the bottom of your cake pan with baking paper.
  • Heat butter in a small saucepan using low-med heat, stirring gently until it just begins to bubble. Remove from heat.
  • Add cake flour to butter. Stir quickly to form a paste. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add milk and mix well.
  • Add vanilla bean paste and salt.
  • Whisk in egg yolks by hand one at a time, stirring well after each addition to form a shiny and smooth batter. The gelatinised dough will look stretchy and glossy, webbed against the whisk.
  • Place egg whites in a clean mixing bowl. Beat egg whites until frothy.
  • Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until foamy. Slowly add sugar in batches and continue beating until firm peaks are formed. Take care not to overwhip or it will be hard to fold in the next step. *Note
  • Preheat oven to 150ºC and prepare your water bath.
  • Add one third of the egg white to the yolk batter and mix well. Using a spatula, fold the remaining egg white in two batches. Do so gently and thoroughly so no streaks of egg white remain.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Tap pan against the tabletop to get rid of any large air bubbles.
  • Put the cake pan into the water bath, ensuring that the water height reaches at least a third of the cake pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes then reduce temperature to 140ºC and bake for another 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and tap the pan against the tabletop a few times to prevent shrinkage. Transfer to cool on a wire rack pan for 10min before unmoulding.

Notes

*If you overwhip, egg whites look grainy and dull. Adding the sugar with the egg whites help to stabilise the egg whites, so here you don’t have to worry as much!

Comments

comments


About the Author



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

AlphaOmega Captcha Classica  –  Enter Security Code
     
 

Back to Top ↑