In the late 70s and early 80s, I used to patronised a bakery a stone’s throw from home. They were the first modern bakery I knew that sells gourmet cakes like cakes with chocolate ganache and cheesecakes. In those days, gourmet bakery were rare in my hometown. This bakery, by the name of Phoon’s was Hainanese owned and it was there that I tried my first taste of NY cheesecakes, rum balls and more. And what I loved most were their ‘Honey Cups’ which was a very light sponge cake shaped like a cup but were paper lined. It was unbelievably soft yet moist. I’ve always loved that and for the past 3 decades, I have not found many bakeries that sells this ultimate light sponge. see also : Eggy Sponge Cake Recipe
This morning, I attempted to make this since the cakes I’ve been baking were mostly dense, buttery and very rich. I used the method like those in sponge cake which was to beat my eggs over a pan of hot water.
I also found that I didn’t have enough parchment paper so decided to bake it directly from the paper cup. The original is batter poured into paper lined cups so I omited the paper and pour into the cup. I also added my girl’s favourite pink food colouring and prayed hard!
The result was really astonishing! It was really cottony soft, and the colours were pretty too! This recipe is going to be with me for a long long long time.
Cottony Soft Honey Cups
5 large egg yolks
25g granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp of vanilla essence
60g of butter, melted
60mls of warm milk
90g cake flour, sieved
20g cornstarch, sieved
half tsp baking powder
5 large egg whites
40g caster sugar
half teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
few drops of Pink colouring
Sieve the dry ingredients together and set aside. In a bowl over a basin of hot water, whisk the egg yolks and sugar till it becomes thick. Add the pinch of salt and the vanilla. Add in the melted butter and warm milk and continue to whisk till all are mixed well. see also : Oreo Cheesecake with Raspberry Frosting
Fold in the flour, cornstarch and baking powder that has been sieved and mixed together.
In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites till it is fluffy and soft peak. Add the sugar and lemon juice and continute beating till it reaches stiff peaks. Fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk/flour mixture, taking care not to deflate the egg whites too much. Drip the colour into it and give it a quick swirl. Spoon your batter into the lined paper cups or like mine, directly into the paper cups.
Bake in 170 deg C for about 20 minutes till it is light golden brown at the top and the tooth pick when inserted comes out clean.