Salt-preserved sakura leaves (for lining on the bottom)
Salt-preserved sakura blossoms
Line the pound cake molds with parchment paper, avoiding wrinkles. Line the bottom with the salt preserved sakura blossoms and leaves, and sprinkle on 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar.
Whip the egg white, and add 140 g of the light brown sugar little by little. Whip until sticky and glossy.
Add the egg yolk and whip lightly.
Put the red food colouring in the milk. Add the honey, condensed milk, vegetable oil and chopped sakura leaves and mix. Add into the meringue mixture.
Sift the already sifted flour into the mixture, and mix with a rubber spatula. When the flour is no longer visible, fold gently from the bottom several times.
Pour the batter evenly into each mold. Lightly lift and drop the molds on a table to smooth out the surface.
Bake them for 25 minutes in the preheated oven at 160℃. When baked, turn them over on the parchment paper and take out from the molds.
Wrap tightly with plastic wrap as soon as possible, and leave them for 2 days at room temperature. You can eat it on the next day, but the most delicious timing would be two days later.
Story Behind this Recipe
Spring has come, so I wanted to make a Japanese sweet with cherry blossoms in mind. I added the preserved sakura leaves and blossoms in the basic castella batter.
Bring all the ingredients to room temperature. Whip the egg white well. After adding flour, whisk until the mixture is evenly mixed, but do not over mix. The castella is most delicious two days after you bake it. The castella is too airy and not as tasty on the day you bake. The parchment paper lining the molds should have no wrinkles to shape the beautiful castella.