Sunday 28 January 2018

Doggy Chocolate Taiwanese Castella Cake and Cupcakes (Agogo 阿狗狗旺旺过好年)

Can you recognize who is this Doggy? =)

Yes this Doggy is inspired by the cute Agogo 阿狗狗旺旺过好年 that is designed by Mediacorp this year to usher in the Year of the Dog. This is inspired by the cute Agogo plush toy I saw at Popular. There's also a pink female version of it that is super cute!

I actually tried out this Chocolate Taiwanese Castella Cake as an item for my church's Culinary Arts Ministry (CAM). I have been teaching chiffon for the past 2 sessions so thought it's time I look for something new. My SIL from Taiwan also came back and mentioned that the Castella here is not as soft as those she tried from Taiwan. The Castella cake recipe and method is actually really similar to the cooked dough method for chiffon. But the great thing is that Castella cakes do not need to be fully cooled before eating! Instant gratification lol. Most Castella recipes use a lower liquid to flour ratio than chiffon, so it is not as moist. But similar to my optimized chiffon recipes, they use a much lower amount of flour, which gives a wobbly lightness to the texture (like my chiffon cakes hehe). The cooking of the flour in hot oil, a key feature, also prevents the formation of gluten and silky smooth batter, so crumbs are fine and smooth. I also find using Top flour gives even finer crumb. In this final version of the recipe after a few trials, I have increased the liquid for more moisture and reduced the sugar slightly, adapted from Josephine's recipes, to have both lightness and not too dry and just nice sweetness to the cake. Thanks to Josephine for sharing her wonderful experience and recipe.

These are the small cakes which I will be teaching. I use cupcake liners for them as they are more easily available and can be scaled up easily. I used cheese slices for the deco.

Doggy Chocolate Castella Cake and Cupcakes

3 egg yolks
35g warm oil or melted butter
36g whole milk
54g Top flour, or Cake flour (Prima)
A pinch of salt
2g vanilla extract
chocolate emulco/paste
3 slices cheddar cheese (optional)

3 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
60g castor sugar

1. Preheat oven to 160°C with a tray of water under the lowest rack (steam baking).

2. Heat the oil or butter in a microwave (30 sec for mine). Add a pinch of salt and milk, then whisk in sifted Top flour or cake flour. *I checked the temperature was less than 60°C as you don't want to end up cooking your egg yolks.

3. Add in the egg yolks and mix to silky smooth batter (do not overmix). Add in vanilla extract and stir well.

4. Divide the batter into 2/3 and 1/3. Leave the 1/3 plain, and to the rest of the batter, add a dip (around 1/4 tsp) of chocolate emulco.

5. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar till foamy. Add in the sugar gradually and whisk till firm peaks are formed.

6. Divide the meringue 2/3 and 1/3.

7. Fold in the meringue into respective egg yolk batter in 2-3 additions.

8. Spoon cake batter into 1 bowl (for head) and 1 bowl (for body). You can intersperse brown with white batter for dog patches. Spoon the rest of the batter into cupcake liners for small cakes, and sheet cake for cutting out deco later. 

*You can also spoon all into cupcake liners for making the small cakes only.

9. Lower the temperature to 140°C after the first 15 min. Bake the sheet cake for 15 min, cupcake liners for 20 min, and the bowl cakes for 35 min (or until skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes come out clean). *Note that individual oven vary, do check for doneness yourself using skewer.

10. Give the cakes a knock once out of the oven and unmould when they are cool.

*For another variation, I added in cheddar cheese slices into the doggie cupcakes.

*If you are doing a single tone chocolate flavour, you can substitute 54g Top/cake flour with 14g cocoa powder and 30g Top/cake flour.

*In terms of creative chiffon, I find it harder to control the batter as it is runny.

The different features eg ears, limbs were cut out from chiffon sheet cake and small cakes, and assembled onto using melted marshmallow cream. You can also use cheese slices like what I used for the small doggies cupcakes. I piped on their eyes using nutella.

May you have an Agogo 阿狗狗旺旺过好年!

With lots of love,

Chinese edition of Deco Chiffon Cake Basics hitting bookstores (Kinokuniya, Naiise, in late Jan)! Also available at Goguru now! It's having a special promo at Goguru.


  1. I will find it difficult to eat the big dog as it is too cute. Don't have the heart to eat it. Easier to eat the cupcake hahaha