Dining

Pong pong vs Jiggle-wiggle: Thick, fluffy Castella cakes and the local versions to relish

The Instagrammable Taiwanese cake is so popular it has inspired 3 local bakeries to spawn their own jiggly versions. Good for us, we say, cos now there are more for us to mull over at tea time
 
 

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So you’ve seen them on Instagram, heard your friends rave about them but have you tried ‘em yet? It’s a food-porn moment worth every calorie.

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So what exactly is this Castella cake we’ve been hearing about? For starters, it is a popular Japanese sponge cake made of sugar, flour, eggs and starch syrup. These can be found worldwide, with each country reinventing their own flavours - just like how Taiwan’s Le Castella incorporated cheese fillings into theirs.

 

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More recently, these fluffy Castella cakes have taken Instagram by storm with countless Boomerang posts of them jiggling while being sliced into individual portions. The only downside? Being able to only feast with our eyes doesn’t satiate our cravings. So you can imagine our joy when we found out that famed Taiwan Le Castella boutique is bringing in this fluffy decadence to Singapore. Following that, other bakeries (Ah Mah Homemade Cake, Antoinette and more) have jumped onto the bandwagon and started serving them.

Craving for some already? We’re here to round up the four best places to get your Castella cake fix.

 

Le Castella

Hailing all the way from Taiwan (like Dazzling Cafe), Le Castella gathered a five hour long queue when it first opened up in Tampines One last May. Fluffy and moist, the cake boasts of a subtle aroma that comes from the eggs in the batter. Simple and comforting, we would recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a lighter Castella version.

 

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Other than the original flavour, Le Castella offers up a cheese rendition that is much denser with two thin layers of oozy cheese. As you know, melted cheese is on trend. The cheese lends a slight savoury flavour to the sweet cake, giving layers of flavours. The crust is sprinkled with powdered parmesan for an added texture and taste.

Where: Le Castella, Tampines 1, 10 Tampines Central #B1-32, S(529536)

 

Ah Mah Homemade Cake

 

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Following Le Castella’s opening, Ah Mah Homemade Cake made its debut in Bukit Panjang Plaza and Vivo City in July. Known for its spongy Castella cake, Ah Mah Homemade Cake first started in Selangor, Malaysia. Within three months of operation, they’ve expanded to 14 outlets across Malaysia, selling over 100,000 boxes of these jiggly confections.

Ah Mah Homemade Cake’s version has a strong standout eggy aroma and proves to be a little heftier than Le Castella’s. So we would recommend heading straight for this version if you want a more condensed flavour. While you’re at it, may we suggest some too-pretty-to-look-at teas to go with a slice?

Where: Ah Mah Homemade Cake, Bukit Panjang Plaza, 1 Jelebu Rd, #01-18, S(677743)  / Vivo City, 1 Harbourfront Walk, #B2-K7, S(098585)

 

Breadtalk

Even Breadtalk has jumped onto the bandwagon. Named the Pong Pong Cake, Breadtalk takes inspiration from the springy old school sponge cake but that’s not it. This light treat is complemented with a local favourite - rich salted egg filling (remember the salted egg croissant craze?) that lends a savoury touch.

Delivering a comforting taste, this Pong Pong Cake is airy but it leans towards the drier side. Bonus: It’s readily available at any Breadtalk outlets, so you don’t really have to travel to the East or West to get your hands on some.

Where: Breadtalk outlets

 

Antoinette

 

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Are you ready for cheekier versions of the Castella cake? Then head on down to Antoinette. Stocking up exciting renditions like Ondeh Ondeh, Nutella Cheese, Vanilla, Vanilla Cheese, Earl Grey and Earl Grey Cheese.

We love the Ondeh Ondeh cake that is made with pandan leaves, coconut and gula melaka bits. Delicate and fluffy, it reminds us of a well-baked aromatic pandan chiffon cake (our national cake!) studded with gula melaka and dessicated coconut. Alternatively, the Earl Grey version is a great choice as well. Aromatic with the tea’s fragrance, the cake isn’t overly sweet. When paired with a savoury cheddar and parmesan glaze, it makes for an interesting tea cake.

Over at Antoinette, you don’t have to queue and the boxes come in an atas floral packaging that trumps all the others. Plus, you can call in to make a pre-booking of up to six cakes per person so you never have to miss out on your favourite flavours. For more popular options such as Nutella Cheese and Ondeh Ondeh, we suggest making reservations before 2pm as it gets sold out really fast. And we mean REALLY fast.

Where: 30 Penhas Road, S(208188) / Mandarin Gallery 33A Orchard Road, #02-33/34, S(238897)

 

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