Recently, Singapore and Malaysia have been griped in Castella cake fever. Several brands popped up in Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore offering the aromatic eggy milky cheesy sponge cakes which were snapped up by long enthusiastic queues.
I came to Tamsui to look for where it all started. The original 😄
Castella cakes have been around for a long time. It was first brought to Japan by Portuguese traders in the 1500s and the simple sponge cake is popular throughout Asia. The Japanese called the Portuguese sponge cake カステラ Kasutera, hence the English name Castella.
The rendition that caught the imagination of legions of Castalla cake lovers was created in Tamsui 淡水 district of Taipei (Taiwan) in around 2012. Taiwan have long been the incubator of food trends around the world, especially among the global Chinese community.
The main innovations that set the Tamsui Castella cake apart from 500 years of Portuguese sponge cakes in Asia are it's sheer size and the use of cheese. A Tamsui Castella cake weighs 10 kilos 😱
The other key innovation is the addition of cheese, resulting in eggy milky cheesy bouncy aromatic sponge cakes that people crave for.
The Tamsui Castella cake is now replicated throughout Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore under many different brands.
I spent an entire day at Tamsui and this shop 緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 has a constant queue despite ceaseless rain, the whole of today.
Chef 盧太誠 founded 緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 where he created his original Tamsui Castella cake. Chef 盧 started as a motorcycle mechanic at age 15, before working as a baker. His popular Tamsui Castella cake is the fruit of his hard work and an innovative spirit.
(緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 in Tamsui have no English name at the moment.)
Lots of eggs go into each 緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 Tamsui Castella cake for that signature eggy aroma and flavour. Customers queueing for 緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 are entertained with the eggy aroma while they wait 😄
Layers of New Zealand cheddar cheese for that gooey oozy cheese in Tamsui Castella cakes.
The finishing touches of a 緣味 Tamsui Castella cake - waves on top and a dusting of grated Parmesan cheese.
Making the giant Tamsui Castella cake is hard work as much of the process is still manual. The big part of a good Tamsui Castella cake is the baker's skill.
Chef 盧 and his cheerful team were churning out Tamsui Castella cake after cake the whole day to clear the never ending queue at the shop. All 緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 Castella cakes are freshly baked at the shop.
緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 Castella cakes have that signature wavy golden brown top.
Some people like their Tamsui Castella cakes without cheese.
Personally, I like the cheese version more as it adds a bit of cheesy savoury flavour to the sweet eggy milky puffy sponge cake.
In the mouth, the eggy, milky and cheesy aroma and taste of bouncy 緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 Castella cakes are unmistakeable because of the sheer amount of eggs, milk, and cheese that went into each cake.
緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 now has 6 outlets in Taipei and 6 franchised outlets under the brand Grand Castella Cake in East Malaysia. There are no 緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 outlets at the moment in West Malaysia and Singapore.
緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 Castella cakes are so widely replicated that they actually have a staff holding a placard outside the shop day and night, rain or shine warning customers of copycats.
👉 If you are a fan of Tamsui Castella cakes, do pop by at 緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 at Tamsui Old Street to taste the famous giant eggy milky cheesy sponge cakes at the place where it all started.
Restaurant name: 緣味古早味現烤蛋糕 (original shop in Tamsui has no English name)
Address: No. 135, Zhongzheng Road, Tamsui District, New Taipei City, 251
GPS: 25°10'13.8"N 121°26'21.2"E | 25.170495, 121.439207
Tel: 02 2626 7868
Hours: 8:00am to 6:30pm
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert
Date visited: 20 Oct 2017
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