My new roots' life


Ogura Cake! I remember this cake was once such a hit amongst Asian bloggers in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia… People were literally crazy about it, as it resembles very much the famous soft và airy Japanese cotton Cheesecake (JCC) but without using many fat ingredients. In JCC, there are cream cheese, butter, whipping cream…; but Ogura cake only requires oil and egg yolks as ingredients for fat. Sounds lượt thích good news for our waist, doesn’t it?

Ogura cake has its root in Malaysia. It is inspired by, of course, the JCC, which may explain why it has the name of “Ogura”, which, translated from Japanese, means “lovesick”. Lớn me, Ogura cake is like a cross-bred between JCC and the traditional chiffon: it has the softness of a Japanese cheesecake, but is also airy as a chiffon. As soft và airy as it is, but because of too little fat used, it loses parts of the flavour & richness that fat provides; you know, the satisfaction và “mmmm” sensation you have when you bite into a JCC. But nonetheless, Ogura cake remains the popular low-fat alternative to lớn JCC, and is used very widely as cake base in a lot of Asian layered cakes or mousse cakes.

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In this recipe, not only will I introduce the Ogura cake, but I will also make a twist khổng lồ the traditional Ogura recipe by incorporating activated bamboo charcoal powder lớn transform it into a zebra cake. I’m not sure if it’s only me, but when using this powder in a cake, I feel like the cake is even softer and airier. I know that using bamboo charcoal in food may sound insane khổng lồ some of you guys. But activated charcoal powder has been demonstrated to have many benefits for health, such as to detoxify the body or help with insomnia… Don’t be offset by the word “charcoal”, the powder itself has almost no actual flavour, it just gives the food the amazingly sexy black color. Sometimes stepping outside of your comfort zone & try something new, strange, different, can be an exciting experience, and who knows, you may become famous one day for inventing something totally new và delicious

. Now, let’s get going!



TOOLS: One round pan of đôi mươi cm (8 in”) in diameter và 10 centimet deep, or one 18 x 18 cm square pan, parchment paper.


4 gram (2 tsp) bamboo charcoal powder15 ml (1 tbsp) hot water5 egg yolks (medium-sized, 18 – trăng tròn gram/yolk)1 egg (medium-sized, 50 gram excluding shell)60 gram (4.5 tbsp) cooking oil80 ml (1/3 cup) milk75 gram (1/2 cup + 4 tsp) all-purpose flourFew drops of yellow food coloring (optional)5 egg whites (medium-sized, 30 – 33 gram/white)Dash of salt¼ tsp cream of tartar (optional)75 gram (1/3 cup) caster sugar


– My bamboo charcoal powder is from Japan. You can easily find many different brands of activated charcoal bamboo powder on Amazon, just make sure lớn buy the edible one. If you prefer lớn not use bamboo charcoal powder, an option is khổng lồ use 10 gram cocoa powder diluted with 30 ml hot water (in place of 4 gram bamboo charcoal powder và 15 ml hot water).

– It is important khổng lồ use eggs with the right size, otherwise too much or too little egg used will have a big impact on the final cake.


A detailed recipe with all the specific notes is available on Savoury Days’ YouTube Channel (subscribe lớn get all the newly uploaded recipes) in both English and Vietnamese (select your preferred language by clicking CC > Setting > Language). You guys can check it out at this link or the đoạn clip right below.


Preheat the oven at 150˚C (302˚F), top và bottom heat. Line parchment paper at the bottom of the pan and do not grease the side.

1. Mix bamboo charcoal powder with hot water & set aside.

2. In a bowl, put in 5 egg yolks and 1 egg. Beat until the mixture becomes very thick, smooth và pale, almost ribbon stage. This step is very important as it contributes to the height & softness of the cake.

3. Slowly địa chỉ oil into the egg mixture, phối well on lowest speed (or just whisk it by hand with a wire- whisk). Then, slowly showroom in milk and mix well.

4. Divide the flour into 2 parts, sift each part into the bowl, phối well before adding more. If you use a mixer, phối it at the lowest speed và stop right when everything is incorporated; vày not set too much. After all the flour has been added, using a spatula to lớn scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. This mixture should be quite runny.

Clean the beaters very well before using them to beat egg whites.

5. Beat egg whites with salt, cream of tartar (optional) và sugar until it forms almost stiff peaks: peaks khung but the tip is a little droopy (firm peaks will stand straight with sharp peak tips that won’t droop).

This is a very important step. If the meringue is not stiff enough, the cake will not rise well and the inside will be too moist (feel wet). If the meringue is too stiff, the cake surface may crack during baking and/or deflate after taking out from the oven.

In order khổng lồ have a good meringue, it is best to lớn use eggs that are at room temperature. Bowl, beaters, & egg whites need to lớn be very clean và not contaminate with fat residues such as oil, butter, egg yolks…

6. Go back to the flour-yolk mixture, whisk khổng lồ blend with a balloon whisk for about 10 seconds until the mixture is well-incorporated.

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7. Add in 1/3 of the meringue into the flour-yolk mixture, set well using a balloon whisk. The purpose is to “lighten” the yolk mixture khổng lồ make it easy lớn fold in the remaining egg whites. Then, địa chỉ in another 1/3 of the meringue, this time, use the fold method khổng lồ incorporate the meringue into the yolk mixture. Fold gently so that the air bubbles inside the whipped egg whites won’t break.

If, after mixing, your batter is still runny and appears to have a lot of large bubbles, it is possible that the meringue is not whipped enough or the folding method is incorrect (End result: cake will be crumbly và not rise well).

If, after mixing, your batter has a lot of little clumps of egg whites, it means the meringue has been over-whipped. In this case, use the balloon whisk to fold the batter gently (using the correct folding method). However, it is pretty good chance that the cake will have cracked vị trí cao nhất or deflate after removing from the oven.

8. Divide the batter into 2 parts. Showroom bamboo charcoal mixture in one part as followed: địa chỉ 3 tablespoon of batter into the bamboo charcoal mixture, stir well then pour it back lớn the original batter, fold gently with a spatula. This method is better as compared to lớn adding bamboo charcoal water directly into the cake batter because it helps preventing the air bubbles in the batter from breaking; otherwise you will risk having the charcoal portion of the cake deflate.

9. Using the same method as above, địa chỉ cửa hàng yellow coloring into the second batter (this is optional because I lượt thích a little bit of contrasting colors in the cake).

Boil some water lớn prepare for the double-boiling (water bath) step.

10. Pour 3 tablespoon of bamboo charcoal batter into the middle of the pan; then, pour 3 tablespoon of yellow batter into the middle of the bamboo charcoal batter. Repeat this step with the rest of the two batter; shake or swirl the pan occasionally for the batter khổng lồ spread evenly. When done, we will have a uniform batter with rings of black and yellow on đứng đầu of each other, the đứng top one smaller than the bottom.

The thickness of the rings depends on how much batter you pour in each time. I usually pour about 40 – 50 ml of batter, but of course, it’s all up to lớn you.

11. Mở cửa the oven và place a big baking pan directly on the bottom of the oven. Fill the pan with boiling water so that the water reaches 1 centimet high. Place the cake pan at the lowest rack & bake at 150˚C (302˚F) in 50 minutes. If the procedures are followed properly, the cake will slowly rise; at 40 to lớn 45 minutes, the cake will be at its peak with golden brown đứng đầu (and no cracking).

After 50 – 55 minutes, if the cake vị trí cao nhất is springy to lớn the touch và has a nice golden brown color, then it is ready to be removed from the oven. Let the cake cool down in the pan for 5 – 7 minutes, then turn it upside down onto the cooling rack. Handle gently as the cake is very soft. Remove the parchment paper & let the cake cool completely.

Store cake in the fridge và use in 2 days. Cake is extremely soft, airy & moist, but not at all wet or dense.


– Baking time and temperature may vary depending on the oven. My oven has đứng top heat hotter than the bottom, thus I bake it at the lowest rack of the oven to prevent the cake from cracking or browning on top). Domestic ovens in general are not perfect, so the key is to understand our oven really well and depending on the final outcome (aka cake), adjust baking time và temperature accordingly. You can read more about how lớn set baking time & temperature lớn get perfect cakes in this post.

– After removing from the oven, the cake will shrink a little, but not too much, & should not deflate or floppy or cracked side. If it does, possible causes can be:

Over-whipped egg whites (usually result in cracked top)Not enough baking time or incorrect baking temperature: if baking time is too short or baking temperature is too low, cake is not completely baked resulting in a shrinking cake. Solution: leave the cake in the oven for a little while, you may have to lớn increase the baking temperature.

– If cake is cracked on top, in addition khổng lồ over-whipped egg whites, it can also be caused by cake being placed too close to lớn the đứng đầu heat. This may be the case when you have a small oven (i.e. Smaller than 42L). To fix this, you can follow the instruction here: Preheat the oven at 200˚C (392˚F), place the cake pan in a big rectangular tray, pour boiling water inside the big tray so that the water reaches 2/3 of its height, bake for 17 minutes at 200˚C (392˚F), then 30 minutes at 130 – 140˚C (265 – 285˚F). Then, turn off the oven but leave the cake inside for another trăng tròn minutes before taking it out. I use a big oven so I have not come across this problem myself. This is based on the experience of an acquaintance of mine who is quite familiar with making Ogura cake.