December 2, 2007

Honey Cake

I bought a bottle of mirin recently, after reading some Japanese cook books about this condiment and came across some recipes using mirin.

For your information, mirin is a type of condiment used in Japanese cooking. It is a heavily sweetened sake made from shochu (distilled sake). Mirin-fuhmi is a mirin flavouring that is synthetically made and contains only 1 percent alcohol. Hon-mirin, on the other hand is real mirin containing 14 percent alcohol. In case you have not seen mirin before, this is how it looks like.

I came across this honey cake recipe using honey and mirin. The way it was described was so tempting that I have to try. The process was almost the same as making a chiffon cake, except for the sequence in the mixing of the ingredients. As mine did not turn out successfully, I still do not know whether if that mixing method should be the correct one. Anyway, I will type out the original recipe for you to try out cos' the taste is good. It's sweet yet not those kind of sweetness you get from white sugar. There's hint of honey flavour, which makes it smell and taste different. Pardon me cos' I'm not good with my vocab ..don't really know how to describe it LoL...I do not know if mirin plays a part in bringing out the flavour. But it was written on the blog that it taste as good without the mirin, except for a little bit of 'special' taste. ;) Recipe from this chinese blog - Pink Fantasy.


  • 3 eggs
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar/vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cake flour, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Separate the egg yolks and egg whites
  2. Beat egg yolks with 1 tbsp sugar; add in honey, mirin, oil and finally 1/4 cup (half of the flour) flour, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add cream of tartar/vinegar to the egg whites and beat with an electric beater, add in the remaining 4 tbsp sugar in 3 separate additions, continue beating until stiff peaks.
  4. Fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the flour and egg yolk mixture; followed by the remaining 1/4 cup flour; and finally fold in the remaining egg whites. Mix gently.
  5. Pour the batter into a 9 by 4-inch loaf pan and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

Note: To prevent the top of the cake from over browning due to the honey, can put a piece of aluminium foil halfway during the baking. But be fast.

The cake rose beautifully while baking in the oven, with a large crack in the centre though. Itchy hand me went to overturn it during the cooling process. The recipe actually didn't say so. I think it was a wrong move, Cos' the cake shrink badly..:( as seen from the photo. I'm not sure whether it was due to the egg white deflating, or cos' I should not have overturn it, especially with parchment paper lined. I do had this experience before, where I lined a round cake pan to bake chiffon cake and after overturned it, the paper pressed against the cake, deflating the own cake.

I was rather apprehensive about the mixing method, that is to mix in half of the flour first with egg yolk, then mixing the remaining half flour with the egg white. But I think that should not be a problem, as Pink fantasy who made this had no problem. :) Hope you have success with this should you try it cos' it really taste good. :)


Dawn said...

the honey cake looks gooood! and the tartlets too... *slurp*

we really muz get together to do baking someday!!

Aimei said...

haa, the honey cake was not very successful, shrink until very small, but taste wise it's good. Yeap let's get down to baking someday! :)

James said...

Mirin cake? Well that's interesting. All I've ever used it for is sushi and japanese egg pancakes. What else can you do with it?

Aimei said...

Hi James,

Thanks for visiting my blog. Yeah that's what I know for the uses of mirin too. So was quite surprised with this recipe. You have made Japanese pancakes using mirin? Would love to try it. :)

Melissa said...

may i ask you what is the difference in using vinegar and cream of tartar?

Aimei said...

Hi Melissa! Cream of tartar is usually used to stabilise egg whites. Vinegar is kinds a substitution if you do not have cream of tartar. However, I have not used it before, so not sure how well it works. :)