Five days ago, on my Japanese friend’s Facebook, I saw a photo of a candle cake served at a restaurant. I was intrigued. My curiosity peaked. Of course, I Googled it. There was nothing on the English side of the search engine. And then I entered it in Japanese and → this came up. Wow! Another example of Japanese ingenuity. Of course, I had to make it for myself.
I realized that this is an ‘idea’ about the shape of the cake topped with cream that looks like wax drippings and strawberry for the flame. It can be made with an upright narrow good ol’ American jelly-roll, Swiss-roll, baumkuchen, individual entremet with biscuit joconde or a simple cupcake.
As shown in the Google photos, it seems it is mainly served during Christmas time in Japan. However, I think a number of them placed together can be a birthday cake, cute Valentine’s Day treat with the red strawberry on top, or depending upon how they are served, the sky is the limit to your sweet imagination! Here is my first try, I chose jelly-roll to make the candles with.
I know there are many of you who are brilliantly talented bakers and food designers. And, I know some of you are already intrigued about making it. When you do, please send me a photo of your creation so I can add it on this post, as has been done in ‘Look, I made it!’ → here.
Dear Vegans, if you can create a vegan’ized version of this cake, please do share the recipe with us!
Candle Cake • キャンドル ケーキ
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
• 3 large eggs
• 1 egg yolk
• 100 g/ ½ cup granulated sugar
• ¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 100 g/ ¾ cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
• 28 g/ 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 100 g/ 7 Tbsp strawberry preserve/jam -or- marzipan, chocolate ganache, nutella, or …
For the top
• 118 ml/ ½ cup heavy whipping cream
• 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
• 6 pointy, small, fresh strawberries
◊ Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 200°C/400°F.
◊ Spray a baking pan 28cm x 43cm x 2.5cm (11″x17″x1″), with a non-stick spray, line with parchment paper and also spray the parchment paper (also see  below).
◊ In a large bowl, at a high speed, beat the eggs and sugar together until thick, pale yellow, and fluffy, 9~10 minutes. Toward the end of beating, add vanilla.
◊ Sift the flour in three batches over the beaten egg mixture and fold in gently with a silicone spatula, just until the flour is incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add butter and fold in.
◊ Pour the batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly with an offset spatula or spoon.
Bake for about 6 ~ 7 minutes or until light golden and toothpick test comes out clean but moist.
◊ Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven, using a small strainer, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, and then invert the cake onto a clean dish towel supported by a cutting board or back of another baking pan. Remove the parchment paper and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Trim 7mm/¼” of hard crust off all sides of the cake to help roll smoothly. Also, to avoid a thick seam when sponge is rolled, very carefully, using a serrated knife, cut off the end edge (43cm/17″ length side) with a diagonal cut (trimmed seam area is seen in the photo where jam is being spread). Roll up the cake, together with the towel (from the 43cm/17″ length side). Place on a flat surface area, with the seam side down. Cool for 45 ~ 60 minutes. (This will give the cake a ‘shape memory’, so it will be easier to roll again with filling.)
◊ When fully cooled, unroll the cake, spread the strawberry preserve/jam and re-roll tightly. With the seam side down on a plate or a board, roll in a parchment paper and cover airtight with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator, for 2+ hours.
◊ When chilled and ready to serve, after placing the roll on a cutting board, measure the roll. Cut into
6 equal sized, approx. 6.5cm/2.5″ each, with sharp knife, straight down in sawing motion, so that the cakes have flat, stable base for standing.
Preparing the whipping cream
◊ Place beater’s mixing bowl and whisk attachment(s) in the freezer for 15 minutes. Then place the whipping cream and sugar in the bowl and beat until it just begins to thicken (no more). The quantity of sugar and not beating the cream until thick is to create a flowing consistency, so when poured over the top of the cut, standing cakes, it will flow down like dripping candle wax. Individually, or over all, pour the whipped cream from the top center of the cake, a little at a time, and stop when it is not excessive. Place a strawberry/flame on each candle’s icing!
◊ Decorate in a serving dish appropriate for that special treat occasion!
~ どうぞめしあがれ • Douzo Meshiagare ~
 If your baking pan happens to be larger than the amount of this recipe, or if it is not deep enough, make a baking pan out of parchment paper, as shown below.
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?