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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

The month of March is here once again. For the sister's birthday last year, she requested for a simple yet but light strawberry shortcake. Erm but I didn't bake her one last year so I thought I will bake one for her this year. Better late than never? Hehe :P

For a while, it was a craze in Singapore. If you are asking what, yes we do have cake crazes in Singapore too hehe. This strawberry shortcake craze lasted for quite a while then. I believe it is the light texture of the spongy cake texture that lured people to eat the strawberry shortcakes.

I came across quite a few recipes for strawberry shortcakes - Little Teochew, Okashi, DailyDelicious. But this time, I thought I'll try recipe Ju used first. Can you tell I'm nervous about this since it's my first time baking a strawberry shortcake? =S

The recipe Ju from Little Teochew used is from ochiekeron.

Ingredients:

Cake 
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 60g caster sugar 
- 60g cake flour* (sifted) 
- 20g unsalted butter (melted and cooled)

Syrup
- 1/2 tbsp granulated caster sugar
- 20ml very hot water
- 1 tsp rum 

Cream 
- 300ml dairy whipping cream 
- 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar 
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp rum 

1 punnet fresh strawberries (250g)

Method:


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Beat eggs and sugar over a bain-marie (hot water bath) until the mixture warms up. This is to dissolve the sugar. Remove the mixture from the bain-marie and continue beating the egg mixture till it triples in volume and turns very pale (almost white). 
  2. Towards the last 2 to 3 minutes, beat on the lowest speed to stabilise the mixture and eliminate large bubbles. When the egg mixture has reached the "ribbon stage", sift in the flour a little at a time. Cut through the mixture with a wire whisk after each addition.
  3. Sprinkle the cooled melted butter over the batter and fold in using a spatula.
  4. Pour the batter from a height of 30cm into a lined tin. Towards the end, pour the remaining batter to one side of the tin. (This gave my cake the flat surface and no domes at all. YAY!!!)
  5. Lift the tin and drop it gently onto the table top twice to eliminate air bubbles.
  6. Bake the cake for 25 minutes. While it bakes, make the simple syrup solution. Dissolve 1/2 tbsp sugar in 20ml of very hot water. Then add rum. Stir to mix well and set aside.
  7. Now, make the cream. Whip the cream, sugar and rum sitting over an ice bath or put your mixer bowl and whisk in the freezer for about 15 mins or so. Whip till soft peaks form. Keep it chilled in the fridge, covered, at all times.
  8. When the cake is done, turn it onto a cooling rack and allow it to cool with the pan covering it. Wrap using clingwrap when it is completely cooled if you do not intend to frost the cake on the same day (the cake keeps for 2 to 3 days, refrigerated). Otherwise, proceed to slice the cake in half, horizontally.
  9. Now, brush sugar syrup onto the first layer of the cake. This keeps the sponge cake nice and moist.
  10. Spread a layer of cream and then top with halved strawberries. Add another layer of cream over.
  11. Brush the remaining layer of cake with sugar syrup, then place it on top of the strawberries and cream. Proceed to frost the entire cake.
  12. Keep the cake chilled until time of serving. 

Honestly, despite making my cake base into a 6 inch cake, it still doesn't give the height a cake would need. Hence, I had to make my cake twice to get this height of a cake. 





The birthday gal and boy was pleasantly surprised with the cake but I felt that this cake base is a tad dry. I would definitely love for this sponge to be a little softer and less spongey in texture. But the cream for this is definitely awesome. Like Ju, I do think that the alcohol does give the oomph in the taste. I love it.

The next time I'm going to attempt this, I will definitely try out Dailydelicious or even Okashi's recipes :) I noted that Dailydelicious has milk content in her sponge cake base. That would mean moisture!! Exactly what I need in a sponge cake.

Nevertheless, it was a good try. I love the tight-crumbed look of the cake though ;) I will make a much better one next time!! I promise :)

I'm going to submit this to Tea Time Treats organized by Lavender and Lovage and The Hedgecombers hosted by Hedgecombers this month.


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