Sunday, November 07, 2010

Strawberry shortcake

I was craving strawberry shortcake badly. I wanted to make my own from scratch, after my first attempt last year fell short of expectations (in looks and flavour). I scoured the net searching for a strawberry shortcake with a Japanese flair (I prefer the taste of a Japanese strawberry shortcake than the Western style ones). I found one that looked promising, and with that in mind, I crossed my fingers and started work.

Strawberry shortcake
Slicing into individual portions
Huge-ass strawberries; Strawberry shortcake


First of all, I had to source for strawberries. I went to the supermarket, with heart in hand, praying fervently that there'll be pretty looking strawberries. Pretty strawberries there were, but they cost a pretty penny too. I couldn't care much, I was determined to have my strawberry shortcake. And so, the $15 punnet of extremely big and red strawberries from the Japanese aisle found its place in my trolley. Walking along the organic fruits aisle, I spotted Australian strawberries going for $10. They were equally red, albeit a smaller. I hesitated. Which should I get? Oh heck. I shall just get both. At least if one batch is sour, there is another second chance that the second will be sweet hey?

And luck must have been on my side. Both punnets were equally delicious! When I got home, I immediately opened the punnets and took one from each box to "try". I was wowed by the natural sweetness of the strawberries and happily munched on two. Well, if my cake failed, at least it'll be filled with sweet berries. Heh.


My cake turned out quite high as I adapted the recipe from a 7 inch to a 6 inch, and from two layers, to three. Oh well, the more the merrier. I doubled the cream recipe cos of the additional layers, and I wanted to do the design I saw over here, which was so cool. Good plan. The cream was FABULOUS. I love the cream. It was really gooooood. Yeah, if I can go on so long waxing lyrical about how awesome it was, you'd trust me on its awesomeness. ;)

My thoughts on the recipe? Love love love the cream. It's to die for. It's exactly the kinda cream I love (kinda similar to my favourite matcha strawberry shortcake from Tampopo Deli). Soft, silky, not too greasy and it's so light that I could eat buckets of it just like that! Ha! The cake on the other hand, was a tad too cakey for my liking. Even after brushing the syrup, after refrigeration, the cake was just a bit hard to munch, had to leave it out for a while first after removing from the fridge for it to soften first before eating. I also felt that the cake did soften after a few days in the fridge (not the second day, like third of fourth maybe), as the cream probably got to it and soften the layers a bit. :)

Sister also agreed that the cream was delish. Daddy also nodded and said it was good. Yay. Overall, this is a success recipe (for the cream at least) heh. I shall try to find a better cake recipe in future, but I think I've found the perfect whipped cream recipe! Yums.


Pardon my lousy piping skills, it took me a few lines before I got the hang of piping lines of cream across the top of the cake, so the first few lines look kinda squiggly and messy. Whoops. But hey, at least it looks so much better than my first strawberry cake last year! Haha. Practice make perfect, when strawberries are in season, I'll definitely be making strawberry shortcake again. Can't wait! Strawberry shortcake ♥.

Oh, and it's Evan's birthday today. Happy birthday dear! Hope you have a great birthday dinner with your girlfriend! Here's a slice of virtual 'cake' for you. Lol. :)

Pink roses

Strawberry Shortcake (adapted from Rachael at Fuji Mama)
Makes one 6 inch square cake

Sponge cake
4 large eggs, separated
110g granulated sugar
3 tbs milk, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
120 g cake flour, sifted 3 times
25g butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a 6 inch square cake pan (with removable bottom) with parchment paper. Grease the parchment lined cake pan with butter, then lightly coat with flour.
Add the sugar to the egg whites, and beat the egg whites until they are stiff and glossy.
Add the egg yolks to the egg white mixture, and gently whisk until the yolks are incorporated.
Add the milk, vanilla extract, and flour (in that order) to the batter and gently fold them into the batter with a spatula. Fold in the melted butter until it is well combined.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan, tap pan on a counter once or twice to remove air bubbles. Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Run a blade around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, and remove.

Stabilised whipped cream 
2 tsp gelatin powder
8 tsp cold water
2 cups whipping cream, cold
60g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Chill mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 10minutes.
Put the cold water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and let stand for 5 minutes. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon just until the gelatin dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Remove mixing bowl and beaters from freezer. In the mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla and whip until slightly thickened. Then, while beating slowly, gradually pour the gelatin into the whipped cream mixture. Then whip the mixture at high speed until slightly stiff.

Limencello simple syrup
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1-2 tbs limencello

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring the water to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, add limoncello, stir quickly to combine and allow to cool.

250g punnet of strawberries

Assembling

Reserve a handful of strawberries (the prettiest ones!) for decorating the top of the cake. Dice the remaining strawberries into small cubes. Macerate them in a little sugar and set aside.
Slice the sponge cake horizontally into three layers.
Place one sponge layer cut-side up on a cake board and lightly brush the surface with the limoncello simple syrup. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the cake layer and arrange the strawberry cubes over the surface. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the strawberries. Brush the cut-side of the second layer with the simple syrup and place it over the first layer. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream.  Repeat with remaining third layer of cake. Spread a thin layer of cream over top of the cake and return to fridge to chill for thirty minutes.
Using the leftover cream, pipe the cream as decoration. Chill in fridge for cream to set for an hour or so. Garnish with the reserved strawberries (sliced in halves).

12 comments:

  1. Qianwen: Drooling! I shall get my strawberry cakes fix at Pâtisserie Glacé tmr :D

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  2. omg! so pro! looks just like the ones from patisseries.

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  3. and, thank you for mentioning me in your entry & for the virtual cake. real or virtual, i'll gladly take them :D

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  4. qianwen: hoho. patisserie glace eh? hmmm...haven try that place yet!

    evan: gosh. u flatter me lor. haha, the cake is so messy! (:

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  5. This is so beautifully done, good job! Sounds very yummy too, I love the addition of Limoncello.

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  6. These photos are great. I love the look of this short cake.

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  7. Great looking strawberry shortcake, can I have a piece too1? Virtual or not would like some.

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  8. Great looking strawberry shortcake, can I have a piece too1? Virtual or not would like some.

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  9. omg! so pro! looks just like the ones from patisseries.

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  10. These photos are great. I love the look of this short cake.

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  11. Yum this looks good, and your awesome description of the whipped cream, so good you could eat buckets of it :D, got me motivated to make it today. And Fugi Mama used the same whipped cream recipe, and the spnge cake recipe is supposed to be very good. http://www.lafujimama.com/2010/07/japanese-strawberry-shortcake

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