I have wanted to bake a strawberry cake for the members of our CG whose birthdays fall in February. Browsed through Keiko Ishida’s cookbook and saw the picture of the strawberry cake. It was lovely and thus decided to have a go at it. As you know, I am not fond of baking cakes because I am poor in assembling cakes and worse at decorating them. However, such dislikes and fears have to be conquered!
Keiko’s recipe includes certain ingredients which I could not get hold of, primarily because I did not have the time to buy it so I goggled and found this wonderful recipe. I love the explanation and the beautiful pictures depicting the steps to assembling the cake. Awesome!
I like how easy the sponge cake can be baked using this recipe and it turns out soft too. However, I have problem with the whipped cream frosting because of the humid weather and the fact that it was so warm yesterday didn’t really help. Nonetheless, the show had to go on and after assembling it, I quickly placed it in the refrigerator until evening.
The result? I asked the hubs to bring the cake out for the guests while I fed Faith. When I came out, the guests were giving good comments about the cake and how nice the whipped cream frosting is. I had a go at one piece myself and loved it. I couldn’t take a decent picture of the sliced cake since I was busy savouring it. We were left with one last slice though and this is the best I could capture. =p
Loving this recipe. Would bake this again!
Am adapting the original recipe for my reference.
Strawberry cake (Source: La Fuji Mama http://www.lafujimama.com/2010/07/japanese-strawberry-shortcake/)
Makes one 7 or 8-inch layered cake
For sponge cake:
4 large eggs, white and yolks separated
120 grams granulated sugar, sifted once
3 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
120 grams cake flour, sifted 3 times
22 grams unsalted butter, melted
For the stabilized whipped cream frosting:
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4 teaspoons cold water
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
(I made 2 batches in the end since it was not enough)
For the simple syrup:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
8 – 10 ounces fresh strawberries
To make Sponge Cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 170 to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 7 (18cm) or 8-inch circular cake pan with parchment paper, or grease the cake pan with butter, then lightly coat the pan with flour.
2. Add the sugar to the egg whites, and using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they are stiff and glossy.
3. Add the egg yolks to the egg white mixture, and gently whisk until the yolks are incorporated. The mixture will turn slightly yellowish.
4. 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.
5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan, and get rid of any air bubbles in the batter by hitting the pan on a counter once or twice. Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes. The cake is done when it is golden brown and springs back when pressed lightly. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Run a blade around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, and remove.
To make the Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting:
1. Put the cold water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and let stand for 5 minutes (do not stir). 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.
2.In a mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla and beat until slightly thickened. Then, while beating slowly, gradually pour the gelatin into the whipped cream mixture. Then whip the mixture at high speed until stiff.
To make the Simple Syrup:
1. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring the water to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
To assemble the cake:
1. Reserve 6 to 1o strawberries for decorating the cake. Slice the remaining strawberries into thin slices (about 4 slices per strawberry).
2. Slice the sponge cake horizontally into 2 layers.
3. Place one sponge layer cut-side up on a cake board or serving plate and lightly crush the surface with the simple syrup. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the cake layer and arrange the strawberry slices over the surface. Spread an additional 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. Decorate as desired and garnish with the reserved strawberries.