Japanese Strawberry Shortcake
Adapted recipe by this-is-irene.blogspot
- For the Sponge:
- 4 large eggs, white and yolks separated
- 4.2 ounces (120 grams, 9.5 tablespoons) granulated sugar, sifted once
- 3 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4.2 ounces (120 grams, 14 tablespoons) cake flour, sifted 3 times
- 1.2 ounces (22 grams, 2.3 tablespoons) butter, melted
- For the Simple Syrup:
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbs limoncello (I used cointreau)
- For the Stabilised Whipped Cream Frosting:
- 2 tsp gelatin powder
- 8 tsp cold water
- 2 cups whipping cream, cold
- 60 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- To Assemble:
- 250 g punnet strawberries
For the Sponge:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (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.
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, and get rid of any air bubbles in the batter by dropping 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.
For the Simple Syrup:
In a small saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring the water to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add in limoncello and stir until well combined. Set aside to cool.
For the Stabilised Whipped Cream Frosting:
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. Use immediately.
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 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).