Monday, 22 February 2021

HOW TO: BAKE A JAPANESE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

I am a pretty lazy baker these days, but I had to share this recipe for my new favourite cake! This is a beautifully light and soft sponge (which was decorated for my SnowRunner-loving boyfriend, construction vehicle decoration is optional!). I actually doubled the recipe below to make a mega cake, so scale up if you want a cake with height!

Heads up - this recipe involves leaving the cake to rest overnight before decorating/eating, so if you are looking for a cake to bake today, you will have to skip this step. 


You will need:

Cake 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 40ml milk
  • 25g unsalted butter
Syrup
  • 60ml water
  • 30g sugar

Icing
  • 300ml fresh whipping cream
  • 20g sugar


Start by preheating your oven to 170°C and grease and line a 7 inch cake tin.

Separate the egg yolk and egg whites (it's actually easiest to do this with your hands!).  Place the egg whites in a large clean bowl and then, using an electric mixer on medium speed, gradually add the sugar into the bowl. Beat the egg whites and sugar together until stiff peaks form.

Still using the mixer, add the egg yolks into the egg white and sugar mixture. 

Then, using a big spatula, gently fold the sifted flour through this mixture until it is all mixed in. Be careful not to over-mix at this point, you want to keep all of that lovely air in the batter! 

Take a small bowl, and mix the milk and melted butter together. Now, take a small amount of the egg white mixture and stir it into the milk and melted butter. Mixing a bit of the batter with milk and butter stops the dairy from deflating the batter - the mission is to keep your sponge as airy as possible! Then add the milk/butter/batter to the rest of the egg white mixture and stir until its all mixed in.

Pour the cake batter into your cake tin, and bake for 35-40 minutes (you'll know it's ready when a skewer or sharp knife comes out of the cake clean). Resist the urge to open your oven when it is baking!

Once the cake's done, drop the cake tin onto your kitchen counter (this breaks the steam bubbles inside the cake and means your cooled cake will have a better structure). Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. When it's cool, wrap in clingfilm and leave at room temperature overnight - this makes for a tastier cake!

The next day,  slice the cake in half (I chose to double the recipe and used two separate cake pans so I skipped this step). Mix the water and sugar to make a syrup, and brush this onto the two cut sides of sponge. 

Whip the cream and sugar until it's nice and fluffy, then decorate your cake. In the middle I layered cream, then sliced strawberries, then more cream, and I piped cream on top. Enjoy!

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