After living in Japan for awhile, I find that Strawberry cake is one of the popular cakes for all occasion. Fancy cake with tons of cream and colouring is rare, so fat yet to find one at local bakery. At our home, both my boys love strawberry very much, not to mention this cake. I always baked such whole cake on special occasions but this was for testing of new icing piping nozzles set I added into my kitchen toy collection recently, and to try out a new sponge cake recipe I bookmarked.
Quality of sponge cake is very important in simple deco cakes, I finally found the recipe for the cake with taste and texture I preferred- spongy, soft and moist. Some people called this Japanese sponge cake as the texture is very closed to kasutera cake but baked without honey.
Ingredients (1 x 18cm round pan):
150 g whole eggs (+/- 3 nos. eggs)
110 g sugar
6 g liquid glucose / 水飴
100 g cake flour, sieved
40 g milk
26 g butter
300 ml fresh cream
2-3 tbsp granulated sugar
Few drops of vanilla oil
15 strawberries for decoration (+/-)
- Mix together egg, sugar and glucose in a bowl. Put the bowl over a bowl of hot water, stir gently and bring the temperature up to 40C. Remove from hot water, beat with high speed for 4-5 minutes, 10-15 seconds with low speed to bring all mixture from the edge of bowl to the center and mix well. The batter should be pale in colour, when you write an "8" it should be visible for a few seconds.
- Add in flour all in one time, fold with a spatula gently but quickly until all flour incorporated.
- In a bowl, bring together milk and butter and heat in a microwave (or small pot on stove) up to 40C.
- Pour milk mixture into batter and fold in till well incorporated.
- Transfer batter into a pan lined with baking paper, tap the pan on table top to remove trapped air bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Preheat oven at 180C, then turn to 160C after cake is in.
- Once remove from oven, drop it from 15-20 cm high to prevent it from shrinking after it is cooled.
- Cool on rack upside down for 5-10 minutes, then turn it around and let it cool completely on rack. Remove from pan.
- Pick 8 strawberries with same/similar size and shape, put aside for topping.
- Chop/slice other strawberries, set aside.
- For cream, keep the mixing bowl in the freezer for a few minutes. Remove from freezer, pour in fresh cream and whisk with high speed till soft peaks. Add in sugar and vanilla oil, continue to whisk with medium speed until peaks but not stiff. Turn to lowest speed, scrape the bowl and mix the cream for a few seconds. You may want to keep whisked cream in the fridge until you are ready to deco the cake.
- To deco, cut sponge cake into 2 to 3 slices. Sandwich and stack-up with cream and strawberry, then cover cake with cream. Transfer some cream into a piping bag, deco the cake as preferred and top with strawberries (1).
- Chill for 3 hours or longer before serving.
Done with cake. I am so excited to share with you guys few beautiful scenes I photographed last weekend at Nara Park, Japan. It was public holiday and peak period for koyo (colourful autumn leaves) especially momiji (Japanese mapple), the park was so crowded that we experienced real slow traffic for the first time. In the park, I could hear many foreigner languages as I strolled around with my camera.
This is the place for picnic, play and dog walking. Great view in both spring and autumn.
Closed-up of momiji, not very good photo.
It was a windy day and my photographing skill could not catch up with the wind.
Lady in Kimono, an unexpected model.
Judged from the prints and material of the kimono, she might be a bride.
Calm and beautiful lake in the Nara Park.
Last but not least, there important men in my life.
They were trying to feed the deers (dears feeding deers :D) but most of them did not want to eat my boys' senbei (cracker). Strange.