Japanese-Style Strawberry Cake (My First Attempt)

Recently I bought  a baking book known as “Okashi- Sweet Treats Made With Love” by Keiko Ishida. When I first bought it, I was blown away by the beautiful pictures especially the Japanese-Style Strawberry Cake (which happen to be my boys’ favourite)

The Cake That Convince Me To Buy The Book

Anyway I had my 1st attempt of this cake for our Christmas Steamboat Party especially now we have abundant supplies of the Korean strawberries. I am very hesitant to put this up because I will not say it is a total success with my sponge texture not fine enough (I guess it is due to the way I had handled my eggs), my vanilla cream too runny (I guess due to insufficient gelatin or perhaps I forgot to squeeze the soften gelatin sheet dry) and  my whipped a little too soft (I guess due to me not whipping enough??I am not very sure myself too) .

My First Attempt

Nevertheless after pondering awhile, I decided to share because despite the setbacks I have met, the cake tasted really great with my friend’s 2.5 year old daughter finishing 3 slices of the cake (and still asking for more) and my friends had also commented that it tasted great without being too sweet. Even my hubby who usually shuns cakes and deserts also says that it tasted nice requesting me to make one for his birthday (improved version) this coming February. (“,)

Well there are 3 steps to completing this cake:

  1. Bake the Genoise Sponge.
  2. Prepare the strawberries and vanilla cream.
  3. Prepare whip cream.

A. Bake the Genoise Sponge

Ingredients Needed:

  • 115g Pastry Flour or Top Flour (I used Top Flour)
  • 170g Eggs (About 4 small eggs)
  •  130g Castor Sugar
  • 15g Glucose (This helps to keep the egg moist)
  • 30g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 45g Fresh Whole Milk
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract (I used the seeds from the vanilla pod instead)
  • 3tbs Sugar Syrup (made using 25g sugar and 50g water)

Method (With Step-By-Step Photos)

  1. Split the vanilla pod length way and scrap the seeds out with the back of a knife. Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour twice.
  3. Line the 18-cm round spring-form pan with baking paper.
  4. Preheat the oven to 170°c.
  5. Beat the eggs in a clean bowl. Add in sugar and glucose and place over a pot of simmering water and mix well. Adding heat to the egg allows more air to be easily incorporated when whipped.
  6. When egg mixture is warm, beat on high speed till light and fluffy. Reduce to low speed and continue beating for one minute. Reducing speed  allows a stable egg mixture with fine form to be achieve and less volume is lost when the flour is folded in.
  7. In another clean bowl, combine butter milk and vanilla seeds and place over a pot of simmering water. Once butter has melted, stir through to mix.
  8. Add 1/6 of egg batter to the butter mixture and mix well.
  9. Then add the butter mixture to the egg mixture and fold thoroughly.
  10. Lightly sift in the flour and gently fold in flour with spatula until batter becomes glossy. You have to work very fast here and because you will not want to over mix the flour.
  11. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 40 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
  12. Place on a cooling rack to cool. It is recommended that you cool the cake in a plastic bag to retain the moisture of the cake. Though I did not.
  13. When cooled completely, slice the cake horizontally.
  14. Place 1 layer on a flat tray and brush evenly on both sides with 1/3 of sugar syrup. Set both the layers aside.

B. Preparing the Strawberries and Vanilla Cream

Ingredients Needed:

  • 300g Strawberries (I used the Korean ones)
  • 150g Whipping Cream (35% fat)
  • 20g Fresh Whole Milk
  • 15g Castor Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (I use half a vanilla pod)
  • 4g Gelatin Sheets (Soaked in ice water to soften)

Method (Step-By-Step Photos)

  1. Wash the strawberries clean.
  2. Hull and slice the strawberries. Set aside.
  3. Whip the cream in a chilled bowl till stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  4. Place milk,sugar and vanilla seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add soften gelatin sheets. Stir to mix well.
  5. Let the milk cool and then add to whipped cream and fold till incorporated.
  6. Spread the vanilla cream onto cake layer that was brushed with sugar syrup.
  7. Top with sliced strawberries and place the 2nd layer of cake over. Press down lightly and refrigerate while preparing the whipped cream.

C. Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • 200g Whipping Cream (35%Fat)
  • 15g Castor Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Method (No Photos)

  1. Combine ingredients in a clean bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and water. It is essential to whip the cream over a bowl of ice water to keep it cold otherwise the cream will become warm and curdle easily.
  3. Using an electric mixer, whip cream at medium speed till stiff peaks form but cream is still smooth. Take care not to over-whip or the cream will become grainy and separate to form butter.
  4. Cover the chilled cake with whipped cream. Garnish as desired.

My 1st Home-Made X’mas Cake

Here is a slice of the side view. Though it is looking not as tempting with the vanilla cream runny, it seriously taste not bad.

A Slice Of the Cake

I am so looking forward to baking this again so that I can further improve on the cream. 🙂 I guess it is not bad for my 1st try. Ain’t it? 🙂

Well if you asked me when I developed a liking for baking, I am not very sure too. However baking just gets me excited because of the challenges I face, wondering if I had beaten the eggs enough, the temperature of the oven and etc. I think it takes alot of guts t0 fail and try and try again. Seeing improvement each time is like an achievement and thinking how it can be done better the next time round.

If you do not get what I mean, below is a picture to share where I baked 2 genoise sponge within a span of 3 hours because for my 1st attempt, I got a flat and dense sponge.

It maybe nerve wrecking but do not give up and enjoy baking. I guess I am one who finds myself at peace in the kitchen. 🙂

~~~~~~

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