Monday, June 4, 2012

Shotokeki – Japanese Style Strawberry Shortcake

This is a guest post from my cousin Bow in Italy. She is a marine scientist and married to a Japanese gentleman who is working in the international agency in Rome. She is expecting a child (a girl - any day soon) but still has a lot of energy to make beautiful yummy looking things like this cake.

"I decided to make this cake because all pastries in Rome are way too sweet, which I personally don't like it. I prefer the way that Japanese create their own version of cakes and reduce a large amount of sugar. The combination of light sponge cake, strawberry, whipped cream, and a hint of rum syrup is absolutely gorgeous. More importantly, it is very easy to make! If you follow this recipe,*** you will fall in love with it."

Strawberry Shortcake (Birthday Cake Recipe)

Difficulty: medium
Time: 2 hours (6 hours or a day cooling time)
Number of servings: 1 cake

Necessary Equipment:
18cm (7.1-inch) round cake pan
electric mixer

((Sponge Cake))
2 eggs *room temperature
60g (2.1oz.) granulated sugar
60g (2.1oz.) cake flour
20g (0.7oz.) melted butter
20ml hot water
1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. rum *kirsch, brandy, or any kind of liquor you like
fresh strawberries
300ml fresh cream (heavy whipping cream)
1&1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
a few drops vanilla extract
1 tbsp. rum *kirsch, brandy, or any kind of liquor you like

((Sponge Cake))
1. Line the round cake pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 170C (338F).
2. Beat eggs with wire whisk in a metal bowl. Mix sugar and place it over a bowl of hot water and melt the sugar and warm them up to body temperature. Then remove from the hot water and beat the batter on high speed with an electric mixer until white and fluffy. Then on low speed, beat for about a minute to set the texture.
3. Sift in flour little by little and gently cut through the mixture with wire whisk until somewhat combined. Then using spatula, sprinkle melted butter, and quickly lift up the batter to mix.
4. Pour the batter from heights of 11 inches (30 cm) into the pan (like ribbon) and drop the pan lightly on the counter to raise the air bubbles out of the batter.
5. Bake at 170C (338F) for 25 minutes.
6. Place a cutting board and a paper towel on a wire rack. Then place the cake pan upside down and cool with the pan on top.
8. When it's completely cool, wrap with plastic wrap and rest the sponge cake in the fridge for a few hours. *you can store it in the fridge for 2 to 3 days and decorate the cake when needed

1. Mix granulated sugar and hot water until dissolved. Then mix rum (if you like).

1. Combine fresh cream, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and rum (if you like) in a dry, clean bowl. Float the bottom of the bowl in ice water, whisk the cream until it forms a soft peak.
2. Slice the sponge cake crosswise into 2 layers. Gently brush the sponge cake with syrup (brush all the surfaces which will be coated with cream).
3. Place one layer of the sponge cake on a plate. Coat the surface of the sponge cake evenly with the cream. Place cut strawberries over the creamed surface. Then coat again with the cream. Place another layer of sponge cake, and frost top and side with the cream. Garnish with strawberries.
4. Rest the cake in the fridge for 1 or 2 hours before you serve. In this way, you can easily cut the cake.
***Recipe and "How To" video from Ochikeron at COOKLABO.

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