Shortcake is American origin, and is a biscuit like cake. Unlike the American version, Japanese Shoetcake is more like Comtinental cream cake, gateau or tort. The Japanese love to use strawberries to make their shortcake. I have been using this recipe for the past few years and I usually make them around this time of the year as is the beginning of the strawberry season now in Perth. In this recipe, the liquor I use is kirsch (a clear, colorless cherry liquor), which my husband got it for me from Germany as I can’t find it in Perth or Singapore, of course, you can always use any liquor you like, or you can omit the liquor altogether for a child friendly version. When we went to Japan, Tokoyo for holiday in 2014, we went to this place call the French Pound House just for this Strawberry Shortcake, not only the cake is pretty, it is very very soft and yummy! If you do go to Tokoyo for holiday and you love cakes, you should go there and try their cakes.
Time: 2 hours (6 hours or a day cooling time)
20.5cm (8 inch) cake pan
A basin of hot water
Ingredients for the Sponge Cake:
4 eggs *room temperature
120g caster sugar
120g cake flour – sifted
40g melted butter (microwave for 20 secs)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
40ml hot water
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoon of kirsch, rum, brandy, or any kind of liquor you like
500g fresh strawberries – cut into half and leave some whole
600ml fresh cream (heavy whipping cream)
3 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon rum *kirsch, brandy, or any kind of liquor you like
Method for the Sponge Cake:
Line the cake pan with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Put eggs in the electric mixing bowl and use a hand whisk and beat the eggs well.
Add in the sugar and mix well
Place it over a basin of hot water and continue to mix till sugar is melted and warm it up to body temperature, remove from the hot water.
Transfer to the electric mixer and beat on speed 6 (whisk attachment) until white and fluffy, add in the vanilla essence then beat on speed 1 for 1 minute to set the texture. Remove from the electric mixer.
Sift in the flour in little by little and gently cut through the mixture with hand whisk until combined
Use a spatula and sprinkle melted butter and quickly fold in the mixture
Pour the batter into the pan from the height of 30cm (like ribbon) and drop the pan lightly on the counter to break the air bubbles
Bake at 170°C for 25 minutes or until cooked
Place the cake pan upside down on a wire rack, and let it cool completely with the pan on top
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
Method for the Syrup:
Mix caster sugar and hot water until dissolved. Then mix in the liquor of your choice
Use a cupboard and cut out the exact same size of the cake then cover with aluminum foil. (For easy handling of the cake)
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).
Place a piece of baking paper or aluminum foil on your cake stand, then place the cake board on top follow by the bottom layer of cake on it (the foil is to help easy transferring of the cake later)
Chill the electric mixer bowl with the whisk attachment in the fridge for 15 mins.
Add in the fresh cream, caster sugar, vanilla extract, and liquor (if you like) in the mixer bowl. whisk the cream until it forms a soft peak and ribbon formed. (speed 4 and slowly increase to 6)
Coat a thin layer of cream on all the surface of the sponge cake (crumb coat)
Apply a thicker layer of cream on top, place cut strawberries over the creamed surface
then coat again with cream
Place the top layer on top, then brush the syrup
follow by a thin layer of cream all over the cake including the sides (crumb coat), chill in the fridge for 15min if time is permitted.
Coat the remaining cream all over the cake and smooth it out and pipe some cream shells or rosettes on top and around the cake as decoration. Arrange strawberries on top
Carefully remove the cake (with the help of the aluminum foil) to the cake board and chill the cake in the fridge for 4 hours before serving
Recipe adapted from Ochikeron – Create Eat Happy