Mayako is a pastry chef. She also gives cooking classes. She’s quite into French pastries but we were rather tempted for something different and surprising, something from the Far East…that’s why she agreed to share with us her take on the Strawberry Shortcake, as it is prepared in Japan.
This is originally a US recipe but it made its way into Japan where it was adapted to local palates. It’s a colourful and splendid dessert but it has a secret: a incredibly light and airy sponge cake where sugar is carefully dosed. It’s a delight.
For the sponge cake :
– 180g eggs (about 3 eggs)
– 85g sugar
– 90g type 45 flour
– 30g butter
– 1l whipping cream
– 75g icing sugar
– 2 strawberry punnets
– 50g sugar
– 100g water
– 5cl kirsch (or any berry-based spirit)
– vanilla bean
– 19cm diameter circular cake tin
– greaseproof paper
– icing bag with St Honoré nozzle
Pre-heat your oven at 180°C.
In order to get a smooth sponge cake, we are going to use the bain-marie technique, except it will be away from, the stove. You will have to heat the water first, then start the preparation.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and add the sugar. Then place the bowl onto the water and start mixing with a blender at medium speed. When the eggs start to become clearer, switch to full speed.
Keep mixing until it cools down to room temperature, then take away from the bain-marie.
Stop mixing when you can shape up a pyramid in your egg mix.
Add the flour slowly with a spatula.
Melt the butter at 50°C and add it the mix.
Cover the bottom of your cake tin with greaseproof paper. Do the same for the ring and leave some extra length of paper over the top. You can use butter to help it stick onto the tin.
Now pour the preparation in the tin and place in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes.
In the meantime, get half of your strawberries cut in half.
The other half needs to be sliced in four pieces; that’s for the lower layer of the cake
When cooked, divide the sponge cake into two cylinders using a bread knife.
Leave to cool.
For the frosting syrup:
Put the water and sugar to heat, then add the vanilla beans.
Remove from the stove and add the kirsch.
To get your Chantilly cream done just whisk your whipped cream and the icing sugar. The cream needs to be cold.
When the sponge cake has cooled down put it up like so:
Spread the syrup on the first half of the cake using a brush, then,
Place the strawberries cut in four parts,
Another layer of Chantilly cream,
The other half of the cake,
One last layer of Chantilly spread over the whole surface.
Use your icing bag to shape some Chantilly waves on the rim, then put the strawberry halves and a few mint leaves.
It was a long one but definitely worth it, right?
If you don’t dare baking it yourself, you can have it served for you, alongside other delicacies, at the restaurant La Ferrandaise, in Paris.