Monday, March 28

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

Because my work schedule varies so wildly (I either start work at 5:30 pm or 10 am or 1 or 2 pm), so does my sleep schedule.
And because of that, I feel like a zombie.

And zombies don't bake.
I think.

I'm pretty sure they prefer their brains raw.

But I digress.
With this recipe comes another side of excuses. It seems to be my MO lately, but such is life. I finally have enough money to properly bake, but of course I don't have the time to do it as often as I'd like.
Life, eh?

And starting at the end of May, I'll be in culinary school (yahoo!), so there's another obstacle.
But on the other hand, it'll teach me new things to do, though I won't be doing pastry for a while yet.

I kept looking for recipes to use, because I'd never made one of these before, but none of them /seemed/ right. So I just used my own sponge recipe, and my own stabilized whipped cream recipe. None of the recipes I saw for the whipped cream had enough gelatin, and I wanted it to set up really well, so it would slice cleanly.
Anyway, I think I got it, but next time, instead of just slicing the strawberries in half, I'll chop them up and mix them into the cream. It looks nicer sliced, but it's harder to get through them with your fork without smashing the cake to bits, haha.

I really really like this cake better than the American version. I much prefer the delicate sponge over a biscuit base. And the stiffer cream is nicer. And it's prettier. So Japan wins this one :)

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake:

Sponge cake:
3 eggs, separated
1 whole egg
50 g flour
50 g sugar
50 g oil
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
Handful of strawberries, for assembly, later.

This is a super duper easy recipe to remember. 50/50/50, haha.
If you guys don't have a scale yet, get one. For things that are really delicate, it's indispensable.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line an 8x8 pan, or a cake pan. (8 inches should be okay for that, but you'll probably have thinner layers)

Whip the egg whites until really frothy. Add in the sugar, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Beat the egg yolks, whole egg, flour, oil, salt, & vanilla until totally combined.
It should be yellow, and a very very thick and odd texture. If you pick up the spoon/whisk/beater and think "what the hell is this?", then it's right.

Mix a few spoonfuls of the egg whites into that mixture, just to make it lighter and easier to fold the rest of the whites into. Trust me, any time you have to fold egg whites into a really thick batter like this, do that trick.
Fold the rest of the egg whites into it, making sure to fully incorporate them. (I made this cake once and was very lazy and I had random spots of cooked meringue in my cake because I didn't mix it well.) So just make sure it's uniform in color, with no streaking.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. (It's better to slightly overbake this cake than underbake it)

Let the cake cool and get started on the whipped cream.

Stabilized whipped cream:
1 1/2 cups of whipping cream
1/2 cup of sugar (you can adjust this depending on your tastes. I tend to add a bit more because I am a sugar junkie >__> )
2 1/2 Tbsp gelatin (that's generally one packet)
1 Tbsp cold water

Put the cold water in a small dish and bloom the gelatin. (sprinkle it over the water and wait until it's absorbed all of it)
Microwave it for a few seconds, until it's liquid.
Set aside to cool.
Whip the cream and sugar to stiff peaks.
If your gelatin still hasn't cooled down enough (ie, it's still steaming, like mine was), pour a bit of the cold cream into it. Works like a charm.
Pour the gelatin into the whipped cream with the mixer going, making sure to get it all incorporated, but don't whip it so much it makes butter!

Level your cake, and split it into two layers.
put a very thin layer of whipped cream down, then place cut, sliced, or chopped strawberries down. (this helps to keep the strawberry juice from making the cake soggy).
Cover the strawberries completely with more cream.
Put the top layer on then ice the top with cream.
You can do the sides, but I think it looks fine with just the top done :)
Let chill in the fridge for at least a half an hour, so the gelatin can set up at least a little.
Slice into cute little rectangles and garnish with strawberries :)



  1. I can barely see the cake... what's with the over exposure?

    otherwise, I want to eat that hardcore.

  2. Well.
    The first one is fine. I think most of them are find except for the 4th one. Maybe it's my monitor.
    But when there's craptastic lighting and I'm attempting to not have a gray plate, that's what happens. Aaas it stands, I'm trying to make some of them slightly better, but I'm thiiiis close to giving up because I think it's an exercise in futility.

  3. I actually like how the photos turned out. (:

  4. hey, i was wondering how you make your recipe section? i just created a blog for recipes as well and thought it was neat how you have a button for recipes that leads to the list of them with photos and was wondering how to do it..lovely photos btw! i might try out this cake sometime :)

  5. My batter looks so lumpy and weird. I don't know what happened D':

  6. this cake is fantastic...I've made it at least 4 or 5 times for family and friends and they all love it. I was just wondering how long the cake should sit in the pan before I take it out to cool. Thank you so much for the fantastic recipe.

    1. Aw, thanks! Generally, I let this cake cool in the pan (unless I'm in a hurry, then I take it out and shove it in the freezer for a bit), but I would suggest leaving it alone or at least 10-15 minutes :)

  7. Hi, I'd like to ask what type of flour do you use for this recipe? I've seen a couple other recipes using cake flour. Is this recipe made using cake flour as well?

  8. I was wondering if you could tell me how many pieces you can generally get out of this recipe? i'm using it for an anime meeting!

    1. Well, the number of pieces depends on how big you cut them...Since it calls for an 8x8 pan, if you make 2x4 inch pieces, which I think is a nice size, you'll get 8 pieces. If you cut it smaller, you'll get more.

  9. I accidentally deleted a comment, but it asked why their cake cane out like a thick chewy pancake. Well, without knowing exactly what they did, I can just guessa few things. 1. Forgot to fold in thewhipped egg whites. 2. Over mixed after adding the egg whites...over mixing breaks the bubbles you worked hard to create, which are the only leavening in this cake. 3. Added too much flour, the measurements are by weight and not volume for a reason. So yeah, since I wasn't in the kitchen with you, it's hard but there you go

  10. hi,

    May i ask what flour are you using for this recipe?
    Cake flour or just plain flour?

    1. Just all purpose flour, though cake flour would work quite nicely as well :)

  11. Ugh oh no. I just took my attempt at this cake out of the oven. It's super dense and under an inch tall. I must have messed up folding in the egg whites. It tastes super eggy too. (and I did weigh everything)

    I wish you had included pictures of the batter in its different stages as well. It'd be easier to tell where I went wrong if I could see how the batter should look after you add the whites.

    *sigh* I hope I can figure out how to make it as nice as yours.

    1. hmm probably. you don't wanna over mix when adding the whites, that's why I always mix a little bit into the yolk batter first, just to loosen it up and make it easier to fold the whites in. the batter should be considerably lighter,but still pretty close to the volume of the egg whites. I can't think of anything else (besides the wrong measurements, but you said you weighed everything ) that would make that problem