Week 166: Japanese strawberry shortcake

It is strawberry season in Europe. While there, I saw more strawberries than I can ever imagine. Sometimes, there are even random stalls setup in street corners, selling only strawberries. It’s a pity I couldn’t bring them back.

So when I saw some nice strawberries at the local grocers, I just had to buy some and bake with it. While I’m not usually a big fan of light cakes, once in a while, I’ll make an exception.

Makes a 6″ round cake

For the vanilla chiffon

124g cake flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2/4 tsp salt

130g sugar

70g hot water

20g lemon juice

2 tsp vanilla extract

60g vegetable oil

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1) Prepare 2 x 6-inch round baking tin by lining the bottom with parchment. Do not grease sides.

2) Preheat conventional oven to 175C.

3) Sift cake flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add salt and 40g of sugar.

4) Whisk together oil, vanilla extract, lemon juice and hot water.

5) Make a well in the flour mixture, then pour in oil mixture, whisk to combine.

6) Add the egg yolks and continue whisking until mixture is completely smooth.

7) Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy. Sprinkle the cream of tartar. Then while whisking on medium, slowly add the remaining sugar. Whisk meringue until just passed soft peaks.

8) Fold the meringue into the egg yolk mixture in 3 additions, being careful not to knock out too much air.

9) Divide batter evenly between the cake tins then bake in preheated oven for 30 mins. Test using a cake tester to ensure cake is just fully cooked. If not, continue baking in additions of 5 mins, until fully cooked.

10) Cool for 5 mins and unmold. Allow to cool to room temperature on cooling rack.

For the whipped cream frosting

360g heavy cream, very cold

45g icing sugar

1) Add the heavy cream and icing sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer.

2) Whisk on hi-speed until stiff peaks form.

To assemble

Homemade lemon curd

230g strawberries and blueberries

23g sugar

1) Cut half of the strawberries in half and slice them into thin slices. Also cut half of the blueberries in half horizontally.

2) Add sugar to cut berries in a bowl. Cover with cling wrap and allow to macerate overnight in the refrigerator.

3) Place the first layer of cake on the cake board.

4) Spread a generous layer of lemon curd on the bottom layer of the cake.

5) Arrange the macerated berries evenly on top of the lemon curd.

6) Place the second layer of chiffon on top of the berries.

7) Cover the finished cake with the whipped cream, and garnish the top of the cake with remaining strawberries and blueberries.

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