Thursday, January 27, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

Given the current massive influx of strawberries in our local supermarkets, I'm gonna include them in this week's bake. Most american recipes calls for strawberries and cream sandwiched between 2 sweet biscuits, which is not too similar to the local version of a Strawberry Shortcake - sponge cake smeared with generous serving of whipped cream and strawberries. And Tish Boyle's take of this lovely cake happens to what I'm looking for.

This is the biggest baking flop I've ever had. The cream was bleeding itself to death. It was too runny and honestly in my opinion, 720ml (unwhipped, to boot) is a lot of cream to have on a cake. My cake was threatening to collapse any moment with the cream sweating all over the place. I ended up cutting it and storing it as if it was a trifle.

Kinda pissed off as I spent a good amount of time and money on this. Bleah. Tastes good though! It's like the Ugly Betty of all strawberry shortcakes. The strawberries plus moderate amount of zesty orange cream, accompanied by fluffy génoise is awesome.

Strawberry Shortcake (adapted from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book)


Classic Génoise (baked in a 9" springform pan):
100g cake flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
6 large eggs
150g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (I omitted this)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
85 unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Position the rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 180°C. Grease the bottom and sides of one 9x3-inch springform pan or two 9x2 round cake pans. Dust the pan(s) with flour and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugar by hand. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the mixing bowl. Constantly stir the mixture and heat until the eggs are warm. Transfer to the bowl to the electric mixer and, using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until the mixture has tripled in volume, about 8 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and beat in lemon zest and vanilla extract.
4. Sift 1/3 of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and gently fold it in with a rubber spatula. Repeat sifting and folding in flour two more times.
5. Transfer about 3/4 cup of the batter into the melted butter. Stir until blended. Return to batter and fold in. Transfer batter to the prepared pan(s).
6. If using 9-inch springform pan, bake for 25 to 30 mins and if using two 9-inch cake pans, bake for 12 to 15 mins, until the tops spring back when lightly touched and cake tester inserted into center comes out clean.
7. Cool the cake(s) in the pan(s) on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
8. Invert cake(s) onto the wire rack and cool completely.

Strawberry Filling:
680g fresh strawberries, washed and hulled (total amt needed)
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Strawberry Syrup:
66g granulated sugar
80ml water
165g sliced reserved strawberries (from above)

Whipped Cream Filling and Frosting:
57g confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
720ml heavy cream, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau

1. Choose 8 of the nicest looking strawberries and reserve them for the top of the cake. Slice the remaining strawberries 1/8" thick. Measure out 165g of the slice stawberries and reserve them for the syrup.
2. In a medium bowl, toss the remaining sliced strawberries with the sugar. Cover the bowl and set the strawberries aside to macerate for 2 hours or until they have released their juices.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. Place the 165g sliced strawberries in the bowl of a food processor or a blender, add the sugar syrup, and process until smooth. Let the syrup cool completely.
5. In a small saucepan, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, cornstarch and 120ml heavy cream until smooth. Place the pan over medium-high heat and, whisking constantly, bring to a boil. Allow to boil for abt 15 secs. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool completely.
6. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the remaining heavy cream with the vanilla extract, orange zest, and Grand Marnier at medium high speed until cream just begins to thicken and the whisk leaves a trail in the cream. Add the cooled cornstarch mixture and beat until the cream forms stiff peaks.
7. Using a long serrated knife, slice the génoise horizontally into 2 layers. Place one of the layers cut side up on a cardboard cake round or serving plate. Brush half of the strawberry syrup. Spoon the macerated strawberries, with all their juices, on top of the layer. Spread 2 cups of whipped cream over the berries in an even layer. Top with the other cake layer, cut side up. Brush the layer with the remaining syrup. Frost the top of the sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream.
8. Garnish the top of the cake with reserved whole strawberries. Serve the cake immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.


  1. Jean as per wendy comment it's better to stabilize with gelatin. the cream holds better.

  2. wendy: nope =/ this is my first time baking a cream cake

    jess: yeah i guess i'll do that the next time >.<

  3. jean, i love strawberry shortcake too! but those layering are always HORRIBLY done! ): you can adopt keiko's recipe for the cream instead (: it works fine (: if you want the recipe, i wouldnt mind typing for you (:

  4. To be able to get really comfortable and be yourself with your partner is bliss in itself too...:) I think your strawberry shortcake looks really pretty. I am still petrified about frosting a whole cake like this. Despite the difficulty with the fresh cream, you've managed very well, I thought.

  5. This is my most favorite cake. I request it every year on my birthday. Yours looks fantastic. Wish I could have had that last year. I have a linky party on my blog every week called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by this weekend and link this up.

  6. sweetylicious: u're a real sweetie pie! it's okay, cos i have the book as well :P

    shirley: thanks, it was like a capture-the-cake's-picture-before-it-collapses moment =/

    lisa: thanks! will check it out :)

  7. Loved how you shared your strawberry craze courtship. I was surprised to read that you have been with your man for a year, the way you were describing the comforts of a relationship sounded almost like a married couple. Yeph
    - Putting on makeup is a hassle now
    - No more fanciful dresses for dates
    and so on...are no longer a priority. You've got your man and so have I :)
    Have a fantastic weekend.

  8. Woah I love strawberry shortcake. My favourite when i went to japan last year...=)

  9. hi jean, when i was reading the ' signs' that you were writing about, i was thinking that both of you are really getting so comfortable with each other and have come to this stage despite a short time, that cld be a blessing too and part of happiness!

    on the cream, i find it not so easy to whip the just the heavy cream alone, did you really get to the stiff peak? i'm not sure is it because of our weather here, the cream just didnt seem to volume up much as it should be.