Thursday, January 21, 2016

Strawberry Shortcake

When i googled strawberry shortcake, i can see that there are 2 types of strawberry shortcake. One is in a biscuit form ( looks like a scone) which is filled with cream and strawberries and the other type is in a cake form. All along, i only know the cake type of strawberry shortcake until   when Zoe suggested this theme and mentioned it's cookie like or biscuits. Anyway what i have chosen to make is the cake type of strawberry shortcake. It is a 2 layered sponge cake that is filled with cream and strawberries. Just that and from what i just read from Nami's  blog, strawberry shortcake is probably one of the most popular and classic cake in Japan and no wonder some called it as Japanese Strawberry Shortcake, the type that its sponge is soft and fluffy

If you have a favourite sponge cake recipe, you can use it and here i'm just trying out this sponge recipe and isnt disappointing, the fact that i like is there is no egg separation. Well, with 2 eggs recipe, it came out rather a short cake with a 7 inch pan but after filling it with cream and strawberries, it looks just right. If you want a taller and bigger cake, you can double the sponge recipe and use a 8 inch pan as what Nami did.

So this is my strawberry shortcake cake and baking along with Joyce and Zoe. You can choose to make the cake or biscuits version, the link will be up till Jan30, 2016. Cheers!

Recipe ( from Ochikeron and with reference from Just One Cookbook )
makes one 7 inch cake

Ingredients for sponge
2 eggs
60gm caster sugar
60gm cake flour, sifted
20gm melted butter
1 tbsp milk

Syrup for brushing the sponge
Add 1/2 tbsp sugar into 20ml hot water and stir. Add 1tsp liquor of your choice ( i used rum)

1 cup of whipping cream plus 2tbsp of sugar and whip till soft firm peaks or spreadable consistency
( i have used non diary whipping cream)
Strawberries, cut into half or sliced

More whipping cream for decorate the cake

Method for sponge
Preheat oven to 170C. Line the base of the baking tin. Prepare a basin of hot water, not  boiling..Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl. Add in the sugar and put the bowl over the basin of hot water and using hand whisk, whisk till sugar melts and mixture is warm to touch. Remove the bowl and using electric whisk, whisk on high speed till the mixture is pale and thick and glossy. This will take several minutes. Reduce the speed to lowest and beat for another minutes to set the texture.

Gradually add in the flour in 2 batches. Using a hand whisk, gently fold in the flour ( you can watch the video here how to fold in the flour by pointing the whisk downwards and fold in ). Then sprinkle in the melted butter and milk using a spatula and carefully mix it in as not to deflate the batter,
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Drop the pan onto the counter to release air bubbles and bake for 25 mins.

When sponge is ready, remove from oven. Drop the pan onto the counter one more time . and turn the pan upside down onto the wire rack and let it cool. When it has cooed down, wrap the cake in plastic and keep in the fridge for few hours or up to 2 days

Assemble the cake
Slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Brush one layer with syrup and apply a layer of cream all over the base layer. arrange the cut or sliced strawberries onto the cream and apply another layer of cream on top of the strawberries. Cover with the remaining sponge layer that is also brushed with syrup. Frost the entire cake with cream if desired.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ruby Jewel Cookies

Happy New Year everyone! Soon, another few more weeks a lot of us here will be celebrating Chinese New Year, i am already hearing some restaurants playing chinese new year songs..i think those guys already in the mood..:) i believe that many of my blogging friends are going to start baking chinese new year cookies soon too. Well, these ruby jewel cookies i tend to believe that they are almost similar to thumbprint cookies which its name are more common being used and although these cookies are quite popular for christmas baking, i think they are just as good for chinese new year baking. We can use kumquat jam , add a little orange zest to the dough as another variation of this for chinese new year.

These cookies are buttery and a little tender and if you like something buttery for cookies apart from our favourite traditional chinese new year cookies, you can try this.

Recipe ( from Williams-Sonoma Baking Book )
makes about 20+ cookies in a miniature muffin pan/ baking pan
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
180gm all purpose flour
70gm granulated sugar
125gm cold unsalted butter, cut into small piece
about 50gm raspberry jam or other thick jam ( using strawberry jam here )
Icing sugar for dusting( optional)

Preheat oven to 180C and get ready the miniature paper muffin liners. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and vanilla , set aside.

In a food processor, combine the flour and sugar and process briefly to blend. With the machine running, add the butter 2 or 3 pieces at a time and process until mixture looks crumbly. With the machine still running, add the egg yolk mixture and process until blended and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of  the bowl.

Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into flat disk, wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. ( i did not chill as the dough is quite firm, i shaped right away )

with lightly floured hands, shape the dough into 2 cm balls and place each ball into the liner, if using.
Place the cookies 1 inch apart if on the baling sheet . Using the end of the wooden spoon handle dipped in flour to prevent sticking, make an indentation in the center of each cookie but do not press all the way through the dough. Using a spoon or a pastry bag with plain tip, fill each indentation with about 1/4 tsp jam. If your jam is not seedless, then use spoon.

Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges of the cookies are golden, let the cookies cool on the pans on the wire rack. If baking on pan without paper liners, use a thin spatula to loosed the cookies carefully while they are still warm. Transfer the cooled cookies and dust with icing sugar if desired.

Our next bake along will be 2 weeks from now, on jan21st and strawberry shortcake is the theme. Feel free to join me, Joyce and Zoe for our bake along together!