Strawberry Shortcake & A Recipe!

I absolutely adore a good ol’ strawberry shortcake. Genoise sponge, (unstabilized) whipped cream and fresh strawberries. The recipe that I’ve posted below uses a different technique which I honestly feel is much more stable and easier than whisking a bowl over a bain marie to thicken the whole eggs. This recipe requires you to separate your eggs, make a meringue, then fold in the yolks. It does however, yield a slightly denser cake, but I actually prefer it this way!

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE RECIPE
yields one 6″ cake

INGREDIENTS
genoise sponge cake 

2 whole eggs, separated
85g caster sugar
75g cake flour
30g milk
20g butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract/paste

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 170C (traditional/convection oven) or 150C fan-forced. Line a 6″ tin with a removable base with parchment. *DO NOT BUTTER/OIL SIDES OF CAKE PAN
2. Melt butter and milk then add in vanilla and keep aside.
3.Place egg whites in a bowl of a standing mixer or a large bowl if using a hand mixer. Start making the meringue by whisking egg whites until foamy and streaming in sugar tablespoon by tablespoon making sure that the sugar has been melted into the meringue. Feel it between your fingers, if it’s grainy, your sugar has not melted. The meringue should be glossy, shiny and white and at semi-stiff peaks.
4. Stir egg yolks and gently pour over whites and fold until just combined.
5. Sieve cake flour over egg mixture and fold gently until no flour pockets are visible.
6. Stir milk mixture and pour into egg+flour mixture and fold gently.
7. Pour cake batter into cake tin and tap the tin on the table to remove larger air bubbles for even baking.
8. Place cake tin in center rack and back for about 22-28 minutes. Check at 22 minutes. Poke the cake with a skewer to test the cake for doneness. Skewer should be clean.
9. Let it cool completely before removing from the tin.
10. When cooled, slice into half.

Soaking syrup

1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp hot water
1 Tbsp dark rum

Stir to combine.

ASSEMBLY:

Whipped cream

250g whipping cream
20g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Ensure cream is very cold before whipping.
2. Place all the cream, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and whip until medium peaks.

1 Punnet of strawberries, halved, stems off, save 6-7 for top with their stems cut off.

Method:

1. Prepare a lazy susan or a cake turntable. Place a plate or 8″ cake board on the turntable.
2. Place first layer of cake on the cake board and brush the cake with the soaking syrup.
3. Spread cream on top of cake about 1cm thick.
4. Arrange strawberry halves on top leaving about a 1cm gap at the edge. Spread some more cream on top to make sure that the top layer does not slide off.
5. Continue to frost the rest of the cake.
6. Place the rest of the strawberries on top and dust with snow powder.
7. Chill for about 4 hours before serving.
8. Cake can last for up to 2 days in a very cold fridge.

S’mores Cake & A Cake Glazing Tip

We’re taking a short hiatus from homestolife’s H cafe this weekend. We’re extremely sad about it! But we’ll be back with more exciting goodies. 😀

version 1: pink and peach smores cake

This is the S’mores cake. If anyone still remembers the s’mores cake that I dressed up with fresh flowers a few months ago, this is what it actually looks like without its floral get up. I honestly prefer simply decorated food that is fuss-free from mouth to fork. The moist chocolate cake is filled with an updated version of the biscuit cream, sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon; dark chocolate ganache and toasted marshmallow frosting!  

Things to take note of when glazing a cake is to make sure that your cake’s frosting has set in the fridge or freezer for at least 5 -10 mins (in the freezer) or 15-20 mins in a cold fridge.

 If you are using chocolate ganache, glaze, hot fudge drizzle or whatever glaze you have make sure that it is NOT hot or even warm. A warm drizzle will DEFINITELY melt your cake and you’ll risk having droopy cake edges. All your effort frosting it straight and neatly will have gone down the drain!

Second, if you are going to be toasting your meringue that is sitting atop the chocolate drizzle like this smores cake, please freeze your drizzled cake first before piping and torching your meringue! If you notice it start to melt slightly, stop torching and put the cake back in the fridge/freezer promptly. Chill until cold and then start torching again! It’s a painful process, but so worth the effort!

Chocolate Glaze Recipe for a 6″ Chocolate Cake
100g high quality dark chocolate (best 55%-60% couverture)
70g unsalted butter

Slowly melt chocolate with butter until smooth in a microwave oven (20secs per blast) or over a water bath (pot of boiling water not touching a bowl that sits nicely on top of the pot), set aside to cool, but not harden and glaze on a chilled cake, spreading glaze out to the edges with a frosting knife allowing it to drip to the sides.

Recipes & Failures


Firstly, before you rip your recipe in half because of your failed cake, take a step back and breathe. Each person has their own way of getting down to things. If I hand one recipe each to my friend and I and we both use the same recipe to make a cake, we will still both have different outcomes. Every little detail is so important: when to stop beating your butter, how long you beat your eggs for, how long you mix in your flour, how you fold in your milk, and when you remove the cake from the oven. There’re so many points to which it may have changed the outcome. I have thrown away many trays of eggs, butter, sugar, and flour to finally get to something that I’m happy with! So yes, take a step back and read!

Firstly, there may have been a few things that went wrong.

1. Is your technique correct?

E.g. Chiffon cakes, did you beat the meringue til it’s thick and shiny, did you fold it in with a light hand? Warning: heavy-handed people, please remember, the egg whites are like delicate flowers. And don’t over bake, it’ll turn into a dry piece of foam. Under bake and you’ll see a darker portion than the lightly risen portion. Not very nice and definitely won’t touch that with a ten foot pole. It’s a little tricky to master, but don’t lose your temper at the recipe 🙂

For your pound/butter cakes, is your butter brick-hard? Or too soft until it’s shiny?
It should be soft but not shiny, whipped til almost white (if using white sugar) before eggs are added in.

2. Is your oven’s temperature correct?

Best to get an oven with a digital display. Or even better, an oven thermometer placed inside the oven. Usually after a few failures with adjustments should help you to find your true oven’s temperature. E.g. Your recipe says 180C but it Browns faster than the time givenand you’re left with a brick. You know it’s your cue to lower the temperature about 5-10C at a time.

3. Is your self-raising flour as self-raising as you think?

Probably not. Sometimes, you do have to add a little baking powder. I prefer double-acting baking powder. But even sometimes they may not rise the same as others and different brands have different compositions so test them until you get the right texture for your cake!

xx