Japanese Strawberry Short Cake

Strawberries are pretty tasty this time of the year. I had been purchasing them from farmer’s stands and farmer’s markets as they are always good, unlike other places where it’s hit or miss.

They’re quite expensive though, at $5 -$8 per green basket, but totally worth it as they are sweet and delicious all the way through. I like eating them just as is, after washing. No need for anything else as they are very tasty…and fragrant.

There are no green sour patches on these at all. And since they are so good, I decided to make a cake for my mom’s birthday. I have quart of whipping cream and a dozen home grown eggs in the fridge so I’m all set.

I had been trading loaves of sourdough bread for eggs with my co worker once a week, so the eggs I have are really fresh. Which is important, as the cake is a simple sponge cake recipe where in your ingredients need to be really good and fresh for it to taste great. The frosting is a simple, lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream, and topped with the best tasting strawberries you can find, this will be a cake you will make over and over.

We had to go to a soccer game at 9 am so I baked the layers and let it cool upside down for 20 minutes while we got ready, turned them right side up to cool completely while we were gone. I then whipped the cake, sliced the strawberries, and put the cake together after lunch, then chilled it for an hour before driving it over to my mom’s. Busy day!

I did not expect a lot of requests for this recipe so I did not photograph anything while whipping up the first, full sized cake. I did not have the time to either as I was rushing to get it done before we had to leave. However, since I did get a few requests, and since there was no left overs after it was demolished at my mom’s, I decided to make another, smaller cake for our home.

I halved the recipe and baked them in two 5-inch round cake pans. They were filled and frosted the same way as the full sized 8/9 inch cake. It was just enough for 6 slices, 2 each for me, my husband, and my son.

So here it is. There are a lot of steps but it is easy and the results are more than worth it. Feel free to break the steps down like I did to fit your schedule. I promise you will be amazed with the end results.

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Ingredients:

275 grams eggs

124 grams sugar

146 grams cake flour

45 grams milk

14 grams melted unsalted butter

1 pound fresh strawberries

500 grams cold heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line 2 (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans with parchment paper cut to fit.

2. Combine eggs and sugar in a small metal bowl. You will make a makeshift double boiler using the bowl and a small saucepan.

3. Place bowl over a small pan with simmering water.

4. Cook, stirring, until a thermometer reaches 98F.

5. Transfer the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer.

6. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high for 4 minutes.

7. Lower speed to medium and beat until ribbons form, about 5 more minutes.

8. See the videos above to determine when to stop. You should be seeing clear ribbons in the batter. This is important as this cake has no leavening, aside from the air trapped in the egg mixture.

9. Sift flour into a bowl to aerate it.

10. Place milk in a microwave safe bowl.

11. Place the butter in the bowl too.

12. Heat the mixture for 30 seconds and stir to melt butter.

13. Fold in 1/3 of the flour into the egg mixture until combined. Repeat twice more to use up the flour.

14. Slowly add the milk and butter mixture and stir to combine.

15. Do not overmix as you need the air in the mixture to make your cake light and fluffy. Mix just until combined.

16. Pour into the prepared pans. Drop the pans from about 2 inches from the counter to release any big bubbles.

17. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

18. In the meantime, slice a few of the strawberries into thin slices, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch.

19. Remove the cakes from the oven when done.

20. Invert them onto a cooling rack sprayed with nonstick spray. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

21. Turn them right side up and cool completely.

22. Unmold and peel off the parchment paper.

23. In the meantime, pour the whipping cream in the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form.

24. Wash, rinse, and dry a few strawberries left whole. Cut them in half lengthwise if desired.

25. Place on cake layer on the serving plate.

26. Spread an even layer of whipped cream over.

27. Top with sliced strawberries, trying to follow the shape of the cake. Cut the strawberries if needed.

28. Top with a little more whipped cream, just enough to cover the strawberries.

29. Top with the second cake layer and gently press down.

30. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream.

31. Top with whole or sliced strawberries. Chill until set, about an hour or so.

32. You can serve it like this or decorate with melted chocolate.

33. I used melted Hershey’s sugar free chocolate to pipe zigzags on the strawberries I used to top my mom’s cake. You can also pipe it across the top of the cake.

34. Slice it carefully, serve and enjoy!

35. See how beautiful this cake is? Yum!

The picture below is my mom’s 9 inch cake, all lit up, with the chocolate topped strawberries and chocolate greeting on the side. It was totally out of this world delicious.

Berry Chantilly Cake

This is without a doubt, one of my favorite cakes. I made this recipe because I was craving it for a few days, but did not want to drive 25 miles to get one from Whole Foods. It was also back in June/July, where in everyone was still weary of going out and getting exposed to COVID 19.

Lucky, I had some berries and the rest of the ingredients on hand. So a little experimenting took place right away since I was off that day. *Still contemplated driving to just pick one up, I mean it IS easier than preparing each part of the cake and putting it together, but experimenting won in the end.*

Somehow, this recipe ended up published a few weeks back, with only photos in the article. I am sorry to those who got that post. I wasn’t intending to post it yet, but between a full time work, house work, garden work, distance learning for my son, sports practices, time for Yuki (our dog), and experimenting on recipes on top of actually making 3 square meals a day, I wake up way before the sun comes out and go to sleep at almost midnight everyday. I might have scheduled it to be posted when I was half asleep without even realizing it. I know I do end up ordering some things online unintentionally around midnight sometimes. 😱 Again, apologies!

But….here it is now! Thank you for your patience and understanding and for all your kind words! It truly helps a lot! ❤️

Cake:

4 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste

3/4 cup all purpose unbleached flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Pinch of salt

Chantilly Cream:

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

4 oz mascarpone cream, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste

1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

Syrup:

1/4 cup raspberry jam

2 tablespoons water

Berries:

1/2 – 1 cup strawberries

1/2 – 1 cup blueberries

1/2 – 1 cup raspberries and/or blackberries

1. Prepare two 6 inch round cake pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper cut to fit. Spray with nonstick spray and set aside.

2. Cake: Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer), beat together eggs and sugar in a bowl for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in almond extract and vanilla paste.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt. Add to the egg mixture and gently fold in until mixed.

4. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake at 350F for 20 – 25 minutes. Move to a wire rack to cool completely

5. While the cake is cooling, prepare the Chantilly Cream: Beat together cream cheese and mascarpone cream using a hand mixer until blended. Slowly add the powdered sugar, almond extract, and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.

6. In another bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold half into the cream mixture until well mixed. Add the other half and fold until blended. Place in the refrigerator while preparing the rest of the cake.

7. Prepare syrup by mixing together raspberry jam and water in a small bowl until it is thin enough to use like a glaze. Set aside.

8. Wash and dry berries. Roughly chop about half of strawberries and blackberries for the filling. Leave the blueberries and raspberries whole. Set aside. *Use whatever berries you have, a combination makes it look really pretty but if you are missing one or two or only have one kind, that is okay too. It will still be delicious!

9. Using a serrated knife, cut each cake layer into 2, crosswise. This will give you a 4 layer cake to fill with berries and cream. Lay one cake on a platter and spread with some raspberry syrup. Top with some chantilly cream, spreading until almost to the edges, then top with some berries. Repeat layering twice more and top with the last cake layer.

10. Frost the top and sides with the remaining chantilly cream and top with berries. Refrigerate until right before serving. Enjoy!

Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake

Today is my husband’s birthday, and to celebrate it I am baking a cake! Simple but really delicious, I encourage you to try making this cake if you have a pint of blueberries on hand. It’s the perfect pick me up! I am used to blueberry lemon pairings but this blueberry almond tandem is mouthwatering!

I lined my springform pan bottom with a layer of thick aluminum foil, wrapping excess foil up over the sides to prevent leaks. If you have a deep round pan, that will work too!

Ingredients:

For the Streusel:

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup unsalted butter, softened

⅓ cup chopped almonds

For the Cake:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup almond flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup whole milk

½ cup sour cream

2 cups fresh blueberries, divided

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 10 inch round springform pan with aluminum foil, clip on the rim, and bring the edges up the sides of the pan. Spray with a nonstick spray with flour.
  2. Streusel: In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles crumbs. Add almonds and stir to mix. Set aside.
  3. Cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in extracts.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Stir in sour cream. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1½ cups of blueberries, top with remaining batter and smooth the top. Top with remaining ½ cup blueberries, and sprinkle with streusel.
  5. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges of cake to loosen sides. Invert onto a plate, and then invert again onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.