Japanese strawberry shortcake & Happy birthday meo meo!

June is almost gone, and since the first time Meo told me his birthday 10 years ago, I have never once forgotten my best friend (and now my boyfriend)’s special day. With a gold fish memory like mine, there’s only about 10 people that I remember birthdays and sometimes it takes me a few years to remember the dates, while the rest was done by my phone’s reminders. All the more reason for me to believe that we were kinda bound by a thin thread of fate, and there must be a subconscious part of a 13 years old girl who recognised this boy as a ‘special one‘ even back then.IMG_4365

On this day 4 years ago, I’d laugh at the idea of us being a couple, we even made a funny promise of trying to love each other then getting married if we’re still single at about 27 and our reason was: ‘If you don’t love anyone else, might as well just marry your best friend’. At the time, it felt really reassuring, that no matter what might happen, or no matter how many jerks who’ll break my heart later in life, I always have someone to lean on. Who knows what will happen in another 10 years, but here we are, still together and the only ‘jerk’ so far was the one who made that promise 😀

While the birthday boy confesses that he dislikes this day (who knows if he really does or secretly loving the attention ^^), I get all excited for weeks, coming up with what cake to bake, what card to buy. I just want something simple, but has to be special as well, and finally, after days of browsing, Japanese strawberry shortcake caught my eyes. The birthday boy of course doesn’t know anything about the cake or the card, instead he made a request of me dancing ‘Gentleman‘ (It’s the only day that he can get me to do the embarrassing dance really), so I have been practicing a bit and bake this cake with a (almost) disjointed hip & a (almost) falling butt. Now, that is a real baking challenge!

Japanese strawberry shortcake

INGREDIENTS: for 15cm ~ 6″ tin

  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 60 g cake flour (substitute: 60g of plain flour minus 1 tbs plain flour, then replace with 1 tbs of cornflour, sift well several times)
  • 20 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

METHOD: 

  • Preheat the overn to 170 C. Line the tin with baking paper

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  • Beat the eggs and sugar, then place the bowl over a bain marie until the mixture is warmed up

1

  • Use the mixer to beat the eggs on high speed until white, thick and fluffy with ‘lines’ forming, then beat on low speed a minute to set the mixture. This is called the ribbon stage which would ensure that the cake would be high and light. You could test by using a whisk or the beater to lift up the mixture, it should drop back into a bowl in a ‘ribbon’ pattern, stay there for a bit before sinking back into the batter

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  • Gradually sift in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Use a whisk to gently cut through the mixture. Repeat this step 3 times

2

  • Sprinkle the melted butter over the batter, use a spatula to fold it in

3

  • Gently pour the batter into the pan from the height of about 30cm and pour the remaining batter at the edge

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  • Drop the pan lightly on a table top to raise any air bubble
  • Bake for 25 minutes
  • Remove the baking paper on the side, turn the cake upside down and cool in a rack with the tin still on

4

  • When it’s completely cooled, wrap the cake with cling film and leave in the fridge for a few hours

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Syrup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 20 ml hot water
  • 1/2 tbs granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp rum/brandy or any of your favourite liquor, or vanilla extract

METHOD:

  • Just mix everything and set aside

Whipped cream + strawberry

INGREDIENTS:

  • 300 ml whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs rum (optional)
  • 300 g strawberry

METHOD:

  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl over another bowl of ice water, then whip until soft peak forms
  • Keep chilled in the fridge until the cake’s ready for decoration
  • Pick out some strawberry for decorations, then halve the rest

CAKE ASSEMBLY

  • When ready to decorate, slice the cake into 2 layer
  • Brush syrup on the cake, top with some cream, strawberry, then another layer of cream
  • Brush the other half with syrup and place on top

5

  • Frost the cake with the rest of the cream, place some strawberry on top and voila, it’s done

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I overwhip the cream again, the result doesn’t look so good but it tastes divine. The best thing about this cake is that it’s so moist, and light, and fluffy, which are perfect for a birthday cake. The cream and strawberry balance out the sweetness and make the whole experience very refreshing. Too bad (once again) Meo could only see & comment on how delicious the cake is, while I do all the tasting & eating. Just wait a little more then, a few more months then we could finally be together and spend more birthdays to come.

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Happy birthday baby! I miss you : )

From England with love

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2 thoughts on “Japanese strawberry shortcake & Happy birthday meo meo!

  1. Japanese strawberry shortcake always remind me of sweet anime stories. And in love with your bestfriend, what a dreamy story~
    You have awesome photos 😀

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