I had intended to post this yesterday, but I was utterly wiped out yesterday. This was what I wrote:

Today marks a turning point in my life. In less than 12 hours, I’ll be starting work proper for the first time. No more part-time jobs, holiday attachments, long school holidays or short schooling hours. The real world starts from now on. I’m glad for internships, and I think it’s the main reason why I’m not nervous, because I know what I’m getting in to. 

This post also marks a milestone for this blog too, this is my 100th post! Reaching this 100th post milestone is kind of bittersweet for me too, because 100 posts in a year isn’t too many, and this number is just going to get smaller once I start work. Already, my seniors at work are forewarning me of the workload I’ll be facing. So. Not. Looking. Forward. :/

Anyway, I had hoped to do a small giveaway to celebrate this 100th post, but I just couldn’t find the time to take photos of the things I had in store to give away, because there are a couple of things and as usual, there will be a long prose accompanying the story behind them lol. I thought I would be relatively free this weekend, but ironically, I slept less these past 2 days than while studying for my exams. I guess I was just busy catching up with friends and enjoying life in general. Anyway, I’ll try to make time some time soon to bake, and to post a new recipe, but I know life will get in the way. 

Obviously, that being yesterday, I had my first day at work today. I’m so exhausted today, mentally and physically – it’s not that I haven’t been wearing office wear, but having to wear long sleeved shirts and high heels are a pain, literally. I’m still looking for ‘the pair’, so if anyone has found theirs, please let me know. I have bought close to (or more than?) 10 pairs of black high heels, trying to find a comfy pair, but all of them have failed me. And to reiterate what I said above, I’m really glad I’ve worked in the office as an intern before, because like I told Jon, at least I know where the toilets are. Yes, knowing where the toilets are is important to me! The office has an extremely confusing layout, and I got lost today trying to find the library -__-”

Anyway, this has absolutely nothing to do with my strawberry shortcake, except for the fact that I’m craving some right now because the strawberries look so yummy. With the start of work (I managed to get off work early today, so I’m still able to blog), I really wonder if I’ll be able to find time to make these again. It’s a simple recipe, but has a few components, and I took about 1-2 hours in total, from looking for a recipe, to assembling the ingredients needed, to baking the cake, making the other components and finally assembling and taking photos of the cake. Not a particularly long time, but 2 hours is gonna be real hard to find now that I’ve to work late and I come home so mentally exhausted. I’m also sorry to admit but I think I still wanna be a student. As much as I loved what I studied, working and applying what I’ve learnt in real life is so much harder, and taxing :/ Alright, enough of my complaints – here’s the recipe :]


I used flash here so I’m sneakily trying to hide the flash hood mark on the bottom of the photograph. 

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake 
Makes an 8-inch 2-layered cake

Components:

For the stabilized whipped cream, 
Adapted from Rachael of La Fuji Mama

1 tsp gelatin (I used ‘gold’ power powder)
4 tsp cold water
250ml cold heavy whipping cream
30g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Put all the cold water in a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over the surface. Let it stand for 5 minutes without stirring. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the gelatin dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature. 
  2. Combine the whipping cream, sifted icing sugar and vanilla extract. Beat the mixture for a minute before gradually pouring in the cooled gelatin mixture. Continue whipping the mixture at high speed until you get stiff peaks. 

For the simple sugar syrup, 

30g granulated sugar
60g water
1 tsp of your preferred alcohol, or vanilla extract

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat the mixture. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool a little before stirring in the vanilla extract (or alcohol – I used rum). 
To assemble the cake:
  1. After allowing the sponge cake to cool, slice it horizontally into half. Place the cut-sides facing up. Pour the simple syrup over both sides of the cake, making sure to adequately soak the entire cake slice. 
  2. Slather jam on one side of the cake and whipped cream on the other side – be as generous or as stingy as you want with the proportions. 
  3. Flip the whipped cream side over onto the jam side. Then, with the remaining whipped cream, pipe or spread over the top layer of the cake. I used Michelle’s design on the top (but failed miserably) or you could just smoothen the icing all over the cake like Rachael did. Garnish with some strawberries, and you’re done!

The below is the photo of my sunken sponge cake (I should have inverted it when cooling – this prevents it from sinking too much) and the one on the right is what I meant by spreading your jam and whipped cream on each side. Read more in my jots below!

 
Janine’s jots: 
  • Taste: As mentioned before, I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth, so I went with using strawberry jam (which is quite tart), and a thin layer of whipped cream. Although I would have liked some fresh strawberries in the middle, I don’t like a thick layer of whipped cream, so this was a good compromise. I am very stingy with the cream and jam, but that’s really because I don’t want it too sweet. Feel free to make it as thick as you want! You should double the whipped cream recipe (that’s what the other people who used the recipe did) – mine gives a really stingy amount of cream for the middle and top only. 
  • Texture: I love the texture of this sponge cake, and so does my family. And as I have raved countless of times, it is my to-go to cake, for the sole reason that it’s so easy to make. It’s also forgiving, because sometimes, I dump all the sugar into the egg whites and forgot to put half into the egg yolks, but the cake still turns out okay. 
  • Serving size: The original sponge cake recipe makes a roll cake of 30cmx30cm proportions, so trying to make it an 8-inch square cake (20×20) was kinda stretching it – this is why the cake is rather flat because there just wasn’t enough batter. I reckon it would have been the perfect height for a 6-inch pan. 
  • Modifications: My simple sugar syrup recipe is not exactly a simple sugar because it doesn’t have the standard proportions. I opted for a 1:2 proportion for the simple fact that I don’t like the syrup to be too sweet. I use this for all my assembled cakes and no problems so far!
  • Storage: Separately, the cake and whipped cream store well in the fridge for about a week. However, once assembled, do consume as soon as possible. Nevertheless, the cake does store well in an airtight container for a few days. And if you soak your cake sufficiently, the cake will still remain moist – in fact, the cake might taste of strawberries as well, because the flavor from the jam has had the time to ‘diffuse’. 
  • Would I make this again?: Definitely! I have made both the sponge cake numerous times, as well as the stabilized whipped cream in other cake recipes. 
  • Other comments: I suck at decorating, and my diagonal lines were a major fail here because I tried to be smart and used a plastic bag instead of a ziplock bag or piping bag. Obviously the plastic bag (new and clean of course) was too soft and didn’t pipe out nice lines. (Yes I’m blaming the tools and not the carpenter ;p) 
I know it looks like a flat cake with horrible icing but it was delicious!
And the nicest photo of the lot :)  

14 comments

  1. Hello, wow… your strawberry shortcake looks delicious. Can I have 1 slice? Beautiful picture too.
    Have a nice day.

  2. foodismylife says:

    Congratulations on your graduation and your job! I stepped into the work force proper about 4 months ago. It wasn’t easy, having to adjust to the fact that you have to go to work everyday… not like when I was in school, I could choose to skip certain classes… (oops!) d: And I really had less time to bake, so my weekends are mostly spent staying at home trying out new recipes. /: But on a brighter note, we are getting paid! More money to spend on baking ingredients and equipment… haha. A tip I learnt (after buying and throwing away many high heels) about high heels is to invest in a really good pair. Minimum S$50! And I will always wax the heels like crazy with candles before I wear them for the first time. Haha. All the best to your career! And your strawberry shortcake looks delicious! Yum! Cheers! -Jasline

  3. Congratulations on your graduation, new job and blog 100th post!
    Very beautiful Strawberry shortcake, Wish I can have a slice :)

  4. hanushi says:

    That is a lot to call for a celebration. Congrats!!

  5. Congratulations on your new job and your 100th post!
    Your cake looks wonderful!
    I have not been wearing high heels for the last 13 years ever since I had my first child! I had a phobia of falling down while carrying my baby at that time, and found that I do not actually need high heels after that! Ha! Hope you found the perfect pair! Have a great working week!

  6. sotong says:

    Hi Janine! Congrats on your 100th post and your new life as a full time working adult!
    You know, I was thinking of making a japanese strawberry shortcake too to celebrate christmas. And that stabilised whipped cream recipe from Fuji Mama is what i’m going to use. Hehe

  7. I have to agree. That 3-ingredient sponge cake, despite me being close to hopeless at making sponge cakes (failed too many times to count before) turned out perfect for me! Definitely a to-go recipe! :D

  8. Zoe says:

    Happy 100th post! I really enjoy reading your blog…and all your photo are always fantastic!…not forgetting that this strawberry cake looks very gorgeous too!

  9. Janine says:

    @Amelia: you definitely can have one slice :)

    @Jasline: thanks for all the tips! I think it’s my feet – I’ve bought a couple of really expensive shoes, which seem comfy at the store, but I blister so badly when I actually wear them :/

    @Ann, hanushi: thanks!

    @kitchen flavors: thanks! sadly I do need high heels because I have to be very formal at work :(

    @sotong: now you know which recipe to use ;p it’s a really good whipped cream recipe – I’ve used it on other cakes too!

    @zoe: thanks so much for your lovely comments!

    @qiting: thanks so much for trying out the recipes so many times!

  10. Congrats on 100th post milestone and new job. You’re incredible, have done so many things.

  11. Congratulations on your new job and 100th post! keep it up and looking forward more nice posts from you. The shortcake look pretty and yummy!

  12. lena says:

    congrats on your 100th post, Janine! this is not an easy achievement within a year, trust me! i love your writing and all your photos including this lovely strawberry cake! 10 pairs of shoes? no kidding?! Haha! Best of luck in your job and hope you will hv success finding ‘ your pair’!

  13. Janine, Congrats on your graduation. Your parents must be very proud of you. What a great achievement to write 100 posts within a year! BRAVO!! Your strawberry cake is lovely. The photo of the cake makes me crave for a it now. Good luck in your new job and I am with you on knowing where the toilet is. Wherever I go, that is the first place that I want to know where it is:D

  14. Janine says:

    @christine & sonia: thanks :)

    @lena: thanks! i’ve just bought another 2 new pairs to try ;p

    @veron: yup parents were really proud, even my grandma came down for the ceremony :)

Leave a reply