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.
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.|
Makes an 8-inch 2-layered cake
- Sponge cake recipe (I used my 3-ingredient sponge)
- Stabilized whipped cream
- Simple sugar syrup
- Homemade strawberry jam (I used my strawberry-apple jam)
- Extra strawberries for garnishing
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
- 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.
- 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.
30g granulated sugar
1 tsp of your preferred alcohol, or vanilla extract
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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|