The last minute layered cake practice was meant for boyfriend’s birthday. How can I pride myself a baker if I don’t bake something for my loved one’s birthday? That joker is a fan of strawberries, so a classic strawberry shortcake would deem fit for his birthday cake.
165g cake flour
5 eggs, room temperature
150g caster sugar
35g unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons fresh milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tsp Grand Marnier
2 tsps unflavored gelatin
8 tsps cold water
480ml cold heavy whipping cream
60g confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
125g strawberries, sliced plus 8 whole strawberries for decoration
1. Sift cake flour for 3 times, set aside. Line bottom and sides of 9″round pan with parchment paper, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 170degC. Position rack at the lower bottom of the oven.
2. With an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar on HIGH speed for about 5 to 7 mins, until the batter turns pale, becomes thick, double/triple in volume and is ribbon-like (the beater should leave a ribbon-like trail when the batter is lifted up). Turn to LOW speed and whisk for another 1 to 2 mins. Whisking at low speed helps to stabilise the air bubbles in the batter.
3. Sift over cake flour into the batter in 3 separate additions. With each addition, use a spatula, gently fold in the flour until well blended. Take care not to deflate the batter.
4. Add the melted butter, fold in gently with spatula until well blended
5. Add in fresh milk, vanilla extract and fold in gently with spatula until well blended.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 38 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Unmold and invert onto cooling rack, cool completely.
To make syrup:
1. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring the water to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then stir in Grand Marnier.
To make whipped cream:
1. Put the cold water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and let stand for 5 minutes (do not stir). Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon just until the gelatin dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla and beat until slightly thickened. Then, while beating slowly, gradually pour the gelatin into the whipped cream mixture. Then whip the mixture at high speed until stiff.
To assemble the cake:
1. Place one sponge layer cut-side up on a cake board or serving plate and lightly crush the surface with the simple syrup. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the cake layer and arrange the strawberries over the surface. Spread an additional layer of whipped cream over the berries. Brush the cut-side of the second layer with the simple syrup and place it over the first layer. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Decorate as desired and garnish with the remaining berries.