Most popular, classic Japanese cake for Birthday, for Christmas, and for every occasion.
How to assemble.
1. Slice a φ9cm (3.5inch) sponge cake into 2 sheets (1.5cm / 0.5 - 0.6inches).
(2. Cut two sponge sheets by using a φ8cm (3.15inch) stainless steel cake ring/cutter,
which easily smooth sides of a cake even with whipped cream.)
3. Place a sponge sheet on a cake turntable.
(Make sure to to use what was a bottom of the sponge as the bottom of the cake.)
4. Brush cake layers (All, except the bottom. Each before use.) with Sugar Syrup.
(Sugar Syrup: water and sugar (2:1 ratio), No-Heat, Just Stirred.)
5. Cut just one or two strawberries into small chunks.
(Not too small, not too large, but any size. This adds the cake height.)
6. Whip cream with a whisk.
(Separate the cream partly, while it is still soft, into a smaller bowl for later use.)
7. Spread (slightly hard) whipped cream by using straight spatula with minimum move,
then scatter the strawberries and cover them with added cream (this layer can be thick).
8. Place the second sponge slice Syrup brushed, then brush again the cake top and
sides with Syrup.
9. Cover the whole cake with (slightly hard) whipped cream (use straight spatula minimum) and refrigerate.
10. Spread (slightly soft) whipped cream to cover the whole cake (without "touching" too much).
Refrigerate the cake before serve (Best served when syrup inside is cold).
Decorate with strawberries just before serving (Serve while strawberries are fresh).
Bake it fluffy. Though this could take months (or at least days), as this might be the most profound cake.
Once learned some checkpoints, it is easier:
Beat eggs and sugar, after hot water bathed.
(With Kitchen Aid, I count 20 to mix eggs, 10 to mix sugar, 60 to warm.)
Use Kitchen Aid (or imitate the move of Kitchen Aid),
10(High) for 2 minutes to increase its volume
then 6(Medium) for 2 minutes to make it silky soft.
( "2 +2 minutes" is for 2 eggs batch.
Use 02:30+02:30 for 3 eggs batch of φ18cm).
"Sprinkle" the flour then mix it with a rubber spatula moving "\\\/" like Japanese letter "tu, ツ".
This should be amazingly quick and this makes the cake melt in your mouth
(never over-mix once flour was added).
Make sure that cream is always kept very cold
especially while whipping and therefore whip cream in an ice water bath
by filling something like a Kitchen Aid Water Jacket with enough ice cubes.
Once whipped hard, spread within minimum movement.
Fresh Cream in Japan with 45-48% butterfat. I almost always use “TANNA Fresh Cream”
though that can be stored less than 3-4 days.
Use one with at least 42% butterfat (whipping 42% needs more power).
Take notice that strawberries are very weak:
What is most important, I wonder, is to buy fresh strawberries.
When I need to buy the day before use, I need extra care not to be pushed in a bag and to store them refrigerated.
It is easier when I can buy strawberries just the day I use.
I focused on Sponge, Cream and Strawberries.
As you can easily guess, that is because these are the 3 essential elements
and its taste and visual appearance depend on these 3.
My Strawberry Shortcake therefore improves endlessly.