Q:Hi is it possible for me to make my own mini pretzels cookies at home? I have been trying to search for the recipe but I cant seems to find it, so I decided to come here in favour maybe you can help me
Breanne Düren - Catch You
Making [Japanese] Strawberry Shortcake
"Let’s just salvage what we can and make the most out of it".
Does that sound like someone talking about a [food] photo session to you? Because it was exactly what I said 3 months ago during the photo editing process of this recipe post. I’m not going to lie to y’all - food blogging is hard work.
First there’s the cooking portion - strawberry shortcake in Japan is defined by a layer of strawberries and dreamy whipped cream sandwiched between moist, not overly sweet, light and airy sponge cake. I hate making sponge cakes with something near of a vengeance. For me it is the epitome of finesse - getting the egg mixture beaten to the right volume and going through the trouble of actually sifting flour more than once.
Once the cooking is out of the way, the photography part comes out to play. In this particular post a lot of hair-tearing went down. The sun just wouldn’t cooperate and I ended up shooting the final piece at night. With fluorescent lights. I hope you’ll still enjoy reading through it though, and try to overlook the punctuating yellow glow of my study lamp in the end product.
JAPANESE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE:
[ 2 eggs, room temperature + 60g or 7 1/4 tablespoon castor sugar + 60g or 10 1/2 tablespoon cake flour, sifted at least twice + 20g or 1 1/3 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled ]
If you do not have cake flour, measure out 60g of plain flour, then remove 1 tablespoon of it and replace with 1 tablespoon of corn flour.
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Beat eggs and sugar over a bain-marie (hot water bath) until the mixture warms up. This is to dissolve the sugar.The mixture should be pleasant to the touch - you can dip your finger in without getting scalded.
Remove the mixture from the bain-marie and continue beating the egg with an electric whisk until it triples in volume and turns very pale (almost white).
Towards the last 2 to 3 minutes, beat on the lowest speed to stabilise the mixture and eliminate large bubbles. When the egg mixture has reached the “ribbon stage”, sift in the flour a little at a time (preferably in 3 batches). Mix on low speed after each addition.
Sprinkle the cooled melted butter over the batter and fold in using a spatula.
Pour the batter into a lined tin. Lift the tin and drop it gently onto the table top twice to eliminate air bubbles.
Bake the cake for 25 minutes. While it bakes, prepare the simple syrup and whipped cream.
[ 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar + 1 1/2 tablespoon very hot water ] OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon rum.
Dissolve the sugar in very hot water. Then add rum, if using. Stir to mix well and set aside.
[ 300ml or 1 1/4 cup dairy whipping cream + 1 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar + 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ] OPTIONAL: to make stabilized whipped cream, you’ll also need: 1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatin or agar-agar powder + 1 tablespoon of water.
Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Whip till soft peaks form. Keep it chilled in the fridge, covered, at all times.
If using gelatin or agar agar, Place water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soften for 1-2 minutes. Microwave the gelatin for about 30 seconds at high heat. The gelatin will be clear and melted. Now you can use it to stabilize your whipped cream by adding the gelatin/agar mixture to cream, pouring in a steady stream while the whipped cream is beating constantly until stiff peaks form.
When the cake is done, turn it onto a cooling rack and allow it to cool with the pan covering it.
Wrap using clingwrap when it is completely cooled if you do not intend to frost the cake on the same day (the cake keeps for 2 to 3 days, refrigerated).
Slice the cake in half, horizontally. Brush sugar syrup onto the first layer of the cake.
Spread a layer of cream and then top with halved strawberries. Add another layer of cream over.
Brush the remaining layer of cake with sugar syrup, then place it on top of the strawberries and cream. Proceed to frost the entire cake.
Keep the cake chilled until time of serving. The colder the cake, the easier it is to cut.
Q:Do you have the recipe for that delicious looking soup on your homepage!?!?
It’s a bowl of Vegetarian Pho :)
Making Lemon Loaf
In attempt to feel better about a couple of incidents that occurred lately, I headed to the kitchen to make a lemon loaf despite not being in the spirit or mood of cooking. I ended up accidentally zesting my thumb. Take note: cooking against your will might inevitably result in injuries, but you might also end up with a moist, bright lemony loaf that wafts summer scent throughout the house.
LEMON LOAF (recipe from Jenn’s Random Scraps)
[ 1 1/2 cups flour + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 3 eggs, at room temperature + 1 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons butter, softened + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + 1/3 cup lemon juice + 1/2 cup oil + zest of one lemon ]
[ 1 cup powdered sugar + 1 tablespoon whole milk + 1/2 to 1 tablespoon lemon juice ]
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla extract and lemon juice and use a mixer or a wire whisk to mix until blended.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Add oil and lemon zest and mix well.
Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Meanwhile, make the glaze by whisking the glaze ingredients to combine.
Remove the cake from the oven and pour glaze over it, then cool in pan on a rack.