Thursday, 28 March 2013

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake - Don't Do It My Way [Recipe]

Lesson learned.
Japanese strawberry shortcake in the making

Or not. Because really, I don't know where I went wrong in making this lovely-sounding cake.

So here's the story. I was looking for a sweet, Valentine-based cake recipe for Valentine's last month. It was for the boy and I am way beyond giving chocolate now, so it was a good opportunity to experiment with a new recipe. And so I came across this amazing Japanese strawberry shortcake recipe from La Fuji Mama, with pictures of fluffy sponge cake and innocent-looking and delightful layered cake. I thought it would be easy to make.

I followed the recipe to the dot, except, and this is a huge except, for the whipped cream frosting. I explain this a bit later.

To this point, everything went smoothly; the batter looked okay, the strawberries were cute and adequately sweet, oven was working well.

Pouring batter

Slicing strawberries

And then all hell broke loose. My sponge cake was nowhere as fluffy or lovely as La Fuji Mama's, and it was bland as well. I couldn't believe I actually produced a bland sponge cake. My suspicion is that I might overcooked it, or there weren't enough air in the batter, or maybe I made mistakes in measuring the ingredients. Honestly, I have no idea. But I soldiered on because I thought maybe after assembling it wouldn't be that bad.

But here comes my sin (?): I used canned/instant whipped cream. Yes, I cheated, and I have paid the price. I love whipped cream on my creamy drinks, but it probably isn't the best option for frosting a cake.

Assembling the layers

One thing that I thought went well despite the cake's flavour is the photo shoot. I am no professional, and because I tend to blank out of ideas when it comes to snapping my homemade food's pictures, I have started making photoshoot plan. This way I'll know what to do. Anyone happens to do the same thing?

And yes, international readers, those foreign words are Indonesian.

Photo-taking plan

The final result tasted weird. The sponge was dry, bland, heavy, and not fluffy at all. Usage of instant whipped cream didn't help, and the natural sweetness from the strawberries seemed to be overwhelmed.

Final result

It did look pretty though.

I almost decided not to give it to Roo.

Innard shot

But I finally did and somehow he managed to finish it up and said that it was not too bad. Great boyfriend, he is. I know exactly how unappealing the cake tasted.

In case you wonder, yeah I made two small cakes. One was for photo shoot and the heart-shaped one is the real gift.


Will I try making it again? Totally. After I learn how to make the frosting first, of course.

For now, please tell me where could I possibly go wrong? I want fluffy cake!

P.S. Happy Easter for everyone's celebrating. Lets stuff ourselves with hot cross bun and lots of chocolate!

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  1. that's sweet of you..the cake looks really fine for me! hahaha..

    1. Not as sweet as you are, ce, the girl who successfully made a complicated layered chocolate cake for the boyfriend hehehe :p

    2. was just a luck for me, hahaha..
      tapi itu ga keliatan salah kok rin cake nya ;p

  2. I've never made sponge cake before so I don't know why the cake didn't turn out fluffy. But I think it's either one of your theories, that you either over mixed it or overcooked it. I like how you make a plan for your photos. It was very nice of you to make a cake for your boyfriend. The cakes look pretty in the photos.

    1. It can be any of them, but maybe all of them too! hahaha. Oh, thank you, Carlyn! It does look pretty but unfortunately didn't taste anywhere as pretty as the pics :)
      Thanks for dropping by!

  3. I wonder what went wrong :|
    I made this last year and it turned out great. Maybe you overmixed the batter?

    1. Maybe...the batter looks heavy doesn't it?
      Ajarin dong pe!!

  4. Your batter looks very thick, while in making Shortcake it needs to be sorta fluffy and light.

    1. It does, doesn't it?
      I have to find out the technique to make it light then. Thanks, dear Anonymous! :D

  5. I wonder what went wrong? But the presentation of the cake was gorgeous though, A+ for you! :D

    1. Me too..haha.
      Naaw, thanks!
      Thanks for dropping by, Kinan :)

  6. Wow, too bad it didnt work out as planned! Ive been baking/learning for about 3 years now and i have to say that this shortcake isnt a easy recipe! Im making it today, just doing some research before starting. :)
    Sponge cake isnt easy :( wish me good luck! Hope you will have the courage to try once more :) seems like a wonderful cake

    1. Hi noesje, I bet yours will turn out very well! It isn't easy indeed :(
      But, good luck and thanks heaps for dropping by! :D


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