Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Birthday Present Cake A.K.A.Strawberry Short Cake

DSC_6625My daughter‘s birthday is this Friday. We haven’t celebrated her birthday together since she left for college, when she was 17. I don’t feel all that sorry for her as she probably will have some grand time in paradise, instead of in the gloomy Oregon weather-we had unusually dry weather early July to last Friday, now we’re seeing the familiar raining scene.DSC_6623 

What kind of cake am I making for her If we’re having a birthday party here? Good ol’ strawberry cake perhaps? Why yes, if you insist!  I happened to have a new sponge cake recipe I wanted to try-Genoise Aux Miel. I think miel means honey. The recipe is similar to the one on my previous Strawberry Shortcake post but this key ingredient, the honey our daughter sent to my husband plays the more moist role. One drawback is that it is quite sticky. It seems like a lot of steps but actually is not that difficult (but tiresome). In Japan, you could buy this sponge cake kit via the internet. Imagine that! I linked to the site just in case you want to order.

My daughter sent me this cake stand for my birthday. Gorgeous! and it’s a great addition to my ‘Blue Danube’ collection.DSC_6598I have a matching plate.DSC_6604

Ingredient and direction- Makes 1 15-1/2 x10-1/2 sheet cake.DSC_6540

Necessary equipment-candy thermometer

  • 6 Eggs
  • Fine Baker’s sugar 1-1/4 cup ( I used only 1 cup)
  • Weak power flower or cake flour 1-1/2 cup sifted
  • Honey 1/4 cup
  • Butter 3 Tablespoons
  • Milk 1/3 cup
  1. Prepare pan by laying out the parchment paper, slit the corners so the paper fits better then lightly spray with Pam.
  2. Boil water (about 1 cup) in a smaller pan than your stand-mixer bowl. Put all the eggs and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and hand beat with whisk.
  3. Stick the bowl over the pan to make a double boiler. Continue to stir as you warm the egg mixture to 90 – 95 degrees. Temperature should not exceed 95F. If it does then let it cool down.DSC_6550
  4. After it reaches the correct temperature, set the bowl in the stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat at high speed (speed #8 of my mixer) for 6 minutes. The egg mixture will get light in color and double in volume.
  5. Lower the speed (speed #2) and whisk for 4 minutes. The egg mixture will develop a shiny sheen.
  6. Add honey and mix at low speed for 1 minute. Pre-heat the oven to 355F
  7. Sprinkle in the flour. Fold in with a rubber spatula to combine.
  8. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter in milk at low heat. Temperature should not exceed 120F – you just need to melt the butter.DSC_6549
  9. Take one ladleful of the egg mixture and combine it with the butter/milk mixture. This will make it easier to mix it all in the next step.DSC_6562
  10. Combine mixture #9 in with the rest of egg mixture in the stand mixer bowl with a rubber spatula. Do not over mix.
  11. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 12 minutes.
  12. Check for doneness by inserting a skewer. When done, flip over onto a cooling rack and remove the paper gently. Cool completely before decorating.

Decorating the cake My cake decorating skill is not all that great and I was really exhausted at this point. I tried to make it looks like a present with confetti. You’re free to decorate however. This cake is fabulous for roll cake too - change the name of the cake accordingly.

Chantilly cream In a clean bowl of a stand-mixer with whisk attachment, pour in 2 cups of heavy cream (that seems like a lot of cream but you want to have extra in case you mess it up) and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Mix at high speed until the peak is almost straight up when you lift your mixer. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla if you like toward the end of mixing. Some use liquor for flavoring but I don’t and I don’t have it.

I cut the cake  into four 5 inch x 5 inch squares.There is lots of left over for tasting, yay! I then brushed with sugary syrup (1/3 cup warm water and 4 Tablespoons of sugar), add 1/2 teaspoon of rum flavoring (optional) on the top side of the squares. Spread about 1/4 cup of Chantilly cream on. Sprinkle small cut strawberry I used 7-8, plus 2-3 strawberries for decoration. Brush with syrup on another square and spread cream. Place the new square on top with the cream side down. Repeat.

Frost all over the cake with cream. The ribbon part I used a huge basket weave tip. Decorate with fruits. I hope my daughter loves virtual birthday cake as there are no calories whatsoever. Happy Birthday! You’re a precious gift.DSC_6627DSC_6635DSCN0872Her second Halloween. I made this costume. It was hard.Top-2

Her third Halloween. Because it took me so long to make this costume I made her wear it again.Top-1She inventoried her harvest before she went into the house. I took some anyway after she went to bed. Too much candies is not good for a kid.

I got some freebies from the nearby mall for my birthday this year again.DSCN0848DSCN0849

(Herb) Tea time and time to write thank-you notes for all my gifts.DSCN0868

This glass dish is made by a local artist-Neat!DSCN0874

Those made in Italy tea bag rest are sooo cute! Isn’t the runner underneath elegant?DSCN0876


  1. 娘さんの誕生日も10月なんですね!


    1. 同じ月の誕生日で、いっそう親しみが生まれます。みかけがイマイチなんだけど、美味しかったです。 ハチミツをもうすこし、おさえてもいいかも。コメントほんとうにありがとう。

  2. I am making this cake! Cute picture of Mariko, I love it.

  3. This cake is exquisitely beautiful. I also love the pictures of little Mariko.

    1. Karen, Thank you for your kind comment. It was really good to see the photos of your family on your blog.

  4. please adopt me. then bake me a cake too.

    1. Ha ha ha! You're so cute! Thank you for your comment.

  5. Happy Birthday to Mariko! Ohhhh she's cute in the pictures!! You must miss those times. :)

    I'm so impressed by your strawberry cake. Really beautiful! And I love your cake stand too! I've seen this collection before but never knew the name!

    1. Thank you Nami. 週末フードコンベンションに来ていたお友達とか会えましたか?私も行きたかったなあ。

  6. Please adopt me too!! The plates are beauuuutiful!

    1. Jalna, You and Footprints are so funny! I love to adapt you both. Thank you so much for your comment.

  7. I love the cake. Wish I could eat it. This is making me think I should make this one for Sunday instead of the momofuku one I was going to make. Very nice.
    Also, I love that costume. I am a terrible mother. I cannot get together a great Halloween costume for my children. Can you send me the bunny costume?

    1. Hey Mariko, I hope you had wonderful birthday. Sorry, I donated the bunny costume to some organization a long ago. I think though, it's too hot to wear in Hawaii? You're lot better mom than me.

  8. That is a gorgeous cake!! And totally gorgeous plate and cake stand. :D Wonder whether I can get them in Australia...

    It's funny, the name of my blog is Ichigo Shortcake but yet I haven't put up any strawberry shortcake or any cake recipes....I think it's really about time...

    1. Thank you Jenny. I'm looking forward to see your strawberry short cake post on your blog someday (soon?). I bet you do fantastic job. Love your photographs!