Sunday, March 19, 2017

Ombre Strawberry Shortcake - Sunday Times feature

Presenting my feature article in the The Sunday Times Life Section =D

As said in my blog, I have been baking genoise sponge layer cakes for 3 years now and created colour variations such as rainbow and ombre as well as different flavours like vanilla, lychee, mango and rose, in varied number of layers and sizes. To see the past cakes I've done, just scroll through the pages :)

The genoise sponge uses just 5 basic ingredients, flour, sugar, butter, eggs and milk without the use of any chemicals or additives. It's amazing how through the technique itself, these simple ingredients can create a cake with moist and tender texture.

For the filling and frosting, I use chantilly cream, which is whipping cream with mascarpone cheese and icing sugar (which can be adjusted for sweetness level). The cream is once again very light and slightly creamy and when paired with genoise sponge, makes the cake really delectable.

The cake received positive feedback from friends and family members who commented that it's tender, moist and not too sweet. Even young kids, elderly and folks who don't eat cream cakes enjoyed it :)

Baking this cake is not difficult, just tedious. Because each layer is prepared and baked individually i.e. prep ingredients for 1 layer, send into oven and bake, then the next layer and the next, depending on the number of colour layers desired. Basically, it's tedious because of the colour.

For me, I always believe in using quality ingredients for my bakes, and they DO AFFECT how the cake turns out. Well, my personal opinion and belief :) I'm not endorsing the brands below nor do I receive any royalty or advertising fee ok! If there are advertisers who wish to approach me, I can consider lah, but the product must be of certain standard :)

For this cake, I use the Japanese Nissen Violet cake flour which has a more refined texture. This brand can be found in Japanese supermarkets like Isetan and Meidi-ya, and Japanese grocery shops like Jmart. Some bigger Cold Storage or NTUC Finest carry it as well. When I go to Japan, I would lug back the Cuoca housebrand or Hokkaido flour (yes, I buy flour when I travel LOL :p) It's cheaper to buy in Japan, quite ex in SG!

Sugar, I prefer using Japanese Jyohakuto sugar which once again has a more refined and soft texture. Likewise the Japanese supermarkets, grocery stalls and bigger local supermarkets should carry it. Likewise I will stock up some sugar when I go Japan, coz it's really cheaper there!

Unsalted butter, it's usually President or Elle & Vire (once in a while SCS, but prefer not as it's more yellowish and not quite suitable).

For fresh milk, if I can get hold of Hokkaido milk I would use it, otherwise Meiji milk.

For whipping cream, most brands work fine, but I only use dairy whipping cream, not non-dairy, not ready-made ones.

For  mascarpone cheese, there are only a few brands available so any works fine.

Anyways, I've baked this cake many times before, but this decor which is inspired by the Japanese patisseries and bakers is something new. This cake is 6" 3 layers, but likewise can be custom-made to preferred size, layers and colours.

One important note though, as this cake is very light and delicate, it has to be chilled and best enjoyed slightly chilled (i.e. out from the fridge about 5-10 mins). The cake cannot be left at room temperature for more than 30 mins or it will risk collapsing. 

Please drop me an email at for discussion or order. For my blog write-up and recipe, please click here :)

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