every year at the peak of strawberry season. I think this is one of the best ways to highlight the sweet strawberries at its finest. I'm not talking about the all-American strawberry shortcake which is made with flaky scones, but I'm talking what most people referred to the Japanese-style strawberry shortcake, which uses soft genoise or sponge cake instead of scone. Strawberry plays one of the most important role in this dessert, and that it has to be sweet. There's nothing more horrifying that eating strawberry cake with sour strawberries.
Before I'm moving on the sorbet subject, I have a confession to make. I own some cookbooks (or dessert books), not so many, but there a couple of them (I should take a picture of them sometimes), but I rarely or almost never followed any recipe from them. I don't know, I've always been put off in trying one of their recipes because I'm afraid that I won't like them or the recipe is just too lengthy. Most of the cookbooks that I own (or all of them) are the kinds that have a very long recipes page with multiple different components, a lot of them has some bizarre ingredients that I've never heard before or the ones that would cost me a fortune.
When I was looking for a sorbet recipe, I have a few recipes I can try with very similar ingredients from French magazine and from one of my cookbooks, but I finally settle on the later, which is from this book. The picture of the sorbet looks so smooth and has a great texture, but it has some unfamiliar ingredients such as atomized glucose and sorbet stabilizer. This is one of my favorite books together with this and this. The book explains what each ingredient is and what their role is in the sorbet, love it! Luckily, one of my favorite baking sites carries it! I had to order it twice because I missed one ingredient the first time, but now that I got them, I'm all set to go.
4 whole eggs
4 egg yolks
100 g sugar
80 g cake flour, sifted
60 g melted butter
100 g mascarpone cheese, room temperature
50 g sugar
250 g heavy cream
Cointreau or Grand Marnier (or Kirsch)
fresh sweet strawberries, sliced (set aside some whole ones for decoration)
- To make the sponge cake: Preheat the oven to 350F and lined two 8" square pan with parchment paper
- Beat the eggs (whole and yolks) with the sugar on a med-high speed until the mixture is very thick and pale (ribbon-stage)
- Incorporate the flour in three addition and fold carefully as not to lose too much air
- Fold in the melted butter until well-mixed
- Divide the batter between two prepared pans and bake it for about 20 minutes or until done.
- Let cool on a wire rack
- To make the filling: Combine the mascarpone cheese, sugar, heavy cream, and liqueur, and beat until it forms a semi-stiff peak but still has its shine. Use it immediately
- To assemble: Put one layer of cake on a base and spread the filling on top.
- Arrange the strawberry slices and top it with the other cake.
- Spread another thin layer of filling on top and decorate all you want
- If you don't have enough filling for the top layer or to decorate it with, just simply whip fresh whipped cream with a little sugar (you can add liqueur if you want).
adapted from Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries
750 g strawberry puree
60 g atomized glucose
120 g sugar
80 ml water
3/4 tsp sorbet stabilizer
- Put the water and atomized glucose in a sacepan and bring it to a gentle boil.
- Mix the sugar and the sorbet stabilizer, and add it to the water mixture and bring it back to a boil.
- Let cool completely (you can put this mixture in a fridge overnight)
- Mix the cool syrup with strawberry puree and let it the mixture "mature" in the fridge for 24 hrs
- Churn it in an ice cream machine
- The book says to mix everything (except the strawberry puree) without boiling them first. I boiled mine to dissolved the sugar.
- The book also suggests another alternative, which is to boil all ingredients to a certain temperature, and cool it for 24 hrs before churning.
- The mixture needs to sit for a long time to let the stabilizer develop its role, but I also read a few other recipes (not from the book) which only matures the sugar syrup overnight and churn it immediately after being mixed with the puree. Some doesn't even require maturing, just mix and churn.