Strawberry cake – Gluten-free, Dairy free

Ollie

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
This cake is inspired by the Japanese Strawberry Shortcake. Japanese Strawberry Shortcakes can be found in all food shops in the streets of Japan, especially around Christmas: it is synonymous with the word ‘cake’. Japanese Shortcake is different to American Shortcake, which is made with a sweet, biscuit-like cake, or scone. Japanese Strawberry Shortcake is a small layered cake made with light, génoise style sponge, filled with whipped cream and strawberries, and topped similarly. Japanese Strawberry Shortcake is the most popular cake consumed in Japan, it sold as a Christmas cake, and is a first choice for birthdays, which this cake is made for, too. The cake recipe goes back to the early 20th century, when in 1912, Fujii Rin'emon went to the United States to master the art of making Western-style sweet food in order to incorporate it into his Japanese cuisine. A particular dessert that took his interest was a butter sponge cake with sweetened fruit and whipped cream. On returning to Japan in 1922 he developed his own version that used strawberries, whipped cream and sponge cake: Japanese Strawberry Shortcake was born.
There is a similar type of Strawberry cake in France, the Ray Ventura (who was a popular bandleader in France after WWII) cake, which is also known by some Pastry chef’s as Gâteau aux fraisier (fraise means strawberry in French), due to the strawberries that provide its distinctive appearance. It is a sheet, or slab, cake with a filling of strawberries and a plain mousseline, instead of whipped cream. The topping is a green fondant as opposed to strawberries and whipped cream.
Layered cakes provide a means of making larger cakes, and a mousseline filling is sturdier than whipped cream and is used for larger cakes too. This cake is made with a vanilla sheet cake, that is based upon a Devil’s Food Sheet Cake, although it is devoid of chocolate. The filling is a strawberry cream mousseline, instead of whipped cream, and halved strawberries. The topping is a dairy-free vanilla cream mousseline. Both of these are instead of whipped cream, and the cake is decorated with strawberries. Overall, the cake adheres to the fundamental concept of the Japanese Strawberry Shortcake, with slight variations, and the need for a larger cake.
Sheet Cake is a flat and rectangular cake that is baked in a large, flat rectangular pan, such as a sheet pan, jelly roll pan, or baking tray. It is thinner than an English sandwich layer cake, and the best-known recipe is for the Texas sheet cake. Génoise style sponge cakes tend to be on the dry side, and are often infused with a light syrup to overcome the dryness. To overcome this problem and need, a different approach is taken. This gluten-free version is based upon the gluten, Devils Food Sheet Cake, recipe given by Shirl Gard (shirlgard.com), that is a made like an old-fashioned mayonnaise cake.
The suggested schedule for making this cake is to make all of the main components (vanilla sheet cake, the pastry cream part of both the strawberry cream mousseline, and vanilla cream mousseline) on one day, or even spread over two days, and then add the butter to the pastry creams (to create the mousselines), perform the final assembly, and decorate the cake the following day. All of the main components will keep either at room temperature, or in a refrigerator, or in a freezer overnight. Doing it this way takes the stress out of the whole cake making process.

Ingredients: (makes a rectangular Strawberry cake, approximately 33cm (13in) by 23cm (9in), or 30cm (12in) by 20cm (8in)) This is sufficient for 8 – 10 people.
Vanilla sheet cake
Strawberry cream mousseline filling
Strawberries 500g
Vanilla cream mousseline topping

Day 0/1
For ease of making, the Vanilla sheet cake can be made the day before, or on the same day as the pastry cream components of the two mousselines.

Vanilla sheet cake
Vanilla sheet cake is used as a component for the Strawberry cake. In fact, it is generally a component for other types of cake, or desserts. In fact, it is a modern way of making cakes, rather than using sponge tins to bake them. The sheet cake can be cut to whatever shape is desired.
This gluten-free version is based upon the gluten recipe, for a Devil’s Food Sheet cake, given by Shirl Gard (shirlgard.com), and it is a made like an old-fashioned mayonnaise cake.

The recipe makes one 10mm (3/8 in) thick, rectangular sheet cake, approximately 30cm (12in) by 40cm (16in).

Ingredients:
Gluten-free flour mix* 200g
Baking soda/Bicarbonate of soda 1tsp
Sea Salt 1/4tsp
Gum Arabic (Guar gum) 1tsp
Eggs (room temperature) 116g (2 large) plus 16g (1 large egg yolk)
Cane sugar 150g
Vanilla essence 3/4tsp
Mayonnaise 170g
Water (room temperature) 110g

*Gluten-free flour mix: Brown rice flour 440g; Sweet rice flour 125g; Potato starch 45g; Tapioca starch 95g; Arrowroot powder 55g. Total weight: 760g

Method:
Line a half sheet pan, or baking tray (30 x 40cm (12in x 16in)) with parchment paper and lightly grease.
Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 165C (for this recipe, a convection oven, that heats fairly accurately, was used at this temperature) for 45 minutes.
Sift Gluten-free flour mix and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl (1), add the Gum Arabic, and salt, and then whisk to combine.
Place the eggs and egg yolk, lightly combined, in the bowl of a stand mixer (2) (or the bowl of a hand mixer) fitted with a whisk attachment and mix at low speed for about 1 minute to combine.
Gradually dribble in the cane sugar as the mixer is running, stopping and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as required. Turn the speed up to high and continue to whip until the mixture is thick and pale in colour. This will take approximately 10 minutes. At the end, when the whisk is lifted the mixture should form a slowly dissolving ribbon.
Turn the speed down to low, add the vanilla essence and combine. Then add the mayonnaise, a spoonful at a time, and combine.
Remove the mixing bowl (2) and fold in one third of the Gluten-free flour mix with a large rubber/silicon spatula; add half of the water and combine, ensuring that all of the flour is incorporated. Repeat with another third of the Gluten-free flour mix and the other half of the water. Finally, fold in the remaining third of the Gluten-free flour mix until it is fully combined (making sure to reach all the way down to the bottom of the bowl (where the flour likes to settle)). The batter will be very thin.
Pour the batter into the prepared half sheet pan and spread the batter with an offset spatula held at a slight angle, spread the cake batter evenly over the tray with a rapid back and forth movement (‘wax-on, wax-off’) in a motion that is quick and light, making sure that the batter reaches right into the corners. Use a rubber/silicon spatula to scrape off any batter that adheres to the offset spatula.
Place the filled pan in the preheated oven and bake at 165C for approximately 25 - 28 minutes, or until a paring knife inserted into the middle of the sheet cake comes out clean, and the sheet cake is starting to pull away from the pan sides, and the cake springs back when lightly touched.
Let the vanilla sheet cake cool in the pan completely.
Place a silmat, or a sheet of parchment paper, on top of the cooled cake and carefully flip over on to the worksurface, or on to the bottom of a second half sheet pan. Remove the parchment paper that was on the bottom of the sheet cake.
Cover the vanilla sheet cake with two layers of overlapping clingfilm; flip back over and place the cake back in the sheet pan; cover with two sheets of clingfilm and place it in the freezer for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, as freezing makes it easier to cut.
Wrapped completely in at least two layers of clingfilm, the cake can be left at room temperature for up to four hours; for up to 3 days in a refrigerator, and up to 2 weeks in a freezer.

Strawberry pastry cream component
In baking terms, Mousseline is a pastry cream that has been whipped with soft butter until it is lighter and more structured. It tends to be used when the cream component of the recipe needs to stand, or hold up as a filling in a cake that is cut. A basic cream mousseline is made by adding one portion of softened butter into two portions of French pastry cream and whipping together. Strawberry cream mousseline is made by replacing the milk in the vanilla cream mousseline recipe with a strawberry purée.
The Cream Mousseline recipe is based upon the recipe for a Fruit Crème Mousseline given in Baking, (Berkeley, Ten Speed Press, 2009) by Peterson J.

Ingredients: (enough for 1 layer in a 30 x 20cm (12in x 8in) sheet cake)
Strawberry (fresh or frozen) 1000g (sufficient to yield 870ml Strawberry purée)
Gluten-free Flour mix* 38g
Cornstarch 37g
Cane Sugar 225g
Eggs 98g (1 large egg plus 3 large egg yolks)
Butter (room temp, chopped) 675g (used at a later stage)

Optional:
Cane sugar (sufficient to suit taste)
Lemon juice 1 – 2Tbsp (to temper sweetness if required)

*Gluten-free pastry flour mix: Brown rice flour 290g; Sweet rice flour 150g; Potato starch 75g; Tapioca starch 210g; Arrowroot powder; 35g. Total weight: 760g

Method:
Sort, wash, and prepare the strawberries, or if using frozen, let them thaw in a colander over a bowl (1), and when thawed, gently pat the strawberries dry.
Place the strawberries in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process to a smooth puree.
Taste, and adjust sweetness with either cane sugar or lemon juice, and incorporate with a whisk.
Place a sieve over the top of a saucepan (2), and pour in the strawberry purée, using a rubber or silicon spatula to press the purée ‘liquid’ through the sieve, leaving any solids in the sieve.
In a large bowl (3) add sugar, egg, and yolks, and whisk together for at least 30 seconds (otherwise the egg yolks will burn due to the acid in the sugar), to form a smooth, lemon coloured mixture. Add Gluten-free flour mix and Cornstarch (the flour and starch are used to bind and stabilize the custard mix), and whisk to combine and produce a smooth texture.
Place the strawberry purée filled saucepan (2) over medium heat, and bring the strawberry purée to a gentle simmer, yet avoid boiling.
Turn off heat. Slowly pour half of the hot strawberry purée (saucepan 2) into the egg mixture (bowl 3) and stir constantly with a wire whisk. This is called tempering, and is a method of easing two components with widely different temperatures to cook together and prevent premature coagulation: to control the rate of protein folding and reconnecting.
Pour the resultant mixture (3) back into the saucepan (2) containing the remaining hot strawberry purée and whisk together to combine.
Turn heat back on to medium-low, for even unfolding and reconnection of the egg proteins, and stir the strawberry pastry cream mixture with a wooden spoon until it is thoroughly blended and smooth. Make sure that wooden spoon reaches everywhere - bottom, sides, and corners, so that the mixture does not burn. Keep the spoon in constant motion. Once you sense that the mixture is slightly thick on the bottom of the saucepan (look at bottom of spoon), remove it from the heat. Once the mixture has reached 75 – 77C the egg proteins reattach and solidify. Heating above 77C will result in an ‘eggy’ taste to the custard.
Off heat, continue stirring the strawberry pastry cream mixture for a further minute, until the mixture is thick, smooth and uniform (this allows a slow and even coagulation of the eggs and will produce a creamy texture).
Return the saucepan to the heat and cook for a further 1 – 2 mins to overcome any resultant starch flavour.
Strain and pour the strawberry pastry cream into a cold flat-bottomed bowl (6) (otherwise the pastry cream will continue to cook) and place into a larger bowl (7). Fill bowl (7) with ice cold water to the height where the pastry cream bowl (6) just begins to float. Initially continue stirring, then stir only occasionally and minimally as the strawberry pastry cream cools (as stirring breaks developing starch networks, which results in a thinner strawberry pastry cream).
Alternatively, line a baking tray with clingfilm, and pour the strawberry pastry cream into this, ensuring that it is thinner than 5cm (2in) in thickness.
The strawberry pastry cream should be thick, creamy, and smooth, indicating that the fat, in the butter, milk, and eggs, has been properly emulsified with the water in the milk and eggs.
Allow the strawberry pastry cream to cool to room temperature. Then, cover airtight with clingfilm and place in a refrigerator to cool for several hours. It is cool when the bottom of the baking tray feels cold. Remove the top layer of the clingfilm. Using a rubber, or silicon spatula roll up the strawberry pastry cream to one end of the baking tray and scoop into a bowl.

Vanilla pastry cream component
In baking terms, Mousseline is a pastry cream that has been whipped with soft butter until it is lighter and more structured. A vanilla cream mousseline is made by adding one portion of softened butter into two portions of French pastry cream and whipping together.
The basic Crème Mousseline recipe is based upon the French pastry cream recipe given in, The Art of French Pastry, (New York, Alfred E Knopf, 2015), by Pfeiffer J, with Shulman M R., and the recipe for a Basic Crème Mousseline given in Baking, (Berkeley, Ten Speed Press, 2009) by Peterson J.

In the recipe below, Hemp milk is used in place of cow’s milk.

Ingredients: (enough for a 1 layer of 10mm (0.4in) in a 30 (12in) x 20cm (8in) sheet cake)
Butter (room temp, chopped) 380g (40g plus 340g)
Gluten-free Flour mix* 20g
Cornstarch 20g
Hemp milk 460g (110g and 350g)
Eggs 98g (1 large egg plus 3 large egg yolks)
Cane Sugar 115g (57g plus 58g)
Vanilla essence 1tsp
Gelatin (approximately 1 sheet (2.5g) per 120g of wet mix) (4 sheets)
Gelatin sheets (silver) pro rata 2.5g (1) (or equivalent: 1tsp gelatin powder in
2Tbsp cold water)

*Gluten-free pastry flour mix: Brown rice flour 290g; Sweet rice flour 150g; Potato starch 75g; Tapioca starch 210g; Arrowroot powder; 35g. Total weight: 760g

Method:
Take 40g butter out of the refrigerator, at least 30 minutes before use, and bring it up to room temperature.
In a bowl (1) add flour, Cornstarch, 57g Cane sugar, and mix. Add 110ml Hemp milk, egg and yolks and whisk together, for a minimum of 30 seconds (otherwise the egg yolks will burn due to the acid in the sugar), to form a smooth, lemon coloured mixture (the flour and starch are used to bind and stabilize the custard mix). Both the milk and sugar act as buffers so that coagulation will not happen too quickly.
In a saucepan (2) add 350ml Hemp milk, 58g Cane sugar, 40g butter and vanilla essence. Stir together with a wooden spoon. Place over medium heat and bring to a fast simmer, yet avoid boiling.
Now is time to prepare the gelatin for adding to the pastry cream.
If using gelatin sheets, bloom them in a bowl (4) of cold water for approximately 10 minutes until softened. Drain off the water from the gelatin sheets. Melt the gelatin in a microwave oven for 2 – 3 x 10 second bursts on full power.
If using gelatin powder, place #2tsp of powder into a small bowl (4), add #4Tbsp of cold water, whisk quickly so that all of the granules are surrounded by water, or clusters will appear. After 5 minutes of whisking, the mixture should bloom and become spongy; then allow to thicken for 5 minutes. To melt, either use the method above for gelatin sheets, or, stand the bowl in another, larger bowl (5) of hot water and stir until all the gelatin is dissolved. Cool slightly.
Turn off heat. Slowly pour half of the hot milk mixture (2) into the egg mixture (1) and stir constantly with a wire whisk. This is called tempering, and is a method of easing two components with widely different temperatures to cook together and prevent premature coagulation: to control the rate of protein folding and reconnecting.
Pour the resultant mixture (1) back into the saucepan containing the remaining milk mixture (2) and whisk together to combine.
Turn heat back on to medium-low, for even unfolding and reconnection of the egg proteins, and stir the pastry cream mixture with a wooden spoon until it is thoroughly blended and smooth. Make sure that wooden spoon reaches everywhere - bottom, sides, and corners, so that the mixture does not burn. Keep the spoon in constant motion. Once you sense that the mixture is slightly thick on the bottom of the saucepan (look at bottom of spoon), remove it from the heat. Once the mixture has reached 75 – 77C the egg proteins reattach and solidify. Heating above 77C will result in an ‘eggy’ taste to the custard.
Off heat, continue stirring the pastry cream mixture for a further minute, until the mixture is thick, smooth and uniform (this allows a slow and even coagulation of the eggs and will produce a creamy texture).
Return the saucepan to the heat and bring the pastry cream mixture to the boil (to fully incorporate the cornstarch) whilst stirring constantly (this will inactivate the yolk amylase enzyme and will extract starch, and the egg proteins will bond strongly). Cook for a further 1 – 2 mins to overcome any resultant starch flavour.
Drizzle the melted gelatin into the vanilla pastry cream mixture (bowl 2) and whisk until well-mixed.
Strain and pour the pastry cream into a cold flat-bottomed bowl (3) (otherwise the pastry cream will continue to cook) and place into a larger bowl (4). Fill bowl (4) with ice cold water to the height where pastry cream bowl (3) just begins to float. Initially continue stirring, then stir only occasionally and minimally as the pastry cream cools (as stirring breaks developing starch networks, which results in a thinner pastry cream).
Alternatively, line a baking tray with clingfilm, and pour the pastry cream into this, ensuring that it is thinner than 5cm (2in) in thickness.
The pastry cream should be thick, creamy, and smooth, indicating that the fat, in the butter, milk, and eggs, has been properly emulsified with the water in the milk and eggs.
It is cool when the bottom of the baking tray feels cold. Remove the top layer of the clingfilm. Using a rubber, or silicon spatula roll up the French pastry cream to one end of the baking tray and scoop into a bowl. Tightly cover the surface with clingfilm and place in a refrigerator overnight.

Day 2
The activities are involved with a first part assembly; preparing the strawberries; converting both the strawberry and vanilla pastry creams into mousselines; filling; a second part assembly; topping and decorating the strawberry cake.

Assembly 1
The first part of the assembly consists of several stages: cutting the vanilla sheet cake to size; coating the bottom layer of vanilla sheet cake with chocolate; and cutting a matt board to size.

Cutting the vanilla sheet cake to size
Remove the vanilla sheet cake in its pan from the freezer, then place the half sheet pan on a work surface. Unwrap the top clingfilm. As the short ends may have crept in during baking, use a long straight edge, or steel rule, as a guide to cut the ends square with a paring knife, so that the result is a perfect rectangle.
Measure the long top edge, and mark the halfway point, or centre. Repeat on the top long edge. Use the steel rule to line up the two marks, and use the edge to guide a paring knife in cutting the vanilla sheet cake in half, so that there are two equal rectangles.
Lay clingfilm on the base of another half sheet pan; then place one rectangle of vanilla sheet cake on top of it, wrap the vanilla sheet cake in two layers of clingfilm and place the half sheet pan back in a freezer.

Coating the bottom layer of vanilla sheet cake with chocolate (optional)
Coarsely chop 270g of white chocolate (or dark as preferred), and place in the top bowl of a double boiler, and place over the top of a saucepan of just simmering water; then using a silicon spatula, or metal spoon, stir the mixture to just melt the chocolate.
Over the other half of the vanilla sheet cake, pour the melted chocolate over the exposed surface; working quickly, spread evenly over the surface with a thin metal spatula.
Allow the chocolate to cool, and then place the chocolate coated vanilla sheet cake back into a freezer.

Cutting a mat board to size
Cut a rectangle from a sheet of matt board, or cake board, that is 25mm (1in) smaller in each direction than the vanilla sheet cake.

Prepare strawberries
Remove any greenery attached to the strawberries. If a strawberry is large, cut it in half. If the strawberries are small, leave then whole. Set aside in a refrigerator.

Adding butter to the strawberry pastry cream to form strawberry cream mousseline
Slice 675g butter, and bring it up to room temperature. Bring the strawberry pastry cream up to room temperature, it takes approximately 30 minutes. It is important that both the pastry cream and the butter are at the same temperature. In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the room temperature strawberry pastry cream, add each slice of butter separately and incorporate with a whisk attachment at low speed. Repeat until all of the butter is added. The result will look bitty, as if the butter is incompletely incorporated. This is alright. Whisk at medium-high speed for 3 – 5 minutes until the strawberry cream mousseline is light and fluffy. If it still looks bitty, as it may in cold weather, use an emersion blender for one minute to whisk it up, then repeat whisking, this time at high speed until it becomes light and fluffy.
If not using immediately, cover the surface with wax paper, or buttered parchment paper (this will ensure that the pastry cream does not form a skin). Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Strawberry cream mousseline cannot be frozen, as the starch and protein bonds will break down. Also, in the process of defrosting, the strawberry cream mousseline will weep, producing moisture, resulting in a runny, rather than stiff, consistency.

Assembly 2
This second stage of assembly is concerned with: base and filling; adding butter to the vanilla pastry cream to form vanilla cream mousseline; and topping and decoration.

Base and filling assembly
Remove the chocolate coated vanilla sheet cake from the freezer and place it, centrally, with the chocolate side face downward, on to the cut cake board.
Uniformly spread a thin layer of strawberry cream mousseline over the top surface of the vanilla sheet cake, using a thin metal, offset spatula.
Take up to a half of the halved strawberries and either, place them randomly on top of the of the strawberry cream mousseline (to mimic a Japanese Strawberry Shortcake filling), or, arrange the strawberries in a straight line along each of the outer edges of the vanilla sheet cake; and arrange the rest in the middle (to mimic a Gâteau aux fraisier).
Spread the strawberry cream mousseline over the top of the strawberries, and into the gaps between, going right to the edges of the sheet cake, and over (any excess can be scraped off later with a thin, metal spatula. Ensure that the strawberries are just covered, and that the layer is spread to a uniform thickness over them. If there are any holes left after smoothing, just place a spoonful of strawberry cream mousseline over each hole. Placing the next layer of vanilla sheet cake will squash it smooth.
Remove the second half of the vanilla sheet cake from the freezer and unwrap. Carefully lay it on top of the strawberry cream mousseline filling. Ensure that each of the cake edges line up. If any strawberry cream mousseline escapes, or squeezes out, whilst doing this, use a metal spatula to remove thew excess.
Place the filled strawberry cake back into a freezer.

Adding butter to the vanilla pastry cream to form vanilla cream mousseline
If not already at room temperature, bring the French pastry cream up to room temperature, approximately 30 minutes.
Slice 340g, the rest of the butter, and bring to room temperature, it is important that both the Pastry cream and the butter are at the same temperature. Add each slice and incorporate with a whisk. Repeat until all of the butter is added. It will look bitty and as if the butter is not fully incorporated at this stage, that is alright. Whisk at medium-high speed for 3 – 5 minutes until the vanilla cream mousseline is light and fluffy, and the butter is fully incorporated. If it still looks bitty, as it may in cold weather, use an emersion blender for one minute to whisk it up, then repeat whisking, this time at high speed until it becomes light and fluffy.
Once cool, and if not using immediately, cover the surface with wax paper, or buttered parchment paper (this will ensure that the pastry cream does not form a skin). Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Vanilla cream mousseline cannot be frozen, as the starch and protein bonds will break down. Also, in the process of defrosting, the vanilla cream mousseline will weep, producing moisture, resulting in a runny, rather than stiff, consistency.

Topping and decoration
Remove the filled strawberry cake from the freezer.
Using a thin, metal, offset spatula uniformly spread the vanilla cream mousseline over the top layer of the vanilla sheet cake. Ensure that the vanilla cream mousseline is taken right to the edge, and over.
Using a long, metal straight edge, give the strawberry cake a flat, level surface. If any excess vanilla cream mousseline goes over the edge, use a thin metal spatula to remove the excess.
Slide the strawberry cake onto a cake board.
Decorate the top of the strawberry cake with the rest of the halved strawberries, as desired, formal or random.
Place the finished strawberry cake in a refrigerator for at least one hour, preferably more, to firm up the vanilla cream mousseline.

Serving
Refrigerate the Strawberry cake for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Use a warm chef’s knife to cut through the cake, especially through the chocolate base coating, so that it does not crack.
It is recommended to cut all the way along the long middle of the cake, and then cut slices off perpendicular to this cut.
When a slice has been cut, slide it upright onto a serving plate. The chocolate coated base will provide stability.

Storing
The strawberry cake can be stored in a refrigerator, covered, for up to two days.

Enjoy.

This photo is of a cake twice the size given in the recipe.
 

Attachments

  • japanese strawberry cake (2).jpg
    japanese strawberry cake (2).jpg
    545.7 KB · Views: 28
Top Bottom