Sunday, May 31, 2009

Optima Sponge Cake with Strawberry Mousse Filling

With a typical 14 hour work day now, I had little opportunity to play around with ingredients... So when my sister asked me to bake a cake for her darling Gwen Kit, I decide to use the bag of Optima flour which I had bought some time back (it was a backup in case the start-from-scratch-sponge didn't work).

I blog-hopped and found that different baker has slightly different flour/egg/water/oil composition... like this , this and this. Even in Aunty Yochana's blog, I see the amount of water and oil varies 50-70ml for 250g of optima flour. This is again different from the recipe given on the flour package! I get very confused; I thought baking is a science and not "agar-tation". Aiyah, just simply close my eyes and go ee-nee-me-ni...

Once I decided on the recipe, the rest is easy. I took the eggs out the night before to let it loose the chill. Cut the parchment paper for my cake pan. That's it.

On Sat morning, I was woke up by Sheen at 7am... and started my mission to bake.
Sponge cake is really a no-brainer, I just all everything and beat them together. The only trick is to make sure I beat it to the right thickness; too little the cake will not rise sufficiently, too much and you will get wrinkled cake like this.

I used my brandless standmixer to beat for 7 mins on speed 2. It is full beaten when the batter forms a visible trails when it falls from the whisk after counting to 10. Most books called this the ribbon stage.

For the cake, I divided the portion into 2, baked in 2 separate session. This way I get a layers of cake instead of slicing it, a simple task which I have no confident to do without risk of ending up with more than 2 pieces.

Another advantage is that it takes a much shorter time to bake.

After I baked 2 pieces, I realised, oops, the melted butter is still in the microwave. I quickly whisked up another smaller batch, without melted butter, and baked into cupcakes. This is for me to try if it is "edible". I do not want to ruin someone's birthday with a half done cake :-(

Luckily, the cupcake taste ok, so after some thoughts, I decide to proceed with the butterless cake.

While the layers being cooled, I took out the boxes of strawberry which I have bought 2 days ago... I realised some of them have turned mouldy!! Yucks. *Sigh* I had to go the 100m dash to the supermarket!!!

Btw, Korean strawberry is not in season, my best bet is the long stem USA strawberry:

It is incredibly big and sweet!

Next, I whipped up the cream to make strawberry mousse. I followed the original recipe, realised a few mistakes:

  • The cream can only be whipped to soft peak. As it was not mentioned in the recipe, I beat to the stiff peak. This makes is impossible to fold in the strawberry paste. The mixture was loose and lumpy, which I had to sieve to remove the balls of stiffen cream.

  • unless you assemble the cake with the cake ring, you should have let the mousse set before placing the cake over it. I followed the instruction, and ended up with the mousse oozing out from the side. End up I have mousse layer as razor thin as Kate Moss!

Sponge cake (this portion is for single layer only, double if baking a tall cake in 1 go):
250g optima flour
250g egg (about 5 medium eggs, weight is without shell)
60g water
1 tsp ovalette
1 tsp vanilla extract
50 ml. milk
60 gm. corn oil (or melted butter) - i forgot to add this

250 gm. Strawberry
100g boiled water
1 tbsp sugar
400g. whipping cream
1 teasp. strawberry paste
25 gm. gelatine powder mixed with 100 gm. water

200g whipping cream, whipped till stiff peak

Method for sponge cake:

1. Put all the ingredients into a mixer bowl except cornoil/melted butter and whisk till thick and pale in colour. My brandless mixer took ~ 7min on speed 2.

2. Fold in cornoil/melted butter and then pour into the 10" round tray and bake at 160C for 30 mins (this timing is for half portion, increase timing if bake the entire recipe in one go). or till the surface bounces back when touched with finger.

3. Unmould and leave to cool on a cooling rack. Repeat step 1-3.

For strawberry Mousse:
4. Puree the strawberry with water in a blender.

5. Warm the puree and sugar (add more depending on strawberry and/or your taster preference) until the sugar is melted. Then add in gelatine mixture. Leave to cool.

6. Whip the cream until soft peak only. Lighten puree mixture by taking out few tbsp of the whipped cream and mix into step 5

7. Fold in balance whipped cream. Mixture will be quite loose.

8. Place 1 layer of sponge on the cake ring/springform pan/loose bottom pan. Pour in strawberry puree+ cream mixture. Leave it to set in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

9. Place 2nd layer of sponge cake over.

10. Coat the cake with stiff whipped cream. Pipe border/decorate as desired.


Claire said... pretty!! You baked a wonderful cake with love!! Keep up with the blogging!

Art of Eating said...

Still a sweet and nice bake

Cookie said...

Thanks Claire and YY!

It is not difficult, I'm sure you can do it too.