Very good idea, hubby.
I didn't use a simple syrup on my cake but I think I should have, especially because my cake didn't come out very fluffy (most likely due to using all-purpose flour instead of cake flour). So I included the simple syrup in the recipe.
Mini Japanese Strawberry Shortcakes
Makes about 10
Cake: (from Daily Delicious HERE)
- 3 eggs
- 90g sugar
- 90g cake flour, sifted (I used all-purpose and subtracted a tablespoon, but I'd recommend cake flour)
- 20g unsalted butter, melted
- 20ml milk
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/4 c water
- 1-1/2c whipping cream
- 45g powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 Tbsp cold water
- 1 Tbsp gelatin
- strawberries (about 8)
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 13x9in jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
Beat the eggs until mixed, then gradually beat in the sugar. Pour 3/4c of that into a separate bowl and fold it in with the butter. Set aside. Gradually fold your flour into the egg/sugar mixture until combined. Now fold in the egg/butter mixture. Then the milk. Pour into your pan and bake for 14-18 minutes. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare your simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Stir while it is coming to a boil. When the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool. (Save this sauce pan for your gelatin.)
Dice your strawberries, place them in a bowl, and sprinkle with sugar. (I used about a tablespoon.) Leave those in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
To prep for the cream, place a large mixing bowl and beaters into the freezer for 10 minutes. While waiting, make your gelatin. Pour the 4T of cold water into your small sauce pan and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let that sit for 5 minutes. Then turn your burner to low heat and stir the gelatin until it's all dissolved. Let cool a bit. (If it hardens, stir it.)
Take out the bowl and beaters and beat together your whipping cream, vanilla and sugar for about one minute. Then add the gelatin and beat until stiff peaks form.
Use a small biscuit cutter to cut circles from your cake. The circles fit perfectly into my mini cheesecake pan that has removable bottoms. (If you don't have something like that you can just form a free-standing strawberry shortcake sandwich :) Place one circle in the bottom of each well and brush with the syrup. Form a generous strawberry layer on top of that. Take a small ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the corner, then fill with the cream. Use this to pipe the cream onto the strawberry layer. Finally, top with one more cake circle and brush that with the syrup.
Let those set in the fridge for at least an hour (or in the freezer for about 30 minutes). Top with a dollop of leftover cream and a strawberry halve.