For this year’s ICHIGO Delight Dessert Buffet at Lewin Terrace, chef Shinkai has created an assortment of sweets ranging from crumbles and mousses to cakes and blanc manges, all revolving around a prized Japanese strawberry called the Chitose Ichigo, which—surprise, surprise—is cultivated in Cameron Highlands in Malaysia.
“Our strawberries are from Chitose Agricultural Initiative,” says Shinkai. “They make some of the best strawberries using Japanese technology. These are small batch strawberries that have an intense sweetness, fragrance and juiciness.”
Here, he shares his tried-and-tested recipe for a fluffy strawberry chiffon cake, just in time to wow your loved one for Valentine’s Day.
Courtesy of Chef Hiroyuki Shinkai, Lewin Terrace
160 grams flour
3 grams baking powder
9 egg yolks
80 grams olive oil
160 grams fresh strawberries, pureed
20 grams strawberry syrup (or jam)
140 grams sugar
9 egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 150˚C, or 302˚F. Prepare a 9-inch (22cm) tube pan, ungreased.
2. To make egg yolk batter, beat egg yolks with 60 grams of sugar till pale, add in olive oil, mix briefly.
3. Add in strawberry puree and syrup and mix well. Fold in sieved flour and baking powder until the batter forms.
4. To make the meringue, beat egg whites and 80 grams of sugar until glossy peaks form.
5. Gently fold meringue into egg yolk batter in 3 batches until fully combined. (Do not overmix.)
6. Pour batter into reserved pan. Tap the pan a few times on table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until cooked. (When lightly pressed, the cake should spring back.)
7. Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven, invert the pan and place on a bottle or flat surface so it is suspended over the counter. Place cake in the chiller for 10 mins to cool completely before removing the cake from pan.
8. To remove cake from pan, run a thin bladed knife or a palette knife around the side of the pan and center core, release the cake and run the knife along the base of the pan to remove cake.