Believe it or not, a Christmas cake is a typically Japanese concept. In fact, it is necessary to have a Christmas cake, on the day of Christmas, in Japan. The Christmas cake was said to become popular in Japan during the 1970’s.
It is believed that the first Christmas cake in Japan was made way back in 1910. However, back then, it was just a simple plum cake decorated with silver balls and fondant. Later, in 1922, a short cake was introduced instead of a plum cake. After that, the Christmas cake in Japan was associated with a short cake.
From 1965, Christmas was a largely celebrated event or festival in Japan and a Christmas cake became an essential item on the dining table of every family during the event. However, the trend became more popular after 1970. At first, the Christmas cake type was sponge covered with butter cream but as time passed people use fresh cream, chocolate cream and even ice cream on the cakes. If you want to know how to bake a Japanese Christmas cake, here’s how:
Ingredients (Sponge Cake)
• 1 Cup All-purpose Flour
• 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
• 2 eggs
• ½ Cup of Milk
• 2 Tablespoon of Butter
• 1 Cup of Sugar
First, take two eggs; they must be at room temperature. Then, grease a round nine inch cake tin. After this, mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl and keep it aside. Pre-heat the oven at around 350°. Take an electric mixer and at high speed, beat the eggs for around four minutes. Use a timer for this as this sets the texture of the cake.
After this, pour in the sugar little by little as you beat the eggs, this time keep the mixer on medium speed. Beat this mixture for five minutes, again, use a timer. After this time, the mixture will become frothy and light. Then, take the butter and milk in a pan and heat it till the butter melts, add this mixture to the eggs and add the flour and baking powder mixture as well.
Combine everything together properly till smooth and pour it into the cake tin. (You can also add a few drops of vanilla essence or extract in the if you think the egg smell is too much to handle)
Place the tin in the middle of the oven and bake for around 20 to 25 minutes. After this, to check if the cake is done, put a tooth pick or knife into the centre, to see if it comes out clean. Then, let it cool.
For the cream icing, whip together, three or four tablespoons of powdered sugar, two cups of heavy cream and half a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Whip till it becomes stiff. As soon as it is done cover loosely with plastic and refrigerate till used. Ice the cake only once it cools otherwise the icing w ill melt.
Slice the cake in half but if you are using two cakes then this won’t be necessary. Place one layer and cover the top with whipped cream and smooth it out. Arrange some fresh strawberries on it. Place the top layer carefully on it and cover it with cream. Cover the entire cake, top and sides, with cream and smooth it out. On top you can place some fresh strawberries or marzipan or chocolate, and it will be ready to serve.