Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Cake

Christmas in Japan boils down to one main activity--no not opening presents or celebrating the birth of Jesus. It is all about eating Christmas cake. The tradition used to be that the fathers picked up a Christmas cake on their way home from work on Christmas Eve, but with more mothers in the workplace it is common to find them picking a cake up for their families also. Today, I was at the grocery store, and the line at the cake counter was outrageous!
Here is the cake counter:

A 6" cake like this will usually cost you around $25:

The stores really try to get all of the cakes sold by December 25. On December 26th, the cakes will be heavily discounted since no one wants old cake. In fact, there is an insult to woman not married by age 25 here. These unmarried "older" women are referred to as "day-old Christmas cake".

Here is a recipe to make you very own Japanese Christmas cake! If you get good at it, you could move to Japan and make a fortune!
For sponge cake:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 tbsp butter
For topping:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tbsps sugar
Various fruits (strawberries, peaches, cherries, and so on)
Whisk eggs in a bowl. Place the bowl over warm water in another large bowl and whisk further. Add sugar little by little. When the egg mixture becomes light yellow, sift flour and add to the bowl. Mix the flour lightly in the egg mixture.

Mix butter in warm milk. Add mixture of melted butter and milk in the batter and stir gently.
Preheat the oven in 350-degree. Place baking wax papers inside of a round cake pan (18cm). Pour the batter in the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 min. Remove the cake from the pan and cool it on a rack. Cut the cake in half horizontally.

Mix heavy cream and sugar in a bowl. Whip the cream well. Take the half of the whipped cream and mix with chopped fruits. Place the cream on top of a round cake slice. Place another cake slice on top of the cream. Spread the rest of the whipped cream on top and around the cake.
Decorate the cake with colorful fruits and Christmas decorations.



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