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Delicious Japanese strawberry shortcake

Fresh strawberries, topped with whipped cream… What could be better? Japanese strawberry shortcake combines these tasty ingredients, and adds an incredibly light and fluffy sponge. This variety of shortcake has been popular in Japan since the 1960s.

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It may come as a surprise to the Japanese to learn that shortcake actually does not comprise of sponge layers. The name shortcake was derived from “shortening”, which means butter, lard or other fat used for making non-elastic pastry. In Elizabethan times “short” was a synonym of “crumbly”. The great playwright Shakespeare even mentioned a girl called Alice Shortcake in “The Merry Wives of Windsor” (first published in 1602), although there was no reference to the dessert in the play.

However, the American version of strawberry shortcake uses sponges as well as biscuits. Of course, purists say that a real one uses only dense, rich biscuit, which perfectly absorbs the berry juice and cream, preventing the cake from getting messy (as you can see in the picture below).

image (2)While Americans regard strawberry shortcake as a summer classic, Japanese strawberry shortcake is often sold at Christmas time and is often called a Christmas cake. White and red colors naturally remind us of snow and Santa’s hat. Some people consider it to be an ideal birthday cake or cake for children since it is not too sweet, and doesn’t contain any chocolate.

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Article by Olga Kaneda

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