1-2TbspsCointreaualternatively, Grand Marnier or Rum
For the shortcake
Preheat your oven to 355 degrees F.
Combine the milk and butter microwave 15-20seconds to melt the butter. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. As you noticed the stiff peaks forming, add the sugar in 2-3 portions while continuing to beat the egg whites.
Once all of the sugar has been added, continue beating the egg whites and add egg yolks, one at a time and continue beating. Watch as the color turns from a darker yellow to a more pastel yellow (like the color of a peep – [Easter candy]!)
Add the vanilla extract and the milk butter mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Use a large spatula to gradually fold in the flour in 2-3 portions, once all the flour has been mixed in transfer to a cake pan lined with parchment on the bottom and the sides. Use a toothpick or chopstick to even out the surface if needed.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until it appears gold in color. Use a toothpick test if youre unsure, when it comes out clean it’s done.
Allow to cool on a wire rack and the slice in half.
For the whipped cream
Combine the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract and whip in the stand mixer using a wired whisk. Set aside.
For the syrup
Mix the sugar in the water and microwave 5-10 seconds to help dissolve. Add in liqueur and set aside.
Using a spoon or pastry brush, generously add the syrup to each layer of cake. If you dont have the rough side (cut side up) you can poke holes with a fork to help the syrup get absorbed by the cake.
Place one layer of cake on the bottom of a plate or cake turner, layer with whipped cream and top with the sliced strawberries. Optional to add another layer of whipped cream on top.
Place the second cake layer on top (and repeat if using third and fourth layers). Once you add the top layer of cake, add a layer of whipped cream, along with whole strawberries, blueberries and Christmas decorations as you’d like.
Serve immediately and enjoy with some hot Japanese tea!