Sunday, December 25, 2011

To Holidays and Family Bondings!

Christmas is finally here!

I've been busy these past few weeks. Work, ameobiasis, and the holiday fever had bogged me down and I haven't found the time to update this journal or to even do anything artistic. Fortunately, I was able to take a day of rest two days before the 25th. A day of doing nothing but rest really does some wonders to one's physical and mental health. By the time December 24th arrived I was well enough to bake a cake.

And what a wonderful cake it is! (baked by me)

I have always been fascinated with how the Japanese spent their Christmas holidays. Strawberry cream short cakes have always been featured in different Japanese movies, dramas and animations during the December season. The cakes always looked yummy in photos and videos and I would stare at them with drool trailing from my mouth. Oh how I wanted to taste those cakes! Since these baked delights are not readily available here in the Philippines (strawberries are quite expensive here in Manila), I vowed that one day I would venture out to make my own version of the famed Japanese strawberry shortcake.

Strawberries ready to be used.

I found a helpful blog called Rachael from lafujimama had posted a detailed step by step recipe. She even posted pictures! I followed most of the instructions although I did a shortcut by using a ready-made cake mix from the grocery. I bought the ingredients early in the morning and made the cake soon after lunch time. I finished baking by five in the afternoon. I froze the cake in the freezer after that so it would be ready when the time for Noche Buena came around.

I layered the cake and put whipped cream and strawberries in between.

Filipinos usually spend the evening of December 24th dining with family members. We call this event as ‘Noche Buena’. I don’t know if we learned it from the Spaniards when they settled here in our lands four hundred years ago. All I know is that it’s a Christmas tradition that had been passed on through the generations.

This is by far the best cake I have ever baked!

Every year I usually bake something special for my family. I did a batch of cream puffs last year and I wanted to make this year's Noche Buena a little bit more special. My strawberry cream cae became the crowning glory of the evening. After a round of great pizza, tacos, chicken, and potato wedges, my family wanted to eat something sweet.

Awesome cake looked yummy and tasted yummy <3

And they enjoyed my cake! My dad said it was really delicious! It really warmed my heart hearing those words. It makes all my hard work worth it! The sponge cake tasted just right and complimented the sweetness of the cream and the tartness of the strawberries. This definitely one of my favorites. Its quite hard to do though so I'll probably make these cakes only on special occasions.

So here's to having a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday! I hope everyone would have a fun time this December 25th!

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