Monday, May 31, 2010

strawberry shortcake!!!!!!!!!!!

My Zaida's favourite dessert is strawberry shortcake. My mom used to make it occasionally when she had my grandparents and other family over for dinner. Sort of. Her version of strawberry shortcake, though not exactly loyal to the true definition, was a delicious pile of thickly sliced Sara Lee frozen pound cake with sliced strawberries and vanilla and icing sugar sweetened whipped cream. All my life I grew up thinking this was all there was to it. Deep down, though, I knew... I knew there must be a whole other world to shortcake that delved deeper into the realm of the "made from scratch".
Don't get me wrong. I love Sara Lee pound cake. It's convenient, can be served almost directly out of the freezer, and can be modified in a myriad ways for all kinds of desserts. But once I did a little digging, I found out exactly what I had been missing all those years, and learned precisely why strawberry shortcake is my Zaida's very favourite.
A friend of mine clued me in to Recipezaar, a user supported site where readers can submit recipes, rate others they have used, and offer suggestions and modifiers. My friend suggested that I search the recipe I was looking for and then scan the results for ones that had high ratings and had been tried lots of times. The one I found was for "Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake". It's a very simple recipe that can be whipped out (*pun intended) in relatively little time. I learned why it's called shortcake. A few basic ingredients and some handmade love and you'll be enjoy a beautiful classic dessert in no time at all.
Make sure you've got plenty of strawberries. I ate quite a few as I baked and it would have been quite sad if I didn't have enough to make the pretty border on top at the very end. I prepared everything in the afternoon and then went out to run some errands. I was able to quickly assemble it at the end of dinner and after some minor spillage (my kitchen is on a slant and a bunch of the strawberry juice went running off the bottom layer, down the side of the plate and onto the table), the cake was brought out to applause and birthday singing.
The coolest part, in my opinion, is the way the actual cake is made, before any of the assembly happens. Work flour, salt, baking powder, and butter together with your hands until it resembles a coarse meal. Form the meal into a dough ball and divide it in half. Roll each half out into a round shape the size of a spring form pan. Butter the pan and drop one of the rounds into it. Brush the top with melted butter. Place the second round directly on top of the first. Bake the two together and when they come out and cool a bit, you can take them apart and set them aside to assemble the layers. I was so excited and in a bit of a rush (with floury, buttery fingers) and so I didn't get process shots of this part, but the baker who uploaded the recipe took some great ones.

*** Caption Contest***
"Please... no more cake... it's just too delicious"

1 comment:

  1. lovely cake! It's definitely that time of year. And the family photo is great, too. : )