Monday, May 25, 2009
I've been meaning to make a strawberry shortcake for a while now, and finally got around to it this weekend. It was the perfect dessert to bring for a post BBQ meal - it tastes light (it's not really, but the airy whipped cream makes it feel like it is!) and it's pretty quick to make. I omitted the gelatin though - firstly because I didn't have any, but also because a couple of our friends don't eat meat. Made with animal product (think collagen derived from animals' skin and bones) it's really not the nicest thing to slip into a cake when some of your friends are vegetarian. The cake turned out fine without it, and I don't think the gelatin would have added that much more to the texture of the cream.
This is one of those great dessert for big gatherings. It presents very nicely, boosts great summer colors and, most importantly, is delicious.
Strawberry Shortcake (Serves 12), adapted from Martha Stewart
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1 pound strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan, and line with parchment paper. Butter and flour paper and sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture in 3 parts and milk in 2, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined. Spread batter in prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Using a serrated knife, split cake in half horizontally; place bottom half, cut side up, on a serving plate.
Make topping: In a large bowl, combine strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl until very soft peaks form.
Arrange half of strawberries over bottom cake layer; top with half of whipped cream, leaving a 1-inch border. Cover with top half of cake, cut side down. Top cake with remaining whipped cream, leaving a 1-inch border. Refrigerate cake and remaining strawberries separately, at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day). Just before serving, spoon strawberries over cake.