Saturday, July 23, 2011

Simple Strawberry Shortcake

To me nothing says summer like Strawberry Shortcake . 
I love fresh picked strawberries alone but when homemade whipped cream and a freshly baked sponge cake come together (mmmm) it sure takes me back to to my childhood. I even got my 9yr. old to try this-he has an aversion to berry's. Not that he's allergic I think it's a textural thing with him and maybe the fact that they are better for him than a chocolate bar anyway... after giving this a try he's hooked.

I don't have anything against the cream in a can or a frozen tub but there is something about whipping it up yourself. I had someone ask me how to make whip cream topping for a desert the other day so I'm posting what I do. 
Very important to have a clean, cool bowl and cold cream.
Pour whipped cream into a bowl and begin whipping on med speed. Once it begins to thicken and shows soft peaks add about 3 Tablespoons of Powdered Sugar. Certainly add more if it's isn't sweet enough to your liking.

Very Simple-Whipping Cream and 3-4 Tablespoons of Powdered Sugar.

Achieving stiff peaks-keep your eye on it, It can changed very quickly to a thick blob if you over mix. I will usually stop the mixer and pull the beater out to see if it is the right consistency. Dip the beater a couple of times into the cream if your peaks stay firm and not deflate you are doing good.
Not quite there-keep mixing another 3 minutes or so

For this Recipe I made my own sponge cake. I like to bake it in a rectangle 9 x 13inch pan. After it's cooled I use a biscuit cutter to cut circles to place in a desert dish.

Pre-heat oven 375
Butter and flour your 9x13 pan
5 large eggs
2 Tablespoons lemon or Orange juice                                          
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 Cups all purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Cup of melted salted butter-not hot-
Beat Eggs until light and fluffy-about 5 minutes
add lemon juice slowly add sugar.
In a large bowl combine flour and baking powder and give it a good whisk.
Pour egg mixture into the flour. Takes a little time but fold together.
Now fold in butter trying not to over mix. You want the batter to stay light.
Pour into pan and bake 20-30min.

If you don't have the time to bake up a cake there are other alternatives like the pre-baked sponge cake shells usually found in the fruit section of your grocery store or I've used frozen pound cake and just slice it up which is quick and easy. I have also used regular refrigerator biscuits, sprinkle them with a little granulated sugar before baking,  makes a great alternative to baking a whole cake.

Once you have decide what cake or biscuit you'd like to use now it is time to make your Strawberry Sauce.

4 Cups of fresh hulled strawberries placed in a 4 quart pot. Add 1/2 Cup water and 3/4Cup granulated Sugar.
Stir and bring the mixture to a full boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes until it becomes thick. It will also thicken some as it cools down.
Now to assemble. Alternate your cake with the Strawberry syrup. To me the best part is having enough syrup so it soaks into the the cake making it moist and well it just makes it simply delicious . Oh and if it's still warm even better!

Top with your whip cream and extra strawberries.

I think I'm going to have one now!

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