I remember, as a child, my Mother buying those little sponge cake cups, that are always close to the strawberries, in the produce section of the market, in order to make strawberry shortcake; and I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy them, because I did. However, I actually prefer true shortcake to a sponge cake, and I prefer to make and serve this dessert, as a sliced cake, with sauce on the side.
You can make this dessert with frozen strawberries, but it is so much better with fresh berries; and I like real whip cream, which is easy to make and delicious to eat!
1- 2 baskets of Strawberries – washed, with most sliced
½ cup of Sugar
2 cups of Flour
3 teaspoons of Baking Powder
⅓cup of Sugar
½ teaspoon of Salt
¾ cup of Milk
½ cup of Butter
Wash strawberries in a colander, being sure to discard any that are spoiled. In a medium size bowl, sprinkle ½ cup of sugar. Slice most of the berries, put them in the bowl, and refrigerate; be sure to reserve five or six of the most beautiful berries to garnish the dish, when you are finished.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch cake pan. In your food processor or a large bowl, with a pastry blender, combine dry ingredients. Cut butter into dry ingredients – with the processor, just give it a couple of spins, you do not want to overmix. Add milk and eggs, stirring for a few more seconds, just until everything is blended. Using a spatula, scrape batter into pan, and bake for 30 minutes, until cake is done.
Cool, cake and then cut into two. Lay the bottom layer on the serving plate, and ladle ¾ of the berries, onto the cake. Top with the other layer, and ice top with whip cream. Decorate with the whole berries.
The strawberries usually release enough juice so that there is a strawberry sauce, which goes with the berries. If the berries appear dry, you can add a couple of tablespoons of water, one at time, to create the needed juice.
You could heat ½ cup of water, in a small sauce pan, and add 2 tablespoons of sugar, bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Let the syrup cool completely, then poor it into the blender with about a ½ cup of berries, you could actually use frozen berries for this, and create a little sauce to drizzle on the cake plates, before putting a piece of cake, on the plate.
1 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
3 -6 tablespoons of Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon of Flavoring Essence, such as vanilla, – if you like
Freeze the bowl and beater or beaters. Most desserts, which I use whip cream for, I whip the cream right before serving. It is a fast and flawless icing, so if you have everything ready – that is the cake is already on a cake stand, the coffee is set to go, sugar in the bowl . . . you can steal away for ten minutes and make whip cream. You can also use evaporated milk, in a pinch, for whip cream, by making sure that you chill the milk well first.
You will sweeten the cream with powdered sugar, and then a few drops of flavoring, such as vanilla or rum or whisky, or orange essence may be added. Begin whipping the cream on high, and slowly add sugar and flavor.