Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

When I was younger, I was strictly a Barbie and stuffed animal girl.
No Polly Pockets or Bratz Dolls for me, man.
And I certainly would NOT stand for any Strawberry Shortcake Doll cramping up my style.
I soon had developed a chronically negative connotation for those two words.
Strawberry Shortcake.
To me, I saw only creepy bonnets and pasty freckles. Bleh.
Give me my emaciated Barbie doll, please.
And then, things changed.

As soon as I took my first bite, gone were all traces of the disturbing associations.
I was hooked.
I am hooked.
I love everything about this cake.
The buttery goodness of the shortbread.
The light, fluffy whipped cream.
And of course, the juicy, sweet strawberries.
Seriously, what's not to love?

Strawberry Shortcake (recipe from Food Network Kitchen Favorite Recipes)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Strawberries and Cream
2 pints strawberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the cake pan with parchment paper, and re-butter and lightly flour the entire pan. Whisk together the first four ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Add the last four ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack for ten minutes, then flip the cake out to cool completely.
Save 1 pint of the most attractive strawberries for topping the cake with. With the second half, thinly slice the berries and toss with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Whip the cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl until soft peaks form.
Cut the cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Spread the sliced berries on the bottom half of the cake. Place the top half on top of that. Spread the whipped cream on the top half and plop the whole berries on top of that. Enjoy!

Butter, flour, and line the pan with parchment paper. 

Mix together the dry ingredients.

Melt your butter. I've found that the best way to do this is by melting it so that only a few soft chunks of butter remain. Melt the squishy pieces simply by stirring. This way, you can make sure that the butter doesn't burn.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. 

Stir until combined, then...

Pour into the prepared pan and...

Bake for about 25 minutes.

Turn out onto the rack after 10 minutes. While it is cooling...

Prepare your whipped cream...

And your (blurry) strawberries, then...

Cut the cake in half...

Top the bottom half with strawberries...

Sandwich it all together...

Add a healthy layer of whipped cream...

And top with strawberries! Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment