Friday, April 6, 2007

Strawberry Shortcake

This shortcake is just a big mess of cake, strawberries, and whipped cream, piled as high as possible. The cake is perfect for shortcake however, because it holds up well to strawberry juice. It absorbs it without becoming mushy. It also just tastes really good - imagine a good homemade version of those scary little bowl-shaped cakes they sell next to the strawberries in the produce aisle at your grocery store.

I have made this shortcake with both all-purpose flour and cake flour, without noticing a difference. I have also made it in both 8" and 9" pans, and both worked well (the 9" cakes were obviously a bit flatter - the cakes in the photo were made in 9" pans with all-purpose flour).

Strawberry Shortcake:

- 1/2 cup soft salted butter
- 1 cup sugar, plus some for sweetening the strawberries and whipped cream
- 1 1/2 cups flour (see above)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, plus a dash for the whipped cream
- heaping 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs
- about 2-3 pounds of strawberries
- about a pint of whipping cream

Oven to 350 degrees. Two cake pans greased and floured, 8" or 9".

Beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each until just mixed. Add dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with wet ingredients, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Pour into pans and bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for ten minutes, then remove from pans to cool completetly.

Clean and chop strawberries. Sprinkle with sugar and set aside.

Beat whipping cream with vanilla and sugar to taste.

Assemble cake with whipped cream and strawberries as desired, serve, then continue adding more strawberries and whipped cream; eat until you hurt.

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