Sunday, May 23, 2010

Everyday Yumminess: Perfect Strawberry Shortcake

When I little, my birthday cake every year was Strawberry Shortcake. I think this was due in part to my aversion to the (nasty) sweetened coconut that decorated so many kids' cakes, but also in part to having a June birthday, when strawberries are irresistible. My mom can maybe chime in in the comments to let us know if it was also due in part to the love of a certain cartoon character... (Cool-Emily hopes not, but Dork-Emily wouldn't be surprised...) I'd never made Strawberry Shortcake before, but I'm planning to make it for friends next month and figured I'd better practice. I turned to Smitten Kitchen, because the good blogger over there has yet to let me down, and this recipe was no exception... The best part is that it's a super-simple food processor dough, so even a reluctant baker like me can succeed easily. The only odd thing about the dough is the use of hard boiled egg yolks rather than eggs. I guess this is to keep there from being too much liquid? I don't know, but the shortcakes rocked, so apparently it works...
Into the dry ingredients go some cold (Amish) butter and some (optional) lemon zest. I used a bit more zest than was called for, and ended up with a really nice lemon accent that I do not regret...
A little cream is added, and a bit of pulsing transforms the mixture into a dough...
The dough is patted out into a 3/4" - 1" thick round which you're supposed to cut into wedges, but which I cut into little circles instead.
The recipe produced about 6 pretty rounds and 4 janky ones (from where I pushed the extra back together... tasted great, but didn't rise as prettily when they baked...). After chilling for 20 minutes, the cakes are brushed with cream, sprinkled with a little sugar, and tossed in the oven.
After rising and browning, they're good to go.
Check out this lovely interior:
That's some high-quality baking right there. Heh. Anyway, all that remains is to slice up some strawberries, to be tossed with lemon juice and a little sugar, and whip some cream...
With minimal effort (which was a requirement after the kitchen fiascoes that preceded it...), you have yourself the perfect summer dessert...
(I added a little strawberry coulis in that second picture since I didn't let my strawberries macerate for as long as I would have liked...) I almost didn't make this because I was so tired and cranky by the time I was ready to start the prep, but I'm really really glad that I did... and that I have ample leftovers... So very good. Light, delicious, summery... If you've got strawberries sitting around that need an application, I highly recommend this one...

3 comments:

Mom said...

There was no love for the cartoon character at the Meyer home! June is always a great month for fresh Oregon grown strawberries! I had forgotten that we made cakes sans coconut for you. What a perfect alternative! Yum!

emmo said...

That's a relief... =D

I guess this tradition worked out nicely for you, too, since it spared you from having to slave away over elaborate rabbit-shaped cakes every year! =)

oko said...

Delicious appearance. Probably, tasty ...