Ah, the longing for warmer days has to be hitting everyone else as much as it is me right? This winter weather has me out of sorts because I can't seem to get a reading on what season it is in my little corner of the world; we seem to be running between Winter, Spring and Summer all in the course of the last few days and seriously, as much as i can't stand a hot Summer's day, i would much rather at this point have just that.
With all this yearning for warmer weather, I can't help but want one of the desserts I think is a Summer classic and that is a strawberry shortcake; it is moist, fruit filled and makes your taste buds sing. I love this recipe because it is one of those that I can pretty much whip up in a heart beat and once the cake is cooled you can pretty much run wild with how you set up your fruit and what kind of fruit you choose to use.
For my cake base I use a four ingredient British sponge cake recipe.Yep you read that right four ingredients and you are on your way to baking a moist sponge cake. The cake is filled with a fresh strawberry and strawberry glaze and iced with a whipped icing, topped with fresh strawberries. So, without much ado let's get down to the fun stuff.
FOR THE CAKE
4 large eggs
226 grams granulated sugar
226 grams self rising flour ( Add a tsp of baking powder to all purpose flour if you don't have any self rising flour)
226 grams salted butter
FOR THE WHIPPED ICING
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
1 small box instant white chocolate pudding mix
1/3 cup powdered sugar
FOR THE FILLING AND DECORATIONS
2 16 oz packs of strawberries
1 container strawberry glaze
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 round cake tins preferably 8 inch rounds and set the mixing bowl and whisks you will be using for the whipped icing in the freezer to chill
2. Using a mixer combine your butter and sugar and mix until it is light and fluffy making sure to scrape down the sides;
3. Add the eggs one at a time ensuring that each one is properly mixed in;
4. Add in the flour and remember to add baking powder if you are opting to not use self raising flour; the mixture at this stage shouldn't be too dry but if it is add in a couple of tablespoons of milk one at a time;
5. Pour batter into pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes; until golden brown; or until skewer comes out clean when cake is tested;
6.While your cake bakes wash and chop your strawberries for the filling; i prefer larger pieces to ensure a proper bite. Mix with a few spoonfuls of the glaze and refrigerate;
7. While your cake cools, pull out your chilled mixing bowl and whisks from the freezer and add the heavy cream' Whip on high until soft peaks form; this is essentially when you are able to lift out your whisk and the cream can hold its shape briefly. Add the powdered sugar and continue to mix on high and before you get to the stiff peaks stage which is where the whip can hold its shape without loosing it, add the instant white chocolate pudding mix. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you mix and do not over mix lest you inadvertently end up with butter.
8. Pipe a ring of icing around the bottom cake layer and spread the strawberry filling. Stack the second layer and cover entirely with icing. Decorate the top and sides with strawberries to suit you.
Wishing you all things sweet,