My lovely sister visited me a couple of weekends ago, and while she was here we decided to make shortcake! She'd made it before, but I'd never even eaten a real shortcake before. I find that most of the time you see it in a restaurant, grocery store or bakery, it's actually angel food cake served with strawberries. Very different!
Shortcake is actually made with a dough. It looks like bread dough. You mush it into a pan and it's lumpy and not very pretty when it comes out. But it still somehow looks delicious and perfect.
You're supposed to cut this (very thin) cake in half and layer it with whipped cream and fruit. We decided it would be difficult to do (plus we were tired and just wanted some cake), so we didn't. It kept a lot better that way.
I didn't take photos of the whole process because we were also busy making dinner when we made it, but here's what it looked like when we were done!
It's really a simple and lovely cake. Very filling, too, so you can get quite a few servings out of one cake!
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cold butter or margarine, cut into pieces
2/3 cup milk
2 pints strawberries (about 7 cups whole)
1 cup whipping cream
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease 8-inch round cake pan. In medium bowl, combine flour, 3 tbsp sugar, baking powder, and salt. With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk just until mixture forms soft dough that leaves side of bowl. On lightly floured surface, knead dough 10 times. With floured hands, pat evenly into cake pan and sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar. Bake until golden, about 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, reserve 4 whole strawberries for garnish; hull remaining strawberries and cut in half or in quarters. In medium bowl, toss strawberries with remaining 1/2 cup sugar until sugar has dissolved.
Invert shortcake onto surface. With long serrated knife, cut shortcake horizontally in half. In bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream just until soft peaks form.
Place bottom half of shortcake, cut side up, on cake plate; top with half the strawberry mixture and half the whipped cream. Place remaining shortcake, cut side down, on strawberry mixture. Spoon remaining strawberry mixture over, then top with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with reserved whole strawberries.
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