Thursday, October 6, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

So. I told you I'd try the damned chocolate macarons again. Guess how many batches I threw away?


I was so angry I was wasting ingredients but I really didn't know what I was doing wrong. My third batch came out perfect, but the ganache required almond extract which tasted DISGUSTING and completely spoiled all the macarons.

I tried making a new batch but my macarons cracked even when I cranked down the oven temperature and stuck a wooden spoon by the oven door to prevent overheating. Ugh. It's okay. I.Do.Not.Admit.Defeat.

Putting such a disheartening feat aside, the boy's birthday was yesterday and I wanted to surprise him during jamming with a strawberry shortcake!

Mmmm strawberries

Add 3 tbsp sugar and let sit for 30 minutes.
When you are macerating the strawberries, you have to remember the syrup that it produces is going to be very sweet and you're going to pour it all over the cake. Therefore I suggest reducing the sugar in the cake or the icing! Learnt this the hard way by the way. Sigh.

Here's your very brown cake but don't worry, all is good on the inside. Don't judge a cake by it's outside. Or something. Lame attempt at a joke. Ha ha.

Your cake in all it's nakedness and cake tester hole.
Half the cake when it's cooled and slather your macerated strawberries on each half, juices and all.

So pretty! I was supposed to mash the strawberries but I cut them up into perfect little cubes instead.

Let the strawberry syrup seep through your cake!

Throw cream cheese and butter in a bowl for your icing.

Whip your icing because it has been a very bad, bad icing.

Put 1/3 of the icing on each half, and the last 1/3 all around the sides.

Keeping the cake's simplicity with a simple message!
Hope you liked your little surprise Malcolm! So glad I caught you completely unaware, teehee.

Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1-1/2 cup Flour
3 Tablespoons Corn Starch
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
9 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
1-1/2 cup Sugar
3 whole Large Eggs
1/2 cup Sour Cream, Room Temperature
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 pound Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
2 sticks Unsalted Butter
1 pound Powdered Sugar, Sifted (originally was half a pound more, but it was toooooo sweet!)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pound Strawberries

According to The Pioneer Woman:

Preheat oven to 176C.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to use a cake pan that’s at least 2 inches deep! Before baking, the batter should not fill the pan more than halfway.
Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and corn starch.
Cream 9 tablespoons butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well each time. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just barely combined.
Pour into greased and floured 8-inch cake pan. Bake at 176C for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from cake pan as soon as you pull it out of the oven, and place on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.
Stem strawberries and slice them in half from bottom to top. Place into a bowl and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir together and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, mash the strawberries in two batches. Sprinkle each half with 1 tablespoons sugar and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.
Make icing: combine cream cheese, 2 sticks butter, sifted powdered sugar, vanilla, and dash of salt in a mixing bowl. Mix until very light and fluffy.
Slice cake in half through the middle. Spread strawberries evenly over each half (cut side up), pouring on all the juices. Place cake halves into the freezer for five minutes, just to make icing easier.
Remove from freezer. Use a little less than 1/3 of the icing to spread over the top of the strawberries on the bottom layer. Place the second layer on top. Add half of the remaining icing to the top spreading evenly, then spread the remaining 1/3 cup around the sides.
Leave plain OR garnish with strawberry halves.
IMPORTANT: Cake is best when served slightly cool. The butter content in the icing will cause it to soften at room temperature. For best results, store in the fridge!

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