Monday, April 20, 2015

Quick and Easy Strawberry Shortcake

The last few weeks have been a strawberry frenzy.  I see strawberries everywhere I go.  I see them at the market, for sale locally, and in about every shopping cart that goes by has a container of strawberries.  I thought, "Is it just me or are people having more cravings for strawberries?"  I don't think it's just me.  Everyone is buying strawberries right now.  I think there's everything to crave about nice plump ripe and red strawberries.  I talked to the kitchen boss, my daughter, Nicole, and she was jumping up and down for strawberry shortcake.  I just love strawberry shortcake.  Great minds think alike.  We decided to have a mother-daughter night and fix our fanciest assortments of strawberry shortcake.

Our first argument about how we wanted our strawberry shortcake was that Nicole wanted the sponge cake cups that were easy to fill.  I didn't want the sponge cake.  I wanted a cake that was lighter and fluffier like angel food cake.  I definitely wanted angel food cake and I tried to get Nicole to agree, but I failed to change Nicole's mind.  We went back and forth arguing in the store.  I ended up settling the fight by buying both the sponge cake and the angel food cake too.

 Strawberry Shortcake with Angel Food Cake

These are the sponge cakes that Nicole fought me to have.  Nicole was very intent that she would make her own strawberry shortcake with sponge cake.  She's ten years old now and she is learning so many new cooking skills. Why not let her take a chance to make her own?  

I really preferred to make strawberry shortcake from scratch.  I would have loved to take my time making a cake, making a strawberry compote, slicing the strawberries and placing them into sugar water, and whipping the cream from original ingredients.  It's quicker to buy all the products pre-made.  I gave in.

Nicole had plans. Buy perfectly pre-made cakes, with pre-made whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Nicole would make her own assortment the way she liked strawberry shortcake.  I was a little curious to see what she would come up with when she made her own strawberry shortcake so I let her.

Store bought Sponge Cakes

Nicole tried to place the sponge cake into a dessert dish.  The rim of the dish was larger than the sponge cake so it didn't quite fit.  The sponge cake was a little bit crumbly.  Two out of six of our sponge cakes virtually fell apart to crumbs.  Sponge cake is difficult to work with.  Nicole placed the strawberry on top trying to get a visual of the space she would need, and how she could arrange strawberry shortcake into layers.

Strawberry Envy

Nicole sliced these strawberries extra thin.  She did it all by herself.

She removed the stems and sliced each strawberry so carefully. 

Here are a few more strawberries to add to the bowl. 

Nicole layered the sponge cake on the bottom and then she used heavy cream and a small ice cream scoop.  She placed some of the sliced strawberries on top.

My daughter is a wonderful cook. She added more cream and more strawberries and then ran off and ate it.  Sorry, I did not get a picture of the final result.  I can promise it was good.

I tried making a strawberry shortcake in a fancy martini glass. I started mine off differently.  The sponge cake would not fit into the angled bottom of the martini glass.  Instead of starting with the sponge cake, first,  I  added the heavy cream for the bottom layer and next, sliced strawberries on top of that.  I measured out my sponge cake and it was too small for the third layer so instead of laying the sponge cake into the cup, I just started pulling the sponge cake into pieces, and topped the sliced strawberries with sponge cake crumbs.

This is a side view of how I am creating layers of strawberry shortcake in a martini glass.

On top of the sponge cake crumbs, I added another layer of heavy cream, and another layer of strawberries.

Here is another side view of my strawberry shortcake layers.

 I added whipping cream on top with a slice of strawberry and garnished with fresh mint.

This is my personal favorite so I saved it for last.  Are you ready for this? It's angel food cake time.  I placed two plain slices of angel food cake onto a plate.

I added a few strawberries on top. 

I added heavy cream and more strawberries on top.  This is what I used for my final presentation.

There were still a few strawberries left over.  We can't let those go to waste.  This is a top view.

I was a little sad that I didn't get to make strawberry shortcake from scratch, but it was a fun activity to make strawberry shortcake with my daughter.  I didn't even write a recipe for this.  It's not really a recipe.  It's just a way of arranging a strawberry shortcake.  When ingredients are pre-made this delicious, it seems like there's no wrong way to arrange a strawberry shortcake.  Not only is strawberry shortcake absolutely stunning to look at, it's also scrumptious to eat. 

The only things that did not work out right was that the sponge cake became hard overnight.  If store bought sponge cake is used, consider using it immediately.  Don't wait until the next day.  You might have a sponge dog biscuit if you wait until the next day.  The rest probably won't stay good. 

The angel food cake held it's shape and structure and remained soft the next day.  I still think angel food cake is the best to make strawberry shortcake with, but trying to convince my stubborn daughter is a difficult task... We both like to hold out and argue to the bitter end. I try to keep her happy.  Even though the sponge cake didn't work out that great, I will still get her more if that is what she prefers.  I think Nicole was very happy.  Strawberry shortcake is definitely kid approved.

Thank you for reading my blog and following along. More to follow...

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