Oh, and did I tell you (for anyone not lucky enough to have any of these beauties in the house), they smell delicious? Apparently of strawberries... you know, that kind of strawberry that candy tastes of... the bright red candy that can only come from a zillion E numbers and that is likely to give your kids the ability to climb walls.
Anyways, as I brushed the sleep from my eyes on Sunday morning, I was greeted with my eldest wielding said doll about an inch from my nose, declaring 'Mummy, want to play Strawberry Shortcake? You can be Plum'... my insides shrivelled... another day lost to the joys of Strawberry Shortcake...
Then, I had an even better idea (escape plan)... why not make a Strawberry Shortcake???... as in the dessert (not the doll). The fridge is brimming with strawberries at the moment... I'm a sucker for the BOGOF deals (buy-one-get-one-free), so this gave me the perfect opportunity to use some up and, thus, get the hubby off my back about wasting money and free some much needed space in the fridge.... The cherry on top, though, was that my daughter was super-excited about the prospect of actually eating strawberry shortcake... I then explained that we wouldn't be putting the actual Strawberry Shortcake doll in the cake... it did take a bit of the shine off the idea for her, but the deal was done!
Now, to me, when all's said and done, a Strawberry Shortcake looks a lot like a Victoria Sponge (well mine did, as I only had two of the required three cake tins)... but let's not argue about semantics... I'm in America now, so I'll call it a strawberry shortcake. So, I set about whipping this up... a lot of sugar.... oodles of cream... fresh strawberries... how bad can this be??? The end result was a ruddy big cake!! It definitely put the weeny Victoria Sponge cake in its shadow... this monster was H-U-G-E!! I hope the kids like eating cake... all summer long... Which leads me to ponder, if Strawberry Shortcake were actually modelled on this sugary dessert, shouldn't she have the proportions of the Jolly Green Giant!!!
So, if you have the local neighbourhood coming over for a sweet bite, you should give this a bash!
Take care all!
Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
1 1/2 cups of self-raising flour
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups of sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (softened)
4 large eggs
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling
2 cups of whipping cream
1/4 cup of vanilla sugar
4 cups of ripe strawberries, stem removed and quartered
2 tablespoons of sugar
MethodPreheat the oven to 350F
Grease and lightly flour 2 x 9 inch cake tins and line the bottom with grease-proof paper. (To make an authentic strawberry shortcake use 3 x cake tins)
In a small bowl combine the flours.
In a large bowl cream the butter until smooth, using an electric mixer on a medium speed.
Slowly add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the flours, alternating with the milk and the vanilla essence. Make sure they are all mixed together, but don't over beat... Just to make sure it's all mixed together, scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula and give it one last stir!
Divide the cake batter between the cake tins and pop in the oven for approximately 30 mins or until a cake tester comes out clean, when inserted into the middle.
Leave the cakes to cool in the tin for an hour and then remove, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Toss the strawberries in the 2 tablespoons of sugar and set aside.
Whip the cream up with sugar, using an electric whisk on a medium speed. When the cream mixture forms stiff peaks, stir in the prepared strawberries.
Take one of the cooled cakes and spread with strawberry jam, then spread the cream and strawberry mixture on top of the jam.
Top with the second cake... it's looking pretty big now, eh?
Lightly dust the top of the cake with confectioners sugar...
Bobs-your-uncle... a ruddy big cake!