Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake (and longcake)

Yesterday I met up with my friend E to make some strawberry shortcakes. This was, however, not just a whim. This meet up had been "in the planning" ever since we sat next to each other during the sophomore year STAR test and passed each other drawings of long and tall strawberry shortcakes:
tall strawberry shortcake (strawberry tallcake)
tall shortcake with radioactive shortcake, radioactive mushroom, and  one-legged turkey
long strawberry shortcake (or strawberry longcake)
eating shortcake

giant strawberry+apartment building 
I'm not really sure what was going through our minds at that point, but apparently the STAR tests made us hungry. But anyways, that was when we decided to make strawberry shortcake together. We met up about a year ago with a recipe from Cook's Illustrated to do it, but we accidentally put way too much baking soda into the shortcakes and they tasted horribly metallic. So we met again yesterday (3 days before I leave for college) to wrap up the emptiness of the failed strawberry shortcake. E found a biscuit recipe on Joy of Baking and I got some strawberries and cream and we got down to it.

This time we did not mix up our leaveners and the biscuits were flaky and buttery.

We sliced up the strawberries and let them macerate in their own juice with a teaspoon of sugar, and we added some sugar and vanilla to the hand-whipped cream. (The electric mixer was European and we couldn't find a transformer.)

When the biscuits were cooked, we simply sliced them in half and layered strawberries and whipped cream. The shortcakes were delicious and everyone had seconds (and/or thirds).

To keep with tradition, we made one long biscuit to make a strawberry longcake.

Note: From what I understand shortcakes are called shortcakes because they contain fat (unlike bread) and so do not develop as much gluten which makes them crumbly (they have "short" fibers).