Strawberry season is in full swing! The pick your owns are open and the farmer’s markets are full of ripe, local, bursting with flavour berries. But what is one to do to make the most of these summer treats? I freeze a lot of mine, then use them as ice cubes in frozen drink recipes. I also love eating them fresh with a little whip cream or just a drizzle of honey. And of course… there is strawberry shortcake. Not the cartoon girl with the strawberry dress, the mouth watering dessert! This one is adapted from a recipe from Canadian Chef Riccardo – changed when I couldn’t quite remember what I had seen him do on TV (so many of my meals start out this way…). Here is the original – and here is mine!

Ingredients

3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup water
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 TSP salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup plain yogurt
6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP amaretto (other liquors work well too like triple sec)
2 cups 35% cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 30 x 43-cm (12 x 17-inch) baking sheet with parchment paper, allowing the paper to overhang 2 opposite sides. Butter the paper.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter in the water. Let cool partially.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer until the mixture is thick and falls from the beaters in ribbons. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the butter mixture and the sour cream.

Spread the batter evenly over the baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool partially. Unmould with the paper (to help keep the cake moist). Let cool on a rack.

Trim the edges of the cake to straighten them. Cut into 2 rectangles 30 cm (12 inches) on their longest side.

For filling, in a bowl, toss the strawberries with 2 TBSP sugar and the liquor. Let marinate for about 15 minutes.

In another bowl, whip the cream with the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form.

Lay 1 cake rectangle on a rectangular serving plate, paper side up. Remove the paper. Top with half the whipped cream and strawberries. Cover with the second cake rectangle. Remove the paper. Top with the remaining whipped cream and strawberries. Serve immediately.

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