Every summer must have a strawberry shortcake. One of my sons would ask me to make one as soon as strawberries became more plentiful, and this is the recipe I have always used. It is firmer than a sponge and is a very good base for strawberries and cream. It looks good too!
You will need a straight-sided 20cm (8in) shallow cake tin - preferably loose base.
- 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
- 110g (4oz) butter or hard margarine
- 110g (4oz) caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- grated rind ½ lemon or 1 teaspoon
- vanilla extract
- Filling and topping
- 450g (1lb) strawberries
- 300ml (½ pt) double cream
Line the base of the tin with greaseproof paper and grease it.
Heat the oven to Gas 5 /190C .
Sieve the flour and salt, rub in the fat and stir in the sugar. Beat the eggs together with the vanilla or lemon zest and mix them in to make a stiff dropping consistency.
Spread in the the tin and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until it is golden brown and firm.
Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
Reserve 8 best strawberries for decoration (don’t remove the hulls) and slice the rest. Whip the cream to soft peak.
Slice the cake across. On the top slice, using a large piping nozzle pipe 8 rosettes around the edge and one in the centre. If you don’t have a piping bag and nozzle, just use a teaspoon. Spread the remaining cream over the other half of the cake and cover with the sliced strawberries.
Put the top in place and position the reserved strawberries on the cream rosettes.
Dredge with icing sugar if you like.
Note: this can be made more economical by using fewer strawberries and a little less cream.
The unfilled cake freezes very well, so think of baking two and keep one for another time.