Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day Scratch Cake... Strawberry Shortcake

We planned a potluck picnic at Scarborough Bluffs for Mother's Day with my sister and her family as well as my parents. My sister and I talked about what kinds of foods we wanted to make and bring and we landed on Mediterranean. When we brought up the Mother's Day cake, I knew I wanted to bake one myself, even though there may be challenges to transport it due to its rectangular shape and to keep it cool until after we settle in and eat our meal. I made this Canadian Living Strawberry Shortcake recipe once in the past and it was a hit with my family. Everyone in the families love, I mean LOVE strawberries, so it was an easy choice. Often I like to tweak recipes, but this was perfect as is- not too sweet with cake layers that are spongy and moist, and so full of splendid strawberry flavour! 

Strawberry Shortcake (by Canadian Living) 
Makes 12 servings

1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. grated orange rind
3/4 cup sifted cake and pastry flour (look for this specialty flour in the store's baking section)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
5 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar

1-1/2 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups sliced strawberries

1 tsp (5 mL) icing sugar
whole or sliced strawberries
In saucepan, heat milk and butter over medium heat
until melted
. Stir in orange rind. Keep warm.

In bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Separate three of the eggs, reserving yolks. 

 In another bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Beat in
1/4 cup of the sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time, until soft peaks form.

In separate bowl, beat together egg yolks, remaining eggs and sugar
for about five minutes or until light coloured and thick enough that batter
leaves ribbons on surface for three seconds when beaters are lifted.

Working from centre to edge with rubber spatula,
fold whites into yolk mixture until combined. 

Sift dry ingredients over top; fold in until combined. 

Make well in centre; pour in milk mixture and fold in.

Spread batter in 15- x 11-inch parchment paper-lined baking sheet. 

Bake in centre of 350°F oven for 12 minutes or until golden and 
cake springs back when touched. Let cool in pan on rack.

Filling: In bowl, beat cream with sugar and vanilla for five minutes until whipped cream is formed. Cut cake crosswise into thirds. With flat metal spatula, transfer one of the thirds to a flat serving plate. Mine actually had a snowman on it, but I covered it with doilies- it worked wonderfully!

Spread with half of the whipped cream, then half of the strawberries.

Top with second cake layer; spread with remaining cream, then berries.

Top with last cake layer.To garnish, save some whipped cream for the top or sprinkle with icing sugar
 and top with strawberries. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Basically, to transport it, I stuck three toothpicks along the cake top so with the foil loosely over, it wouldn't touch the icing too much. The cake sat on the car floor with the AC on to keep cool on the way, and luckily my sister had a large diaper box to transport her items, which we emptied and used to store the cake, tucked under our picnic table out of the sun; it kept well until we devoured it three hours later. 

Another version of garnish with sliced strawberries for my mom's 69th birthday!

Cutting the cake after we sang Happy Mother's Day to You!

A cake you make is way better than store-bought since it shows how much you care with going the extra mile in effort! Search for a recipe you're interested in and if you're new at baking, look for one with top reviews and read the comments for extra tips for success, or check out ones with a how-to video which you can bake along!

I hope everyone had a Happy Mother's Day!!

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