Sunday, June 8, 2014

Driscoll's Strawberry Shortcake

This is an elaborate version of the summer favorite, strawberry shortcake. It involves the making of the Genoise (Italian sponge cake), strawberry compote, custard, lemon curd and whipped cream and simple sugar syrup.


1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp (100 gm)  sifted cake-flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp of grated lemon zest
3 egg white, room temperature
3 egg yolk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (100gm) sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease a pullman pan with spam. Set pan aside.
Sift cake flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
Beat the yolks with an electric mixer until pale yellow. Gradually add sugar 1 Tbsp at a time and continue beating for about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and beat for another 1 minute.

In the meantime beat egg white, cream of tartar with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks but not dry.

Stir 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the sponge cake batter to lighten it. Then gently fold the remainder of the egg whites. Pour into  prepared pan and bake, in the lower third of the oven for about 20 minutes until golden in color. The cake should spring back when center is gently pressed with your finger.

Let cake cool down in the pan for 5 minutes. Unmold and let it dry out overnight on the counter.

Strawberry compote:

4 cups of strawberry roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1 Tbsp a fruity liqueur

Add sugar, strawberry, ginger, lemon juice,salt in a pan on low heat and cook strawberries until disintegrated. This may take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, let cool before adding liqueur.

For the custard:

3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp cornflour
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 lemon curd, preferably homemade

Beat the egg yolks, sugar, conflour, all-purposed flour and vanilla until well combined. Bring the milk to boil in a microwave. Add slowly to the egg yolk mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface with a piece of cling wrap and let it cool.

To Macerate the strawberry:

In a bowl, add 2 cups of sliced strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix and refrigerate until liquid oozes out.

Make simple syrup:

In a glass bowl, add 1/2 sugar to 1/2 cup of water. Cook for 1 or 2  minutes until sugar dissolves.  Add you favorite liqueur and set aside.

To assemble Short Cake:

Whip 1/2 a cup of heavy cream with a 1/2 tbsp of sugar until stiff peaks form. In order for the cream to hold up longer on the cake, I used a little gelatin to stiffen the whipped cream. Gelatin must be liquid but not warm when adding to the cream while whisking.

In this recipe I am only using 1/2 of the sponge cake. Cut the halved sponge cake horizontally to create 2 layers. Poke with a bamboo skewer and brush the layer with simple syrup.

Turn the brown side of the cake down on a serving plate. Sprinkle some of the juices from the macerated strawberries. Add a thin layer of strawberry compote, followed by a thin layer of custard and lemon curd spread. Spread a layer of whipped cream about 1/2 inch thick. Top layer with macerated strawberries.
Before topping the other sponge layer, sprinkle with strawberry juice, spread some strawberry compote followed by custard and lemon curd. Top this layer on the first filled layer.
Mix a little whipped cream with the custard and lemon curd. Crumb coat the cake by  lightly icing the cake with the whipped cream, lemon curd mixture.
Refrigerate for about 5 to 10 minutes until icing is set.

Take a quarter or less cup of cold custard and add 3 Tbsps of more of the lemon curd. Combine well.

Spread a thin layer of lemon curd and custard mixture on the sponge cake. Decorate the cake to your liking.
Refrigerate and serve cold.