I can’t quite believe I’d never tried a strawberry shortcake until last week. I’m not sure how that happened. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect, as the first one I tried was one I made myself. The shortcake part itself was the bit I wasn’t sure about. It’s not a shortbread biscuit, and it’s not a cake, but looking at a number of recipes, it seemed to be remarkably similar to a scone recipe, so that’s what I ended up making essentially: a giant scone filled with ripe strawberries and whipped cream. I made a few adaptations on recipes I saw; namely by making the shortcake a little sweeter and filling it with whipped double cream rather than whipping cream – I like the extra thickness of the cream. This is, possibly the most simple and pretty summer dessert to make – great for afternoon tea or a light, seasonal way to finish an evening meal. I’m hooked on strawberry shortcake already!
For the shortcake
225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt 60g butter
30g caster sugar plus
30g for sprinkling
1 large free-range egg, beaten
For the filling
300ml double cream, whipped
50g icing sugar, sifted
200g strawberries, washed, hulled and thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease and line an 8″ round loose-based cake tin.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the first 30g of sugar.
Make a well in the centre of the bowl and pour in the milk and egg. Mix gently until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined.
Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth down evenly using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. The mixture may be stiff, but do try and make sure it evenly covers the base of the tin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and lightly browned. Once baked, allow to cool in the tin for around 15 minutes and allow to cool fully on a wire rack.
Once the shortcake is cooled, slice in half around the middle to create a top and a bottom. Fill with whipped cream (stir the icing sugar into it first) and top with sliced strawberries.
Serve sliced immediately. Eat within 24 hours.