January 21, 2012

Grandma Yo-Yo's 90th Birthday Strawberry Shortcake

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Today is my grandmother's 90th birthday, so I made her a cake. A strawberry shortcake (well, sponge cake, if you want to get technical). It was easy-peasy to put together, too. It's just sponge cake, whipped cream, and strawberry filling. The whipped cream and strawberry filling I made myself, but you can use store bought. You can use jam or frozen strawberries or fresh strawberries, too. You can even use a mix to make the sponge cake. The important part is that it was made with love for a very important person: my Grandma Yo-Yo.

It's snowing like crazy today, so this is a nice, bright, summery treat for a very special day.

  Love you, Gram!

Grandma Yo-Yo's Birthday Strawberry Shortcake
Yield: 1 cake

For the cake
1 1/4 cup self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the filling 
1 pkg frozen strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. fruity balsamic vinegar (optional)

For the whipped cream
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour, or line with parchment paper, two 9 inch cake tins. Mix together flour and baking powder and set aside. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and mix until fully combined. Divide the batter equally between the two cake tins and bake for 23-25 minutes, until the middle of the cake springs back when touched. Let cool completely on wire racks.

For the filling: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium until the mixture starts to bubble, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until the mixture has thickened. Let cool completely.

For the whipped cream: Whip the cream on medium speed until it gets frothy. Stream in the sugar and vanilla extract. Increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form.

To assemble: Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake board. Spread about half the strawberry filling on top. Add about half the whipped cream and spread that on top. Repeat with the second layer. Top with fresh strawberries, if desired. Slice and serve.

Sponge cake recipe adapted from The Big Book of Baking. Filling and whipped cream recipe by Kim.