Yesterday was one of those days where I had loads to catch up on. Having been ill or looking after ill children for most of last week, the weekend ended up full of doing chores and running errands. My hubby was out for all of the morning and some of the afternoon at an antiques fair, at Homebase and also stocking up at the supermarket. With a growing teenage son stocking up at the supermarket is an almost daily occurence in our house at the moment!
Anyway, chores or no chores I like to keep my traditions or routines. We always have a family meal with a pudding on a Sunday. In the Autumn and Winter months this is usually a roast and a hot pudding at lunchtime but in the summer months we have our main meal in the evening. I still like to have a pudding but it is more likely to be fruit or a cold dessert. I made a traybake meal of chicken breasts with garlic, onions, sliced new potatoes, peppers, Italian herbs drizzled lightly with olive oil roasted in the oven and served with steamed green beans. This was a massive hit with all the family and I was so happy when it was all eaten up.
For pud I chose to bake a Strawberry Shortcake. I have been growing strawberry plants at home. I have one growing on my kitchen windowsill in a pot and the strawberries were ripe and ready (all five of them!!!) The ones outside have just got to the fruit growing stage and have lost the flowers so they’ll be a while yet. I had some strawberries from Morrisons that needed using up and I wanted to incorporate my “bumper” crop in the shortcake.
The strawberry shortcake recipe was from my fabulous Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook and was one of Lynn Hill’s own recipes which are published in the book. Lynn describes the shortcake as “a perfect summer treat” I totally agree with that!
The shortcake itself is a scone recipe: self raising flour, baking powder sifted into a bowl with sugar stirred in. Then butter is added and rubbed in with your fingertips. Afterwards, you add egg, milk and vanilla extract and then combine to form a dough. This was a bit on the sticky side but I took care not to overwork it.
The dough was then put into a greased and lined 8″/ 20cm round and loose bottomed cake tin. I had to press it down carefully so it went into all the spaces with no gaps. Into the oven it went for about 20-25 minutes. When it came out of the oven the cake was left to cool on the rack before I had to slice it in half horizontally.
As you can see from the photo, the cake looks a bit messy! Well, I don’t think the shortcake had totally cooled down when I sliced it, making bits fall off it. To be honest I was rushing by the end as I should have made it earlier on in the day but I had got sidetracked by ironing and all that. I whipped up the cream but put far too much on the bottom layer, then adding halved strawberries made the cream ooze out everywhere. At least it was still edible! Dusted with caster sugar and topped with the five strawberries from my own plant, it was okay.
So what was the family’s verdict behind the pudding? Despite the messy appearance of the cake they all loved it. We only had a small slice as it was quite calorific with all that cream. My hubby had a piece earlier on today and said that it didn’t taste as fresh even though it had been in the fridge. This is clearly a cake you eat on the day you make it to taste it at it’s best.
Love Sam xx