Sunday 7 February 2016

Strawberry Shortcake with Creme Chantilly: Celebrating Love

"Wine comes in at the mouth,  
And love comes in at the eye;
 That’s all we shall know for truth,  
Before we grow old and die.

I lift the glass to my mouth, 
I look at you, and I sigh."

                                       - (WB Yeats, A Drinking Song)
Its that time of year again when the whole world celebrates Love with Flowers, wine and chocolates. Valentine's Day is just around the corner and "love" is literally on display everywhere you go. 
Card? Chocolates? Flowers? A romantic dinner for two? An expensive gift? It actually can get quite crazy trying to think of the perfect git for your Valentine to show them how much you care for them. Or save yourself the trouble and bake this gorgeous cake for your sweetheart to add sweetness to your Valentine's Day. After all as they say," A way to a man's (or should I say your Valentine's) heart is through their stomach!!" Try out this simple shortcake, filled with layers of whipped cream and strawberries to make a great impression.
By the way, do you know the story about why Valentin's Day is celebrated? Well, long. long time ago there was a selfless priest called valentine who stood up to the Roman emperor Claudius II when he outlawed marriage in 278 AD as he decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and children. Valentine realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. Valentine was beheaded for his insolence and before his execution he wrote a letter to his jailer's daughter, possible after falling in love with the young girl who visited him during his confinement, which was signed 'From your Valentine'. In 496 AD, February 14 was declared Valentine's day, dedicated to celebrating lovers. 
So here's Cheers to all of you celebrating your love and your loved ones. 

I will leave you here with these beautiful lines from Shakespeare's sonnets:
“Love is not love which alters it when alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove: O no! It is an ever fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken; it is the star to every wandering bark whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle's compass come: Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out, even to the edge of doom." (Sonnet 116)” 

Prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves 3-4
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter cut into chunks
2 large eggs
2 pints ripe strawberries
1/4 -1/2 cup sugar, more depending on desired sweetness
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the shortcake: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. 
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or by hand. 
Whisk the egg and add to the dry ingredients. 
Mix with a fork until the ingredients just stick together.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead lightly several times to form a ball. (dough will be grainy). 
Press into a heart shaped cake pan. 
Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until barely golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
For the strawberries: Wash and slice the strawberries. Sprinkle the strawberries with sugar and toss to coat. Remove half the strawberries and mash them with a potato masher till they are soft and syrupy. Keep aside. Slice the rest of the strawberries horizontally.
For the whipped cream: Combine the whipped cream, powdered sugar, and the vanilla in a chilled bowl. Whip on medium high speed until soft peaks form.
To assemble : Cut the cake horizontally into half. Place one half of the sliced cake onto a serving platter. Spoon some of the mashed strawberry syrup on the cake to soak it completely. Top with whipped cream and sliced strawberries.
Carefully put the top layer of cake, cut side down over the strawberries. Spread the Chantilly cream to cover the top completely. Decorate it with sliced strawberries and extra swirls of cream.

1 comment:

  1. This cake is adorable & perfect for Valentine's Day! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)