Sunday, April 25, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

my attempt at getting a little bit more creative with my pictures : )

I took my niece strawberry picking at a local farm this weekend. She ate more strawberries then she could pick, and by the end of our visit she was covered in strawberry juice from head to toe! I told her that I was going to make Strawberry Shortcake with all our our fresh pickens...she looked at me with shock and said, "you are going to cook a little girl?" Nice one. At school we often use dacquoise as a layer in our tortes, and I really like the taste and texture of it and decided to use it to make a strawberry short-cakish dessert. I baked my dacquoise on a sheet pan, let it cool and then cut circles out of it. Then I topped it off with sugar soaked strawberries and fresh whipped cream. Every bite tasted like the perfect summer day!

Strawberry shortcake is traditionally made with a sweet biscuit or a spongecake. Dacquoise is a cake made with almonds or hazelnuts and a meringue. I was very pleased with how this turned out, and everyone loved the contrasting textures of each element.

Dacquoise Cake
Adapted from On Baking

8 oz egg whites
1/4 cup plus 3 TBS granulated sugar (first sugar)
2/3 cup granulated sugar (second sugar)
1 1/8 cup almond flour
2 TBS plus 1 tsp all purpose flour (or cornstarch if you want a gluten free cake)
1 TBS vanilla egg whites and first sugar whipped to a stiff peak

Whip the egg whites with beater (whisk attachment) until foamy. This will take a few minutes. Once egg whites are foamy add first sugar and continue whipping until the egg whites and sugar form a stiff peak. Fold in the vanilla. In separate bowl mix together the second sugar, almond flour, and flour. Fold the dry ingredients carefully into the stiff egg whites with a spatula. Fold only until ingredients are combined. Over mixing will cause you cake to deflate. Carefully spread your cake batter evenly onto a greased and parchment lined jelly roll pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown, and the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Once cake has cooled peel off parchment paper and cut circles out with biscuit cutter or any cookie cutter shape you have.

I served this with unsweetened fresh whipped cream, and strawberries that had been soaking in a little bit of sugar for about an hour. I didn't sweetened the cream because the cake and strawberries were already sweet.

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