Mini Strawberry Shortcakes [Project]
These cakes are something that I’ve been wanting to make for a long time, so I decided that they ought to be on here, at some point in the summer, as a project. Just a nice treat, I thought. What did I hope to learn from this experience? Well, not much; most of this is stuff I’ve done before, many times… But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the kitchen, it’s that the confidence to improve comes from consistent effort of doing! You’ve just gotta do it; if you wanna make it, make it! Whether it fails or succeeds, you always learn from what did or didn’t work– and that’s one more experience to tuck under your belt and use the next time you need it.
The main thing I learned from this experience was pretty much just that these cakes should be assembled right before they are served (or shortly before… a little time in the fridge won’t kill them), or, they should be made with stabilized whipped cream if you want them to hold up a little longer. The way I made them, and the way I served them, was just fine– but I did take note that if I ever want to bring these to a party or make them a little further in advance, I think I’d prefer using stabilized whipped cream.
As it was, I used regular whipped cream. And by regular, I do NOT mean the stuff from a can– never, ever use that for this kind of dessert! It won’t last! Use real heavy whipping cream, and whip it with a bit of sugar and vanilla.
This project was pretty simple, and it makes a wonderful summer dessert. It’s light, fresh, and not-too-rich– perfect for hot lazy days, when you need a no-fuss, pretty dessert for a dinner party.
I used a basic Genoise sponge cake recipe, which I baked in a jelly roll pan for the cake. So, step #1: Genoise = Eggs :]
(And sugar, and flour, etc.) 😉
Skipping ahead a few steps, once the cake was baked and cooled, I cut the cake layers. You can either cut out the layers with a round biscuit cutter, to get the round shape, or (to avoid having scraps leftover) you can just cut it into squares, like I did for these. I cut the jelly roll into 12 squares, to make 6 mini cakes.
Then, I washed and chopped some strawberries, whipped some cream, and prepared a piping bag fitted with a large star tip to decorate the cakes.
Then I put them together! Easy-peasy. I decorated the cakes directly on the serving plates– layering cake, cream, fruit, cake, cream, and then fruit again. Then a little dollop of cream on top for added decor.
Then I stuck a piece of strawberry on top of that… But I’m not sure, what do you think? Does it look better with, or without? I can’t decide.