I am a total and complete hypocrite. Lately, here I sit, endlessly complaining about my family’s lack of respect towards the traditional birthday cake and what do I ask for for my birthday dessert? THIS.
Atrocious, I know. I’m sorry. I’m mostly sorry. Today I’m making an elaborate cake to make myself feel better about all of this(I realize these are not real problems, but sometimes I get a little dramatic about sweets). My littlest will be turning two in less than two months and just watch out. Since she can’t tell me what she wants for her birthday dessert, I am just going to assume that its a giant, multi-tiered, ridiculously elaborate birthday cake. Can’t wait!
If you’re not going to go the birthday cake route, these shortcakes will work, I suppose. These were the birthday dessert of choice for my little brother a few weeks ago. I’ve made them individual, so everyone gets their own nicely presented dessert. These may look fancy, but they are a cinch to make, I assure you.
Classic shortbread rounds, all tender crumbles of buttery biscuit are filled with sweetened strawberry slices and a giant mound of thick whipped cream. I can never get enough whipped cream. I usually put more on the side.
A few notes:
*These are best when assembled just before eating. If they sit too long once put together, the syrup formed by the mixture of strawberries and sugar will start to soak through the biscuit and ruin that crumbly, tender texture.
*My tip for stable whipped cream? I don’t use gelatin or pudding mix. I find that if you whip the cream to the point that if whipped any longer it will turn to butter, it will be stable for quite a while. Since the cream is piped out into mounds, it doesn’t matter that the peaks are soft enough to form gentle swirls. You want it to be past that point. When you lift the whisk out of the whipped cream, only a few clumps of cream should cling to it, the rest sitting in a firm mass inside the bowl. This, of course, is also a personal preference. I like my whipped cream super thick 😉
- 1½ C. Strawberries, Sliced
- ½ C. Sugar
- 2 C. All-purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ C. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ⅔ C. Heavy Cream or Half and Half
- 24 small Strawberries, Stems removed, cut in half, lengthwise
- 3 C. Sweetened whipped cream(whipped to stiff peaks)
- 2 strawberries, stems on, quartered lengthwise(for garnish)
- Powdered Sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
- Place the 1½ C. sliced strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle with the ½ C. sugar. Toss to coat and refrigerate until ready to assemble shortcakes.
- Place flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
- With the processor running, Drop in the cubed butter piece by piece and process until just combined and forming small crumbs.
- Drizzle the cream into processor through top while processor is running and process until dough JUST comes together. Be careful to not over-process.
- Place dough on floured work surface and pat down dough to a uniform 1-inch thickness.
- Cut dough into rounds about 2 inches in diameter with a round cutter. Reform dough as necessary with scraps being careful not to overwork dough and re-cut into rounds.
- Place cut dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake shortcakes for about 12-15 minutes or until tops are just turning slightly brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- To assemble, cut shortcakes in half horizontally. Using about 8 strawberry halves per shortcake, place the halves along the edges of each shortcake, cut sides facing out.
- Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the sweetened sliced strawberries in the center of the strawberry circle.
- Using a piping bag fitted with a round tip, pipe a mound of whipped cream on top of each strawberry circle.
- Place the top halve of the shortcake on top of the whipped cream.
- Pipe a dollop of whipped cream on top of each shortcake, garnish with a quartered strawberry and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
- Serve immediately.