Ahhhhh—-Strawberry Shortcake! Nothing that I know of says summer so well as strawberry shortcake, a great favorite for the 4th of July. And this recipe does the impossible–makes it even more delicious. It starts with a warm, lemon flavored golden buttermilk cake that’s followed by sweet juicy fresh strawberries, and topped with whipped cream drizzled with strawberry coulis. Like Whoa!
This version is so beyond the shortcake I grew up with it’s almost in another world. Back in the day when I was still living at home, strawberry shortcake consisted of sweetened, sliced berries spooned over biscuits that were a lot like the texture of scones. They soaked up the juice and got all soft like, and the perfect bite included biscuit, berries and cream. Yeah, that’s the shortcake I know.
But this, this takes it all to a new level. Here you taste and smell the essence of lemon in a finely textured cake, along with the goodness of fresh sweet berries, then the cream is further enhanced by the strawberry coulis, a puree of strawberries containing just a touch of balsamic vinegar. Can I entice you to give this a try? I don’t think you will be the least bit sorry.
GOLDEN LEMON CAKE WITH STRAWBERRIES AND COULIS
- 1 quart of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
Combine sliced berries and sugar in a bowl. Toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.
For the cake:
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 tsp. powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray an 8 – inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
3. Place 1/3 cup sugar and butter in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add egg, beat just until combined. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat well. Stir in vanilla.
4. Spoon batter into the prepared 8 – inch cake pan. Bake at 350*F for 22 – 25 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cool completely on wire rack. To serve, place on serving dish and sift powdered sugar over top of cake.
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. sugar
Place berries, vinegar and sugar in the blender and blend to smooth consistency. If too thick add a little water or a touch more vinegar.
This strawberry sauce is great spooned over the cake only, or over ice cream.
Whipped Cream Topping:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Place all the ingredients in a small beater bowl, and beat on high speed until the cream holds stiff peaks.
To assemble and serve:
Portion the cake into 8 wedges. Place a wedge of cake on each serving plate. Spoon strawberries with their juice over the cake. Place a dollop of cream on top. Drizzle a little of the coulis over the cream or on the plate around the cake.
SOURCE: Cake recipe adapted from Cooking Light, the remainder is my own idea.