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Strawberry Shortcake

I am looking for some suggestions or comments regarding Strawberry Shortcake. I am going to be hosting brunch a few times in the next few weeks and am toying with the idea of serving it. There are a few variations that I have been looking at, but I can't make up my mind. They are all a bit different....

Option 1: Strawberry Shortcake made with Angel Food Cake (and mascerated fresh strawberries & whipped cream)

This was my first idea, but it would involve the purchase of an angel food cake pan, which I would rather not buy since I really do not have much room for storing various novelty baking dishes.

Option 2: The Strawberry Shortcake from Rustic Fruit Desserts

This sounds good and I'm guessing it is a more traditional strawberry shortcake. The cakes contain regular white flour but also cornmeal and have a sugar coating. You cook them on a baking sheet and then cut the cooled biscuits in half to assemble the dessert. Has anybody made this? I think because I have only had strawberry shortcake with angel food cake and pound cake, I'm having a hard time imagining it made with a biscuit containing cornmeal.

Option 3: Strawberry Shortcake with Chiffon Cake

This option, like the above two would have strawberries and whipped cream. I would use the Tartine chiffon cake recipe and would make it in a nine-inch square baking pan stead of a 10-inch springform. The benefit of this recipe is that I can have strawberry shortcake similar to in option 1, but I would not have to buy another pan.

Option 4: Tartine's Summer Fruit Trifle

This isn't Strawberry Shortcake, but it's pretty close. Has anybody made this? It looks very good and uses the same chiffon recipe as in Option 3. A few things are holding me back: I would *want* to buy a trifle bowl or at least a glass pyrex bowl to assemble it in, and I might actually need to buy a springform pan. Another thing holding me back is that it looks like a lot of work to make something that (1) might be too big to be eaten by the four of us at brunch and (2) might not keep well enough to eat later. I'd be so sad to throw out half of it the next morning after it is soggy and gross. At least with the above three options, I don't have to assemble everything right away and leftovers can be eaten the next day.

And while I'm at it, has anybody made the Bavarian from Tartine? How does that compare to a Trifle? They seem VERY similar.

Thoughts? I wish I could make all four, but the best I can do is probably to try two of them.

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  1. Option 2 is actually the most traditional strawberry shortcake, even though you have never had it before. I've never made one with cornmeal though, but it would add an interesting texture. One thing that I love about the individual biscuits is that they are easy to serve and look so nice. I cut mine in half, put the macerated strawberries on top followed by a good dollop of whip cream. After I put the top on, I add a small dollop and choose a pretty piece of a strawberry (or a whole one if they are small) to put on top of the cream. It always makes my guests ooh and aah when I serve them. I have used many different recipes over the years -- from cream biscuits, to Nick Malgeri's very easy food processor method, and they are always a hit.

    1 Reply
    1. I've really come to love shortcake made with a biscuit type dough, though I've never made one that included cornmeal. The last few I made were using a Cream Biscuit to which I added some Meyer lemon peel and a good sprinkle of sugar on top. Everyone liked the flavor whether I topped it with strawberries or my particular favorite, peaches. (They cannot be made far ahead however or the biscuits loose their wonderful texture.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: escondido123

        This recipe also uses a judicious amount of lemon peel, and I think even some orange.

      2. A "shortcake" is by definition a buttery biscuit. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortcake. Strawberry, whipcream concoctions served on angel food, sponge, or chiffon cakes may be delightful, but they are not "strawberry shortcake." So, only Option 2 is in fact a recipe for strawberry shortcake. I am a huge fan of a traditional strawberry shortcake so I'd go with option no. 2 or some other biscuit like base (e.g., without the corn meal). And, if you are concerned about leftovers, in lieu of making one large biscuit, you can make smaller individual biscuits, which makes it easier to freeze and store any left over.

        3 Replies
        1. re: masha

          smaller individual biscuits are much easier to serve, anyway. I like cream biscuits for this application

          1. re: masha

            Thanks for the recommendations. I was only really only concerned with leftovers if I made the a trifle, but it's definitely good to know that the biscuits will freeze well.

            I'm leaning towards making the authentic strawberry shortcake first. I think I'll save the trifle until I know that there will be more than four people eating it.

            Would you be skeptical of the cornmeal? It's not a huge amount and other things I've made from the book (Rustic Fruit Desserts) have been good.

            1. re: megmosa

              I'm a hardcore shortcake traditionalist - biscuit and biscuit ONLY!! - but the cornmeal addition sounds delicious. That sounds like a recipe I'd love to have myself, so I guess I need to look for that book. I've made several things with cornmeal added, such as pizza crust, and it always lends a very nice flavor and texture.

          2. Hi Megmosa, while I have never used a recipe to make strawberry shortcake, option #2 has always been my approach to it. One thing that I have always liked to add is strawberry ice cream. It always adds a lot to the dish and I know it is one of my dads favorites.

            1. I made a half batch of the Strawberry Shortcake from Rustic Fruit Desserts last night and liked it but was not in love. Next time I might try a recipe without cornmeal to see how it compares, as I can't decide if I like the texture with cornmeal or not. I'd definitely make this again though, as the shortcakes are so so easy to make and overall the dessert was very good. I had some left over shortcake today with raspberry fruit preserves that I got last week at the farmers market. Delicious!

              1 Reply
              1. re: megmosa

                We often use a scone type biscuit for shortcake, the richer dough sets off the fruit well. Since the scone/biscuit is sweeter than a traditional biscuit I put less sugar in the whipped cream.