Yesterday was my mum’s birthday and she invited the family round for paella and sangria. But there was one condition, I was to bake a cake. Given the choice, my mum would pick a cherry and almond cake that I make that has a layer of marzipan in the middle. It’s one of her favourite. But for me, it just wasn’t special enough. I thought I would take advantage of this opportunity and bake something as a practice run for a bake off that I am potentially entering next week at work (schedule permitting). So, I started flicking through my Good Food magazines (they’d been doing a cake club feature in the last issues). I wanted something that was summery and didn’t have any chocolate in (my mum doesn’t eat it). I finally settled on the Giant Strawberry Shortcake from last summer. Now, when I originally decided to bake this, I was planning to make it on the day. It’s a triple layered bake but shouldn’t take more than a few hours to make. However, my sister and her boyfriend were meant to be competing in a charity 5km run and obstacle course that lunchtime. But her boyfriend broke his finger and I offered to take his place (enjoyed it but never again. Still suffering now). This meant I needed to make the cake the night before. I was worried that it would not last but it was fine.
Here’s the recipe for this bake Giant Strawberry Shortcake. There are that many steps to it I thought it would be easier to provide the link.
So on the Friday night I made the shortbread biscuits and the cake layer. I was able to borrow two tart tins from work so was able to bake the two biscuits at the same time (perfect). It took me about two hours to complete up to step seven. I wanted to get all the baking out of the way that night and leave the assembling until the morning. I decided to go for the recommended buttercream rather than the Chantilly cream suggestions. Two reasons for this:
1. I wanted the cake to more like a jammie dodger than a Victoria sandwich cake.
2. I thought it would hold it’s shape more. I didn’t want the cake to collapse.
Now, during the assembly of the cake, everything was going so well until I had to but the final shortbread biscuit on top. When I went to pick it up of the cooling rack, it broke in half (whoops). Was this because I was still a little groggy or because the dough hadn’t joined together properly? This then made me think twice about possible making it for a bake off.
But then we all tried it and it was worth it. Yum yum. It is a very indulgent cake and I suggest serving it between 16 rather than 12. Obviously, due to the nature of the cake (layer of biscuit, cake, biscuit) it can’t be eaten in one go. Definitely needs a spoon/fork and a plate.