I made this cake for my niece while I was in Australia since she allegedly like strawberries and cream. This was at suggestion of my brother-in-law who insisted she liked anything with strawberries and cream. I am glad to say everyone liked it especially the birthday girl. This version is more of a cake than an individual serving. I made the cake portion the night before and just filled it with the strawberries and cream a couple of hours before serving it.
A few things to remember when doing this pastry is not to overwork the dough. Have the butter really cold and not at room temperature. Add all the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients in one go. For the strawberries, try to get the smaller sizes, they have smaller white cores and are generally sweeter.
- 4 cups sliced strawberries, hulled
- 8 tbsp (+2tbsp) granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 cups plain flour, sifted
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 100g unsalted butter, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 200ml heavy whipping cream
- Icing sugar, to dust
Chop strawberries and then toss with (8 tbsp) granulated sugar in a large bowl and let it sit for at least and hour (I let them sit overnight). Gently press strawberries with the back of a fork to help release their juices, being careful not to crush them to a pulp.
Pre-heat over to 350F. Line and grease an 8inch pan with parchment paper (if you are using a non-stick pan with a springform base then you can skip the parchment paper).
Put flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and rub in butter with fingertips. Do this gently. There should be no large bits of butter left and your mixture should be like small breadcrumbs. Beat egg and milk together in a small bowl and then add to the dry ingredient. Mix with a fork until combined.
Spread your dough into your prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake for about 25-30 mins until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the shortbread comes out almost clean. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
To serve, Whip the heavy whipping cream till soft peak stage. Add about a tablespoon of sugar closer to the end of the whipping. Split the cake into two halves. Taking a pastry brush dip it in the juices of the strawberries and brush the lower half of the cake with the juice. Then put about 1/2 the strawberries on the cake. Top with whipped cream. Brush the top half (cut side with more juice). Place it on top of the whipped cream. Then dust the top with icing sugar.
You can serve each cut slice with additional whipped cream and the remaining strawberries.