Reprinted with permission from Cookie Love by Mindy Segal (Ten Speed Press). Copyright (c) 2015.
Author's headnote: When looking to create a macaroon that resembled a Mounds...
Since moving to Oregon, strawberry season has become one of the seasonal events that my culinary year revolves around. I think maybe this is the case for most people? It was even for Marion Rombauer Becker, who was allergic to them but ate them anyway.
I thoroughly enjoyed strawberries before I moved here, but I couldn’t have imagined how delicious Oregon berries are. When you eat one after years of supermarket strawberries, you have a feeling of bliss but also of sudden understanding--so this is a strawberry! And then it just clicks. You realize how delicious they can be, and so nothing else will do. You eye the supermarket berries with suspicion.
So I make sure every strawberry season to eat enough of them to give myself heartburn, just to make up for all those years of berry gourmandise I missed out on.
Shortcake is a classic vehicle for strawberries, normally consisting of a sweet biscuit, whipped cream, and macerated berries. I’ve taken some liberties with the name for this dessert, but I think it stays true to the concept. In this case, the cake is a simple sour cream cake, and rather than baking it in layers, I baked one thicker layer to make a “short” cake, as opposed to a layer cake. A tall, fluffy cloud of whipped cream floats on top, and berries rest atop it. Simple enough, but also very beautiful and delicious. This is what I always think of as a “Sunday cake”--elegant and special enough to be served for dessert after Sunday lunch, but simple to put together.
I was a bit restrained with the berries for my photos, but you should really pile them on. Serving the cake with additional macerated berries on the side is recommended. Whatever you do, whip the cream and dress the cake right before serving.
Preheat the oven to 375℉. Grease a 9-inch springform pan or a deep 9-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
Whisk together in a bowl:
1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Beat in a large bowl until creamy:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
Gradually add and beat until light, 3 to 5 minutes:
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 parts, alternating with:
1 cup sour cream or whole milk Greek yogurt
in 2 parts, beating until smooth. Scrape the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan on a rack, then invert out of the pan and turn right side up to cool completely.
Place in a bowl:
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar or confectioners’ sugar
Whisk or beat with a hand mixer until the cream is thick and can hold itself up. Spread on the cooled cake. Top with:
1 quart strawberries, topped and quartered
If desired, serve with more strawberries that have been macerated in a little sugar.