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June 14th is National Strawberry Shortcake Day, which can mean anything from a layer cake with strawberries in the filling, to a biscuit topped with whipped cream and strawberries—the latter of which, in fact, is the original Strawberry Shortcake.

Today, Strawberry Shortcake gets reimagined as a stunning stack cake (a.k.a. naked cake), perfect for summer entertaining (photo #1).

Don’t be intimidated by its beautiful presentation: This cake is actually quite easy to assemble.

You don’t have to be an ace of cakes to turn out this beautiful layer cake recipe. That’s because no frosting skills are required!
 
 
STACK CAKE vs. NAKED CAKE vs. Layer Cake

  • A stack cake is a cake made from stacked layers with filling. Traditionally the cakes were made in a cast iron skillet (in the days before poorer folk had neither cake pans nor ovens), but now they are baked.
  • A naked cake is a cake style that omits the majority of frosting you would normally see on the exterior of a cake. The cake layers are baked and stacked with lots of filling and do not have an outer layer of frosting. So, if you forgo the original stack cake made in a cast iron skillet, a stack cake = a naked cake.
  • A layer cake is a cake of two or more layers, with filling between the layers and frosting over the entire outer surface of the cake. The outer frosting differentiates it from a stack cake o naked cake.
  •  
    After you’re done whipping up the stack cake, turn your attention to more Strawberry Shortcake recipes below.

    The history of shortcake is below.

    > The history of strawberries.
     
     
    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE STACK CAKE

    Thanks to Go Bold With Butter for this delicious recipe.

    Prep time: is 30 minutes, and cook time is 30 minutes. Total time: 1 hour. Yield: 12 servings
     
    Ingredients

    For The Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  
    For The Strawberries

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    For The Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Butter and flour the parchment paper to keep the cakes from sticking.

    2. BEAT the butter and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until pale and creamy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

    3. COMBINE the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl between each addition.

    4. DIVIDE the batter between the two prepared cake pans and bake until the tops are barely golden brown and spring back when lightly touched, about 30-35 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover the cake layers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

    When ready to assemble the cake and serve…

    5. PREPARE the strawberries. Toss the sliced strawberries, sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl and let sit for 20 minutes.

    6. PREPARE the whipped cream. Use an electric mixer to beat the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla extract to medium peaks.

    7. REMOVE the chilled cake layers from the refrigerator and use a small knife to score each layer in half horizontally. Then use a large serrated knife to slowly cut all the way through each layer, using the scored line as a guide.

    8. PLACE one cake layer on a cake plate or stand. Cover with 1 cup of whipped cream and one-quarter of the strawberry mixture. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, whipped cream, and strawberries. Serve cake immediately.

     
     
     
    MORE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE RECIPES

    Red, White & Blue Shortcake
    Strawberry Shortcake Tiramisu Fusion

     
     

    CHECK OUT WHAT’S HAPPENING ON OUR HOME PAGE, THENIBBLE.COM.

     
     
     
      

    Wednesday

     
     
    SHORTCAKE HISTORY

    Shortcake is a sweet cake or biscuit (in the American sense: that is, a crumbly bread that has been leavened with baking powder or baking soda).

    Shortcake is typically made with flour, sugar, baking powder or soda, salt, butter, milk or cream, and sometimes eggs. The dry ingredients are blended, and then the butter is cut in until the mixture resembles cornmeal. The liquid ingredients are then mixed in just until moistened, resulting in a shortened dough. The dough is then dropped in spoonfuls onto a baking sheet, rolled and cut like baking powder biscuits, or poured into a cake pan, depending on how wet the dough is and the baker’s preferences. Then it is baked at a relatively high temperature until set.

    The most famous dessert made with shortcake is strawberry shortcake.[citation needed] Sliced strawberries are mixed with sugar and allowed to sit an hour or so, until the strawberries have surrendered a great deal of their juices (macerated). The shortcakes are split and the bottoms are covered with a layer of strawberries, juice, and whipped cream, typically flavored with sugar and vanilla. The top is replaced, and more strawberries and whipped cream are added onto the top. Some convenience versions of shortcake are not made with a shortcake (i.e. biscuit) at all, but instead use a base of sponge cake or sometimes a corn muffin. Japanese-style strawberry shortcakes use a sponge cake base, and are a popular Christmas treat in Japan.[1]

    Though today’s shortcakes are usually of the biscuit or sponge-cake variety, earlier American recipes called for pie crust in rounds or broken-up pieces,[2][3] which was a variety still being enjoyed in the 21st century, particularly in the South.

    The first strawberry shortcake recipe appeared in an English cookbook as early as 1588, according to Driscoll’s berry growers. By 1850, strawberry shortcake was a well-known biscuit and fruit dessert served hot with butter and sweetened cream. In the United States, strawberry shortcake parties were held as celebrations of the summer fruit harvest. This tradition is upheld in some parts of the United States on June 14, which is Strawberry Shortcake Day. It wasn’t until 1910 that French pastry chefs replaced the topping with heavy whipped cream.[4]

    Above from Wiki
    ————

    From Gil Marks on ToriAvey.com
    Thanks to Tori Avey for this history
    Gil Marks wrote about the history of American Cakes for ToriAvey.com, revealing the history and culture of the United States through its classic treat. An author, historian, chef, and social worker, Gil Marks was a leading authority on the history and culture of culinary subjects.
    See the full post:http://toriavey.com/contributors/#1Qv8ARGehTXwYclu.99
    http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2013/05/history-strawberry-shortcake-recipe/

    “The true shortcake is neither bread, nor cake, nor pastry, though bearing what might be called a ‘differing likeness’ to each. It is a modernized form of the pandowdies of our grandmothers.”

    —May 1894 issue of The New England Kitchen (Boston)

    Strawberry shortcake, among the most beloved and enduring of American foods, consists of sweetened biscuits (shortcake) or sponge cake loosely paired with fresh berries and whipped cream. Its greatness lies in the contrasts of textures and flavors of simple cake, fruit, and cream -— hard and soft, moist and dry, sweet and tart, acid and cake. Shortcake proves the ideal base, as it is firm enough to stand up to the juicy berries and damp cream and absorbing only some of them without losing its identity or becoming a mushy mess.

    The short in shortcake does not refer to stature or scope. Rather it derived from a 15th century British usage of “short” akin to crumbly. Adding a large amount of fat (hence shortening) to flour coats the proteins, thereby, inhibiting the gluten strands from forming and resulting in a crumbly and tender texture. Short cakes were sweetened with sugar making them even more tender. The first record of the term “short cake” and the earliest recipe for it, an unleavened rich cookie, was in the anonymous Elizabethan cookbook The Good Huswifes Handmaid for Cookerie in her Kitchen (London, 1588), the second printed English cookbook. Within a decade, Shakespeare used the term shortcake for the name a character in The Merry Wives of Windsor.

    Among the developments that distinguished 19th century American baking (and classic strawberry shortcake) from the Old World was the addition of potash and later baking soda to baked goods. Thus Mary Randolph in Virginia Housewife (Baltimore, 1824) presented an early baking soda quick bread: “Soda Cakes. Dissolve half a pound of sugar in a pint of milk, add a tea-spoonful of soda; pour it on two pounds of flour—melt half a pound of butter, knead all together till light, put it in shallow moulds, and bake it quickly in a brisk oven.” As a result of chemical leavening, American shortcakes became lighter and fluffier than the English originals.

    A transitional stage in the development of the modern strawberry shortcake was “Strawberry Cakes” found in the June 1, 1845 issue (page 86) of The Ohio Cultivator (Columbus), which entailed a thick unleavened cookie, split, layered with fresh strawberries, and covered with a hard sugar-and-egg white icing: “Cover the whole top and sides with an icing made in the usual way, of beaten white of egg and powdered loaf-sugar. Although already raspberries were offered as an alternative (and soon sliced peaches), strawberries would remain the preference. Before the icing is quite dry, ornament the top with whole strawberries…” Eliza Leslie, the predominant American culinary personality of the mid-19th century, copied this recipe in The Lady’s Receipt-Book (Philadelphia, 1847), popularizing it nationwide.

    Shortly after The Lady’s Receipt-Book, leavened shortcakes emerged as the most popular pastry for American strawberry cakes, although still made without whipped cream, and immediately the term strawberry shortcake took off in America. An early appearance was in Holidays Abroad by Caroline Kirkland (New York, 1849) “…and here we lunched on gateau aux fraises – which proved to be just what is called at the West a strawberry shortcake.” The October 1857 issue of The American Cotton Planter and the Soil of the South (Montgomery, AL) reported on a simple version: “Strawberry shortcake is a luxury. Make a large, thick shortcake, split it twice through, and spread with butter and a layer of fresh strawberries and sugar, put the parts together again, and serve hot.”

    By the time of the June 1862 issue of the Genesse Farmer (Rochester), “Strawberry Shortcake” consisted of a soda biscuit layered with fresh berries, sugar, and cream: “The cake should be made like soda biscuit, rather richer, but very light, and baked in a round tin about the size of a dinner plate. Immediately upon taking it out of the oven split it in three parts, and spread them with butter very thinly. Have your strawberries prepared by covering them with sugar. Spread a thick layer of these upon one of the sliced of the cake, and pour over them the richest cream that you can process; then add another layer of the shortcake and another of strawberries, as before. Cover the whole with the remaining slice of cake, add some cream and powdered sugar, and you have a dish which would tickle the palate of an epicure.” A similar recipe with three cake layers, berries, and cream was included in Jennie June’s American Cookbook by Jane Cunningham Croly (New York, 1866), the author noting: “This is the method of making at the finest city restaurants.” In post-Civil War America, strawberry shortcake was the rage from farm houses to the chicest New York eateries.

    With the advent of the new transcontinental railroad in 1869, the shipment of California strawberries on ice contributed to a surge in popularity of shortcake throughout the country. Also at this time, articles and literary references about strawberry shortcake intensified interest among the American populace. Whipped cream’s popularity spread in America corresponding to refrigeration, and it became standard in the dish. Strawberry shortcake recipes became standard fare in American homes and cookbooks in every part of the country.
    In those days, strawberries were a seasonal treat, consumed fresh in and around the month of June, reveled in for an all too brief period, then any remainder transformed into jam and the fresh berries reminisced about for the ensuing eleven months till late spring returned. Many Americans would hold shortcake parties every year to enjoy the new crop of strawberries and celebrate the imminent onset of summer. The strawberry crop frequently lasted through July 4th, and many Americans celebrated Independence Day with strawberry shortcake. June 14th became National Strawberry Shortcake Day.

    In the 20th century, many Americans, especially Northerners with little familiarity or experience with soda biscuits, developed a preference for substituting pound cake, angel food cake, or hot-milk sponge cake as the base. In the 1920s, the Continental Bakery Company introduced sponge cakes baked in four-inch long metal pans with a rounded bottom, under the name “Hostess Little Shortbread Fingers,” intended to be used to make strawberry shortcakes for about two months during the summer; for the rest of the year the company made Twinkies. Groceries sold packaged sponge cake cups and fingers for easy “strawberry shortcakes.” In the 1960s, the sponge cake style reached Japan, where strawberry shortcake consisting of three layers of puffy sponge cake sandwiched with strawberries and whipped cream became the most popular of all layer cakes. The classic dish, however, is made from a rich biscuit dough.

    Eventually, strawberry varieties with an extended growing period (and much less flavor) were developed, leading to the berries’ availability through more and more of the year. Due to cultivation, modern strawberries are radically different than those of the 19th century, while the original flavors of the wild strawberries have been all but lost. Many cultivated varieties — such as the current California leaders, Camarosa, Diamante, and Ventana — are less intensely flavored and much harder (and hardier) than heirloom varieties, such as the Banner which dominated California production until 1950. Most modern berries are also too frequently picked before ripening. Unlike Europe, American retailers do not have to identify the variety. Years ago in California, I stumbled upon a roadside stand selling Banner strawberries. Let me just say, they had as much in common in taste with modern strawberries as most commercial American tomatoes with anything real. If you are fortunate to have access to fresh heirloom berries, I urge you to spend the extra and enjoy genuinely flavorful fruit in your shortcake. You’ll understand what the fuss was about.

    See the full post:http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2013/05/history-strawberry-shortcake-recipe/#oKiCFvGC3yGLYFYj.99

    The post RECIPE: A Layer Cake For National Strawberry Shortcake Day first appeared on The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures.
    The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures

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