A shortcake is firmer than a sponge and is a classic recipe to use with fruit and cream. The most usual one is with strawberries and this is very good to have in summer. There are several recipes to choose from but this one is my favourite. The base compliments the fruit and cream and it also looks so good!
You will need a 20cm/8in. sandwich cake tin, a large piping bag and a star tube.
- 250g (8oz) self raising flour
- ½ teasp. baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 110g (4oz) hard margarine
- 110g (4oz) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teasp. vanilla extract
- 450g (1lb) strawberries
- 300ml (10fl oz) double cream
- Extra sugar if required for the sliced strawberries
- Icing sugar to dredge
Line the base of the tin with greased greaseproof paper.
Heat the oven to Gas 5/190C
Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt, rub in the fat and mix in the sugar. Beat the eggs together with the vanilla extract then stir them into the flour mixture to make a stiff dropping consistency.
Spread the mixture evenly in the tin and level the top.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.
Allow to cool completely, then slice across in two halves.
Reserve 7 of the best strawberries complete with their green tops, and slice the remainder. Add sugar if required.
Whip the cream to soft peak. Around the edge of the top half of the cake pipe 6 large rosettes and one in the centre. Spread the remainder of the cream over the base half of the cake and put the sliced strawberries evenly over and sprinkle with caster sugar.
Put the top half in position.
Place a strawberry on each rosette and dredge lightly with the icing sugar.
This can be made the day before or frozen ahead without the fruit and cream.