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brandied strawberry shortcake

Brandied Strawberry Shortcake

Brandy really makes these strawberries pop! Inspired by those iconic fluffy store-bought shortcakes, this cloud-like chiffon cake is impossibly easy to whip up on a warm day.

Recipe by Liz Clements of Think Like a Baker, helping home bakers become confident and creative in the kitchen.

Components:

  • Brandy Macerated Strawberries
  • Vanilla Chiffon Shortcakes
  • Lightly Sweetened Whipped Cream

 

Yield: 12 shortcakes

 

Brandy Macerated Strawberries

  1. Wash the strawberries, cut the tops off and cut into quarters.
  2. In a bowl, toss together strawberries, sugar, brandy, and a tiny pinch of salt.
  3. Let stand at room temperature for 1-3 hours, tossing occasionally, or place directly in the fridge to macerate overnight.
  4. Use the above measurements as guidelines. If you like it extra boozy, don’t be afraid to add another glug of Brandy! Have extra sweet strawberries? Try adding a little less sugar.  Remember, you can always adjust the sweetness to taste at the end.

 

Vanilla Chiffon Shortcake

  • 36g (2 Tbsp+2 tsp) neutral oil (canola, vegetable, sunflower, etc.)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 61g (4 Tbsp) water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 95g (¾ cup) cake flour
  • 102g (⅓ cup+3 Tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 4g (1 tsp) baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • Zest of ½ lemon (optional)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 46g (2 Tbsp+2 tsp) granulated sugar
  • Butter for greasing the pan

This cake can be baked in a muffin tin for individual shortcakes, or a standard loaf pan and sliced for a more rustic dessert.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F
  2. Prepare the pan by greasing only the bottom with butter, ensuring the sides remain clean.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, egg yolks, water, and vanilla. The bowl needs to be large enough to hold the entire volume of the cake batter.
  4. Sift together the cake flour, 102g granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  5. If using, zest the lemon into the wet ingredients.
  6. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk together until fully combined and set aside.
  7. In a stand mixer with the whip attachment, or with handheld beaters, whip the egg whites.
  8. When the egg whites become foamy, gradually add the 46g of granulated sugar.
  9. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
  10. Using a spatula, fold the whites into the batter in 3 additions, taking care not to overmix.
  11. Fill pan ⅔ full.  For individual cakes, divide batter among each prepared cup of the muffin tin, following the same ⅔ full guidelines.
  12. Bake at 325.  For muffins: 15-20 minutes, or until cake springs back.  For loaf pan: 25 minutes.
  13. Cool completely in the pan, then run a mini offset spatula or a butter knife around the edge of the pan to release the cake.

 

Whipped Cream

  • 360g (1 ½  cups) cold heavy cream
  • 1 to 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Tiny pinch of salt

 

  1. By hand, or with a stand or handheld mixer, whip all ingredients until medium/stiff peaks form. Whipped cream is best just after it is made, so I like to whip it up just before serving.

 

Assembly

  1. There is no right or wrong way to finish these cakes, so take this opportunity to let the creative juices flow!
  2. For the mini cakes: keep whole and top with strawberries, making sure to soak the cake in the juices. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.
  3. OR, cut the cakes in half, sandwich style, fill with berries and cream, and place the other half of the cake on top. Dust with powdered sugar, or top with more whipped cream.
  4. For the loaf, slice, top and enjoy!  To impress your friends, slice in half like a sandwich, fill with berries and cream, top with the other half of cake, and dust with powdered sugar for a fancy presentation.

 

Make Ahead: The cake can be made 2 days in advance. Just store in an airtight container at room temperature.  Strawberries can be made one day ahead of time, just know they will soften a bit in texture, but (bonus!) the juices will be a deeper red color.

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