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Monday, July 7, 2014

just want your heart, yeah, oh-oh

So it wasn't until I got old enough to start reading cooking and lifestyle magazines that I ran up against the wall that is what most people think of as strawberry shortcake is served on biscuits.  BISCUITS.  Nobody even talked about sponge cake, which is how my mom serves it and is better than biscuits, but worse than the real, true way, which is angel food cake.  And you wouldn't believe how alien this concept is--I've introduced it to scores of people who always look a little crestfallen when I say we're having strawberry shortcake, and then when they eat what I've brought they rave and exclaim with wonder about how wonderful it is, and as my brother-in-law would say:  Let's be clear.  It's not some great talent on my part that's doing it--it's the fact that angel food cake--any angel food cake--is immeasurably better than whatever shenanigans people are trying to pull with those dry biscuits.  I get that angel food cake is not technically a "short" cake from a baking perspective, but come on.  Knock that biscuit crap right off. 

My sister-in-law who is like the internet curator of our family sent me a link to the awesomest song  because she heard it and thought of me and now I am learning it on the guitar.  I don't know if you'll love it the way I do, but you can probably guess why it made Emily think of me. 

7 comments:

Crabapple said...

While I am I'm full agreement that angel food cake as strawberry shortcake is an abomination, especially when it's not homemade, I love both sponge cake and biscuit strawberry shortcake. We would have a hot milk sponge cake for fancy dessert and baking powder biscuits for everyday. The key to an excellent shortcake is JUICE. If you chop about half of your strawberries and slice the rest and sugar them (don't go overboard) and a squirt of lemon juice and then let it sit for an hour or so before serving, you will have a lot of juice. Then when you split the biscuit or cake slice you put lots of the juice on the lower half with the strawberries and the juice soaks in. Yum (think summer pudding).

Layne said...

Crabapple. It is NOT an abomination, it is glorious beyond description--although store-bought angel food cake is nasty. But let's not fight. Let us just agree that there should be two desserts that exist simultaneously, one that is strawberries on biscuits, and another one that is strawberries on angel food cake. We don't even have to call the angel food cake one shortcake, it can be strawberry angel cake or something, although that does imply that the strawberries might be part of the cake itself.

And though I am on board with your juice solution, you still have the dry nasty top biscuit half . . . how to address this problem? I guess you could just mash it all together once you get your plate. Messy and unlovely, though.

I think it's just an issue of what you grow up with and what's familiar to you. I can't imagine enjoying the biscuit way, but I should probably be more open-minded and tolerant.

Are they really just regular old baking power biscuits?

Crabapple said...

Yes. My grandmother's recipe. So after you put strawberries and cream on the bottom half, you put the top half on cut side up and repeat to taste.

Crabapple said...

And I expect, if it's made with homemade "shortcake" it's all tasty

Layne said...

Cut side up--this is good science. Someday I may attempt it this way and see if the rest of America really does know what they're talking about.

beckster said...

The very best strawberry shortcake is made by stacking small rounds of homemade pie crust with whipped cream and strawberries, IMHO. The salty/flaky pie crust is a perfect foil for the creamy, sweet cream and berries. My mother made it that way, and I have never had a better shortcake, evah.

Layne said...

That sounds promising. One of the things I've added to shortcake is creme anglaise--it uses up the yolks left over from the angel food cake, and it makes the whole dessert much more moist and puddingy. I think creme anglaise would be a good addition to the biscuit and pie crust versions as well.