05 July 2010

Move over, Strawberrry Shortcake

Mum recently acquired a brand-new, heavy-duty, bright-red cake mixer.  Mightn't sound particularly exciting to some, but it was to me.  I knew that that mixer meant the end to trying (usually in vain) to cream butter and sugar with egg beaters.  Using a hand-held mixer (egg beaters) works, but it's laborious and frankly gives less than average results. 

Fired by the zeal of one in command of such an august piece of equipment, I (relatively) quickly whipped up louise cake, cup cakes and shortcake.  Shortcake was something completely new to me - I'd never tasted it, and certainly had never made it - and it has definitely gone to very near the top of my list, for tasty sweets that are stupidly easy to make.  The recipe was one from Alexa Johnston's 'Ladies, A Plate', and called for dried apricots to be used, as the fruit filling.  We had a large amount of fresh peaches to hand, so I used some of those.  I'm going to make another one, once this one's eaten, with fresh blueberries, so it's a pretty versitile recipe. 

One thing I'd recommend to avoid however - the use of jam.  I had a couple of dollops of raspberry jam leftover from the jar used in the louise cake, so (rather than let it waste away, lonely in the cupboard) spread that alongside the peaches.  Too much.  WAY too sweet.  Yikes.  If you like insanely sweet foods, then go for it.  Otherwise, use jams at your own risk.  Other than that - foolproof, go for it!!

115 g butter, softened
160 g cup sugar
1 egg
170 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
c. 1 cup fruit, sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in eggs and mix well. 
  3. Add flour and baking powder, mixing into a smooth paste.
  4. Take half the soft dough and press evenly into greased 20cm round tin (recommended that you place baking paper in bottom, too). 
  5. Lay fruit (I used slices of peach, but apple would be really good too, or berries, or a combination - even dried apricots, as in the original recipe, provided they're soaked for a bit before use) in layer across dough base. 
  6. Arrange spoonfuls of remaining dough across top and press together with fingertips.  They'll spread a little in the oven, so don't be too concerned if they don't meet up perfectly. 
  7. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until risen and golden.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes befire removing from tin.  Sift with icing sugar and serve, warm or cold. 

1 comment:

  1. Alana cooked this using fresh peaches and raspberry jam. The sponge base and topping were delicious as was the filling - a great find, Alana. :-)