Strawberry Shortcake

By Martin Musialczyk

“Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition.”
-Alexander Smith

There are many ways of expressing interest in someone you care about. Sharing something sweet at the end of a nice meal can be that subtle gesture you may have been looking for. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, here’s a fairly easy recipe for strawberry shortcake that you can make yourself without breaking the bank.

(Step 1) Purchase premade angel food cake. Available at most grocery stores, this can usually be found in the baked goods section. Usually they’re sold in packages of six. Perfect if you’re on a triple date or if you’re just batshit crazy and have three separate dates that night. Otherwise, you’ll have a chance to share with friends later on in the week.

(Step 2) Half an hour before serving the desserts, you’ll need to macerate the strawberries. Macerating here simply means softening and sweetening the strawberries. After hulling them (removing the green leafy top), cut them in quarter-inch slices and add sugar to them. The sugar will draw out the moisture out of the strawberry and make a pleasantly sweet berry sauce.

(Step 3) Pour the half pint of heavy cream (also called heavy whipping cream, but to clear up any confusion, let’s just call it heavy cream) into a metal or glass bowl.

Ideally you have an egg beater in your kitchen or one of your friends/neighbors can loan you one. If not, a medium sized wire whisk and a little bit of effort will also do the trick though you might work up a sweat.

Start whisking the heavy cream at a relatively quick pace until you see a slight difference in texture. It should be noted that the colder the whipping cream is to begin with, the easier it will be to make whipped cream. Chilling the bowl in the freezer for about five minutes will help a lot with this, but it isn’t necessary.

After about one to two minutes, the cream should appear to have slightly thickened. At this point you want to add four tablespoons of powdered sugar into the mixture (three tablespoons of granulated sugar can be substituted). Continue to whisk aggressively.

Your mixture will start tightening up more and more. When the cream starts to look like actual whipped cream, add one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to it and continue whisking for about a minute more. Careful not to over whisk it or else your cream will eventually turn into butter.

(Step 4) Here’s the fun part: putting all of the elements together. Start with the angel food cake at the bottom. On top of that layer, spoon on a nice amount of the macerated strawberries and sauce. And finally, add the homemade whipped cream to the top.

Feel free to place a halved strawberry on top of the whipped cream as an edible garnish. Enjoy.

Ingredients needed:
Heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar or granulated sugar, pure vanilla extract, fresh strawberries, and angel food cake cups.

Steps:
1. Purchase premade angel food cake at the grocery store.
2. Slice five strawberries ¼ inch thick and sprinkle 1 Tbsp sugar on top to macerate.
3. Turn half pint of heavy cream into whipped cream using sugar and vanilla.
4. Assemble and enjoy.

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