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LivingFood and DrinkGay Cook's strawberry shortcake

Gay Cook’s strawberry shortcake

  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar plus 2 tsp (10 ml)
  • ¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 eggs at room temperature, separated
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) warm water
  • 1 cup (250 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
  • 1½ quarts (1½ L) fresh strawberries, trimmed, sliced 
  • Garnish: reserved 6 whole berries with stems
  • 125 mL (125 ml) sugar
  • 2 cups (500 ml) whipping cream
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla

1.   Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter 2 9-inch (22.5cm) round cake pans and sprinkle each with 1 tsp (5 ml) sugar or line bottom of pans with contact paper. 
2.   In electric beat 1 cup (250 ml) sugar, with salt, lemon zest and juice and yolks until lemon-coloured. Stir in water. Combine the flour and baking powder and set aside. In clean bowl of electric beater, whisk the eggs whites just until soft peaks form. Gently fold yolk mixture unto the beaten whites using a rubber spatula, alternately with the dry ingredients just until blended. 
3.   Spoon batter into the pans and smooth the surface. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow cakes to rest for 5 minutes then loosen cake edges from pans. Invert cakes onto rack to cool. Peel off contact paper if used.
4.   Combine the strawberries with sugar and chill for several hours to release juices. Whip the cream with whisk beater until soft peaks form. Sweeten cream with 2 tbsp (25 ml) sugar; add vanilla. 
5.   To assemble, spread half the berries on the bottom cake layer and top with whipped cream. Place second layer on top and spread with remaining berries; cover with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with whole berries. Chill several hours before serving. 

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