1800–1869: Strawberry Shortcake
Whenever I think of strawberry shortcake, I think of the cartoon. Although I didn't really watch it growing up, Strawberry Shortcake is a cartoon character most people are familiar with. As I made my shortcakes, I thought of her.
A simple cake, the first strawberry shortcake recipe appeared in 1866. Prior to that, people had been making biscuits. The addition of fruit is what makes a shortcake a shortcake. Although shortcakes aren't quite like the flaky biscuit we eat today, that's really how they got their start. Served with fresh berries--often with a bit of sugar--and cream, strawberry shortcakes were seen as quite the decadent dessert.
The shortcake recipe in American Cakes makes a lot of shortcakes. Byrn suggests wrapping them in foil to eat the next day The shortcakes store pretty well, so enjoy munching on a shortcake throughout the week. When I made mine, I made full-size and mini shortcakes. Using a biscuit cutter, I made tiny shortcakes to share with others. Bother were a huge success.
If you're like me and can't have whipped cream, whip up some coconut cream!
Coconut Whipped Cream
1 can coconut cream (I LOVE either the Sprouts or Trader Joe's brand)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1–4 Tbsp powdered sugar
To make coconut whipped cream, begin by either chilling your coconut cream, or storing it a room temperature. Most sources will tell you chilled coconut cream works best. This is generally true, but I've also had success on those days where I've gone to the store, bought my ingredients, and whipped it up immediately after.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the coconut cream and vanilla until fluffy. Add 1–4 Tbsp of powdered sugar, depending on how sweet you want your whipped cream to be.
Coconut whipped cream is a terrific addition to your coffee. Enjoy it while you can--it disappears quickly at my house.